Mollie Katzen, author of the career-defining best-seller Moosewood Cookbook, is one of the latest food personalities to stop by Google for a charming talk about her newest book, The Heart of the Plate. Though she's been writing vegetarian-friendly cookbooks since the 1970s, Katzen says that this is pretty much the first time she's used the word itself — under the tagline "Vegetarian recipes for a new generation" — on the cover. The aim, Katzen says, is to redefine "vegetarian" to identify the food on a plate rather than the person eating it. She laments that vegetarianism is more about meat than it is vegetables, saying, "It's not as though someone says, "I would like to stop eating meat and therefore I am madly interested in brussels sprouts.'" She adds that vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike should be able to share meals without judgment.
Beyond plugging the book, Katzen also nerds out about knives ("When you fall in love with slicing stuff, everything changes"), reminisces about the low-fat craze ("I just have to share how painful it was for this cookbook author to be trying to come up with a recipe for potato latkes during the low-fat era"), and jokes about whether or not this cookbook will be her last. She asks, "How many things can you say about eggplant? I've said 42 things about eggplant. Maybe there's 48 things to say about it." Here, go watch, it's a delight: