"Celery is a vegetable people either love or hate, and we try to get people to love all their vegetables," says chef Amanda Cohen of New York City's Dirt Candy. She sets off celery's bitterness and crunch with meaty oyster mushrooms and grapes that have been grilled until almost bursting.
Faux cheeses made with nuts are key to vegan cooking. To stuff these involtini, chef Sean Baker of Gather in Berkeley re-creates the flavor of ricotta by combining pureed raw cashews with nutritional yeast, which has a very savory, almost cheese-like flavor and is available at well-stocked specialty and natural food stores.
Pairing: Bold beer made with rye: Terrapin's Rye Pale Ale.