Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes

More than 100 beautifully simple recipes that teach you the basics of a great vegan meal centered on real food, not powders or meat substitutes—from the James Beard Award-winning chef and author of Afro-Vegan
Food justice activist and author Bryant Terry breaks down the fundamentals of plant-based cooking in Vegetable Kingdom, showing you how to make delicious meals from popular vegetables, grains, and legumes. Recipes like Dirty Cauliflower, Barbecued Carrots with Slow-Cooked White Beans, Millet Roux Mushroom Gumbo, and Citrus & Garlic-Herb-Braised Fennel are enticing enough without meat substitutes, instead relying on fresh ingredients, vibrant spices, and clever techniques to build flavor and texture. 

The book is organized by ingredient, making it easy to create simple dishes or showstopping meals based on what’s fresh at the market. Bryant also covers the basics of vegan cooking, explaining the fundamentals of assembling flavorful salads, cooking filling soups and stews, and making tasty grains and legumes. With beautiful imagery and classic design, Vegetable Kingdom is an invaluable tool for plant-based cooking today.

Praise for Vegetable Kingdom


“Phenomenal . . . transforms the kitchen into a site for creating global culinary encounters, this time inviting us to savor Afro-Asian vegan creations.”

—Angela Y. Davis, distinguished professor emerita at the University of California Santa Cruz

“In the great Black American tradition of the remix and doing what you can with what you got, my friend Bryant Terry goes hard at vegetables with a hip-hop eye and a Southern grandmama’s nature. To paraphrase Maya Angelou, Bryant wants us to know that once we know vegetables better, we will cook vegetables better. He ain’t lyin’.”

—W. Kamau Bell, comedian, author, and host of the Emmy Award–winning series United Shades of America

About the Author

Photo by Celeste Noche

Bryant Terry is a James Beard Award-winning chef and educator and the author of Afro-Vegan. He is renowned for his activism and efforts to create a healthy, equitable, and sustainable food system. He is currently in his fifth year as chef-in-residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, where he creates programming that celebrates the intersection of food, farming, health, activism, art, culture, and the African Diaspora. His work has been featured in the New York TimesWashington Post, and San Francisco Chronicle, and on NPR’s All Things Considered. San Francisco magazine included Bryant among the 11 Smartest People in the Bay Area Food Scene and Fast Company named him one of 9 People Who Are Changing the Future of Food.


Big Beans, Buns, and Broccoli Rabe (6 servings)

This recipe has everything I want in a good sandwich—toasted homemade bread, hearty protein, and broccoli rabe. That’s right—I declare roasted broccoli rabe florets as the new default vegetable for sandwiches, lettuce be damned. My friend Soleil Ho, restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, would likely agree—in her words, “I hate lettuce, but I really hate hot lettuce.” This recipe is inspired by bunny chow, a South African dish made by hollowing out a loaf of white bread and filling it with curry. Although the original version was vegetarian, it is more common to find bread stuffed with meaty curries these days. The first time I had bunny chow was at the now-closed South African restaurant Madiba in my old Brooklyn neighborhood. When I had it a second time, prepared by the People’s Kitchen Collective at the Museum of the African Diaspora’s first Diaspora Dinner, I was blown away.


The popular vegetarian version of bunny chow uses lima beans. I need a meatier and heartier bean for this dish, so I use corona beans—huge, thick-skinned beans with a creamy interior. They work even better than I could have imagined. If you can’t find them, you can use cannellini beans instead, but do yourself a favor and order a bag of Royal Corona beans from Rancho Gordo. If you don’t have time to make the buns, toasted vegan potato buns will work just fine. Lastly, while this is a sandwich, I imagine folks digging in with a fork and knife.



3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup teff flour

1/4 cup almond flour

2 tablespoons raw cane sugar

2 teaspoons instant yeast

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup warm water

1/4 cup melted coconut oil, plus more for greasing the bowl and work surface and brushing the buns


Broccoli rabe

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

11/2 pounds broccoli rabe, thick stems trimmed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil



1 cup dried corona beans, picked over and soaked in water overnight

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup finely diced yellow onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon Berbere Spice Blend (recipe follows)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, pureed in a blender

1 1/2 cups diced peeled Yukon gold potatoes (1 large or 2 small)

1/2 cup Persillade (recipe follows), for garnish

Flaky sea salt and freshly ground white pepper


Make the bread: In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, yeast, and salt. Pour in the warm water and the coconut oil. Starting with a wooden spoon and then using your hands, mix to form a shaggy dough. Transfer to a clean countertop and knead to form a soft, stretchy ball of dough, 5 to 7 minutes.

With a towel, wipe the bowl clean, then lightly grease it with oil. Place the dough in the bowl, loosely cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a warm area until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Lightly grease a clean work surface. Turn the dough out onto the surface and gently punch it down to deflate it. Divide the dough into six equal pieces and roll each into a taut ball.

Lightly grease a baking sheet and space the balls of dough evenly across the pan. Gently flatten the tops of the dough, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside until the buns have doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the risen buns until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Brush the buns with coconut oil and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F.


Make the broccoli rabe: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Fill a medium saucepan a little over halfway with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the salt and the broccoli rabe and simmer for 1 minute. Quickly remove from the heat and drain. Dump the broccoli rabe onto a clean kitchen towel and gently squeeze to absorb some of the moisture. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a large bowl, add the olive oil and a pinch of salt, and toss. Transfer to the pre­pared baking sheet and roast until the florets are tender and the leaves are starting to crisp slightly at the edges, about 20 minutes.


Make the beans: Drain and rinse the beans. Place them in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover by 4 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the lid, decrease the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the beans are softening but still slightly firm, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the salt and simmer for 10 minutes more.

Remove from the heat and let the beans cool in their liquid for 1 hour.

Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid, and set both aside.


While the beans are cooling, in a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, season with salt, and sauté until starting to brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the berbere spice blend and tomato paste and stir to thoroughly combine. Add the tomato puree, potatoes, beans, and 2 cups of the reserved bean cooking liquid. Simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 45 minutes.


To serve, slice the buns in half horizontally, then toast them to your liking. Place the bottom half of each bun on an individual plate. Pile a handful (about 1/4 cup) of the broccoli rabe on the bun, spoon a heaping serving of the beans on top of the broccoli rabe, and garnish with persillade. Sprinkle with flaky salt and white pepper, then serve.


“Big Rings” by Drake and Future from What a Time to Be Alive


Berbere Spice Blend (Makes about 1/2 cup)

6 cardamom pods

3 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon allspice berries, toasted

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 whole cloves

1 dried chipotle chile, stemmed and broken into pieces

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


In a medium cast-iron skillet, toast the carda­mom pods over medium-low heat, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent burning, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pods to a small plate and set aside to cool. Once cooled, crack open the pods with your fingers and transfer the seeds within to a mortar or spice grinder (discard the pods). Add the remaining ingredients and grind into a fine powder. Transfer to a jar and seal tightly. Store at room temperature for up to 1 month.


Persillade (Makes 3/4 cup)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


In a small skillet, combine the olive oil and garlic and heat over medium-low heat, stirring often to prevent the garlic from burning, until the garlic just starts to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Quickly scrape the contents of the skillet into a mortar or small bowl, add the parsley, and stir well to combine. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Roasted Parsnips with Onion-Mustard Sauce (4 servings)

Inspired by the Senegalese poulet yassa—a dish of chicken and caramelized onion with lemony mus­tard sauce—this recipe pairs mildly sweet, earthy, and nutty parsnips with a juicy and flavorful mari­nade of peanut oil, black pepper, onions, mustard seeds, garlic, habanero, and Dijon mustard. The parsnips are then topped with seasoned caramel­ized onions and garnished with peanuts and thyme, adding to the layers and levels of deliciousness. This is a richly flavored side dish that should be served alongside a neutral starch such as rice or mashed potatoes to balance its intensity.


1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 pounds parsnips, peeled

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons peanut oil

Freshly ground black pepper

2 large Vidalia or yellow onions, sliced into 1/2-inch rings

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/8 teaspoon minced habanero chile, or to taste

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup crushed peanuts

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves


In a large pot, bring 3 quarts water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt and the parsnips to the water and cook until starting to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the parsnips and set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl or baking dish, combine the lemon juice, 6 tablespoons water, 1/4 cup of the peanut oil, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and a few turns of pepper. Mix well with a fork to combine. Once the parsnips are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise and add them to the bowl with the marinade. Add the onions and toss well to ensure that all the vegetables are coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight, tossing the vegetables every 30 minutes or so for the first 2 hours.

In a large sauté pan, warm the remaining 2 table­spoons peanut oil over medium-low heat. Remove the onions from the marinade and add them to the pan. Sauté, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown and soft, 30 to 45 minutes. Add the mustard seeds, garlic, and habanero and sauté, stirring well, until the garlic smells fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the vegetables into a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the parsnips from the marinade and place them cut-side up on the prepared baking sheet (reserve the marinade in the bowl). Roast the parsnips, gently stirring every 10 minutes, until fork-tender and starting to brown, about 30 minutes.

In a blender, combine 1/2 cup of the onion mixture, the reserved marinade, and the mustard and blend until creamy. Pour the contents of the blender into a small pan and simmer over medium heat, stir­ring often, until the sauce starts to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes.

To serve, spread the onion-mustard sauce over a serving plate and place the parsnips over the sauce, cut-side up. Garnish with the remaining onion-mustard sauce, onions, the peanuts, and thyme and serve family-style.


Song: “Takuta (feat. Babatunde Olatunji” by Youssou N’Dour from History


Recipes and photos reprinted with permission from Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes by the Bryant Terry, copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Photography copyright: Ed Anderson © 2020