I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Natkin last week at a book event for bloggers and media in Philadelphia last week. He wanted to introduce us to his new vegetarian cookbook, “Herbivoracious.” Natkin is the food writer at the Herbivoracious blog where over 92,000 monthly readers go for vegetarian recipes and some seriously good food writing.


We were treated to a sampling of Grapefruit and Avocado Crudo, one of the recipes in his book, along with some other vegetarian appetizers the restaurant offered. I’m finding that one of the things I like most about vegetarian cuisine is the flavor combinations that I would never think to put together myself. The combination of grapefruit, avocados, chervil, and capers made these little appetizers a wonderful surprise in my mouth.


Natkin gave each of us a copy of “Herbivoracious,” and I decided the first recipe I’d try would be another unusual flavor combination – at least unusual for me. I chose Chevre with Sautéed Grapes. It’s one of the recipes that you look at and you say, “I like every ingredient in that recipe, but I’m not sure how it’s going to be when they all come together.”


I shouldn’t have been skeptical. This recipe, that’s in the appetizers and small dishes section of the book, is delicious. Really, I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, an appetizer or even dessert. It’s quick – took less than 10 minutes including prep and plating – and while I ate it as is like a salad, it would be a nice topping for baguette or grilled flatbread.




  • 8 ounces fresh, soft chevre (goat cheese)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 ½ c seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives, minced
  • 1 tbsp chive blossoms, pulled apart into individual florets (optional) – I didn’t use these
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves – I sprinkled a little dried oregano on mine because I didn’t have fresh, but I’m sure fresh would have been even better
  • Flaky sea salt



  1. Cut the chevre into 8 pieces. Roll into balls and put them on the platter you’ll be serving the completed recipe on.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a sauté pan over med-high heat. Once hot, add the grapes and sauté them for 30 seconds – one minute. Just warm them, don’t let them start to break down.
  3. Pour them over and around the chevre on the platter.
  4. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and sprinkle the herbs and salt evenly.
  5. Serve immediately

The other 149 recipes in the book take home cooks around the globe with many of the recipes influenced by Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. All of the recipes are vegetarian, and those that are also vegan or gluten free are clearly marked. Natkin adds useful information about common vegetarian ingredients and helpful appliances to stock the kitchen with. Each recipe has an introduction that gives in-depth information on ingredients and variations.


I’m amazed at the amount of room vegetarian cookbooks are now taking up on my cookbook shelves. “Herbivoracious” will be joining the others so I can make some of the other recipes I have marked like Caramelized Apple and Blue Cheese Crostini, Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Pumpkin Seeds, Quinoa Cakes, and Brown Butter Corn Bread.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Cookbooks to try: 'Herbivoracious'
Blogger and cook Michael Natkin’s new vegetarian cookbook contains 150 recipes with delightful unexpected flavor combinations, including one for Chevre with S