Smith & Deli is the sequel to Shannon Martinez & Mo Wyse's first cookbook, Smith & Daughters, which has been my absolute favorite since it's been added to my cookbook shelf. This book is similar in many ways, but the recipes are all new and completely based off their super popular deli menu, which they expanded into after their original restaurant did so well.
In Smith & Deli they want to convey that feeling of community & home, especially veganizing food that is super comforting — but it's also an experimentation in new flavors as they wanted a place for creativity while still keeping it in that deli style.
They describe the vibe of their shop (and this book) as "...A corner store where you can pick up your basics as well as a ready-meal and have no doubts. Meat eaters have that luxury; they can go into any shop and get anything they want." I was so excited to read this before trying out the book, because I have that same feeling daily when I go out to run errands and have no place to pick up a breakfast sandwich last minute, or a milkshake and a burger late at night with friends. This is exactly the kind of food I was hoping for, and this definitely has it.
The same things that applied to Smith & Daughters applies to Smith & Deli — when it says "butter" it means vegan butter, and they use a good amount of processed options (like vegan sour cream.) Their take on it — if you're vegan, you know there are vegan chicken stocks out there, and vegan butter, and they shouldn't HAVE to write "vegan" before each ingredient throughout the book when you already know what it is. As a long-time vegan who knows the struggle of say-it's-chicken-and-they-ask-you-why-you're-not-vegan-anymore or say-it's-vegan-chicken-and-they-ask-why-you-have-to-push-veganism-on-them... it's a balance, people, and we agree with their points.
This book also follows Smith & Daughters in its spectacular photography, design, and overall style. I kept coming back to the book specifically because it's so aesthetically pleasing and the paper & binding quality is so great. The spine has a holographic overlay, the cover has a raised printing for their logo, and the fore edge of the pages are colored black. The photos are well-styled and the page & type design are well thought through. This is NOT an ordinary cookbook, and if you've seen a lot of cookbooks like I have, it's a welcome treat to have a book like this in your collection.
Their substitutions are detailed and from experience, so you know they'll work great — some of them are Australian-specific, but they offer American suggestions too. The same goes for the recipes, too; you can tell they've made these many, many times.
The recipes themselves are a mix of old deli classics and new takes on those classics. There are some that you haven't seen probably since childhood, like cabbage rolls, egg salad, lemon potatoes. There are some that you probably haven't tried making before, like kimchi, spanakopita, or corn congee. There are some that are perfect for new vegans, like mac n cheese, coconut jam slice, or thai curry pumpkin & coconut soup. Overall, they range from American-style comfort food to Australian classics to Asian staples - and all could apply to new or experienced vegans alike.
Layout & Standout Recipes
Fresh Salads— Barley, Feta, Zucchini, Mint & Lemon Salad
Hearty Soups— Smoky Potato & Leek Soup
Delicious Ready-Meals— Mushroom White Bean Cassoulet
Moreish Pie Fillings— Cheesy Broccoli Mini Pies
Super Yum Sweet Case— Chocolate, Mandarin & Cherry Self-Saucing Pudding
Simple Pastry & Dough— Dill Pretzels w Wholegrain Mustard Butter
Easy Basics— Rice Paper Bacon
Tasty Drinks— Salty Caramel Pretzel Shake (James Hurley's Salty Tears)
beef stroganoff (p. 109)
Easy enough to make it on a weeknight, but super luxurious in taste and definitely filling. (And nothing could be more of a non-vegan throwback than this for me!)
feta (p. 197)
This was beyond simple to bring together (it took less than ten minutes) and it made a ton of feta. Highly recommend for salads, sandwiches, or even on crackers.
choc chip rosemary cookies (p. 157)
They're a little tricky to get the temperature of the butter correct based on the instructions, but I got them right on the second try. (Basically, chill them a bit before baking.) Recipe included at the end of this post!
spaghetti squash & sausage (p. 118)
I love any reason to cook some spaghetti squash, and this was became a new favorite way to eat it. Now when I buy spaghetti squash, I also always buy broccoli because of this recipe.
mushroom & barley soup (p. 67)
There's a diner nearby that serves a killer mushroom barley soup, so I eagerly awaited getting to try this. It was as comforting as I had hoped, and easy to make.
Who this book is for
Those who are looking for some easily-preppable meals for your weeknights or workdays.
Those who want childhood/cornerstore classics made vegan (whether you're experienced in cooking vegan or not!)
The best part
The design, photography, and quality of the physical book means that I reach for it all the time. A book that never gets picked up isn't worth keeping, and that is definitely something this book will never have to worry about.
Where to get it
Smith & Deli-cious: Food From Our Deli (That Happens to be Vegan) by Shannon Martinez and Mo Wyse
Published by Hardie Grant Books (ISBN: 9781743793671)
Chocolate Chip Rosemary Cookies
These cookies have a great aroma of rosemary, they're super chewy, and they're filled with chocolate. What more could you want from a cookie this simple?
Recipe excerpted with permission from Smith & Deli-cious by Shannon Martinez and Mo Wyse, published by Hardie Grant Books.
By far, this is the most beloved Deli cookie, even over the snickerdoodles, gingerbread friends and every variety of sandwich cookie. So that says a lot. We thought the savoury elements (salt, olive oil and rosemary) might put our customers off, but it was quite the opposite. People are rightfully obsessed with these. Word to the wise, this is Shannon’s favourite cookie – BUT she will only eat these if they’re warm, so follow the chef’s advice on that one. Get ’em while they’re hot. It’s always a ‘sad’ day when one of these takes a tumble off the rack and straight into our hands. Can’t serve that to a customer…
- 270 g (9 ½ oz) light brown sugar
- 150 g (5 ½ oz) butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon No Egg combined with 3 tablespoons water (Chickpea Mag note: we used the Just For All Just Egg as a substitute here and it worked well!)
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 260 g (9 oz/1 ¾ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling (use the fancy sea salt flakes on top if you’ve got ’em)
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves
- 150 g (5 ½ oz) chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC (340ºF).
- We prefer to mix these cookies manually in a bowl so they don’t get overworked, but feel free to use a freestanding electric mixer. Just be careful not to over cream the butter and sugar, as this will affect how the cookies spread out.
- Using a wooden spoon, cream the brown sugar, butter and vanilla in a mixing bowl until fluffy, but not too fluffy. If using a mixer, make sure you use the paddle attachment and mix until well combined and lightly creamed.
- In another bowl, whisk together the No Egg mixture and oil until frothy and well combined. Pour the egg mixture into the creamed sugar and stir to combine, then add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until the flour is completely combined, then fold in the rosemary and chocolate chips.
- Roll your cookies into ten even-sized balls and transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper, ensuring they are evenly spaced to allow room for spreading. This recipe makes ten 90 g (3 oz) cookies, but you can roll them into whatever size you like.
- Bake for 15–25 minutes, depending on how soft you like your cookies. If you like them fudgy (aka the best way to eat them), go with 15 minutes; if you like crispy then go for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.
- Best eaten straight from the oven while still warm. The cookies are perfectly fudgy if they hold their shape but are still soft.