Mollie Katzen: In My Kitchen

Mollie Katzen has been the earth mother of vegetarian cooking since 1977, when the now classic "Moosewood Cookbook" nudged produce from side dish into the center of the plate. In order to pump up the taste of the era's canned and frozen veggies and create body and flavor in her meals, Katzen added rich ingredients like eggs, butter, and cream. But fresh, in-season vegetables are now plentiful in markets and kitchen gardens, and Katzen's cooking has changed, too. "My food is sharper, livelier, spicier, lighter, and more relaxed than it used to be," she writes in her new cookbook "The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Cooking for a New Generation." She invited Yahoo Shine into her bright, airy kitchen so we could spy the beloved tools that create such stellar, wholesome meals.

1. Seeded glass cupboard doors through which I can gaze daily at my grandmother's teacup collection (find something similar at
2. An original edition of The Tassajara Bread Book, dog-eared and stained, or shall we say, seasoned.
3. Extra-virgin olive oil.
4. My kitchen itself –– just being in it, and basking in diffuse light from a 4 X 6-foot skylight.
5. My very sharp chef's knife. As in, lost without.
6. Small, sturdy metal-bladed spatula. I have two. Use them constantly.
7. Spring-loaded one-handed tongs. As in: Who am I when not clacking these castanets?
8. Shears. Must snip. A lot.
9. A hand-carved wooden spoon made for me 35 years ago by an old friend (find something similar at or learn to carve your own).
10. The view out the windows at my work counter and the Dutch door at the other end of the room––and the breeze between them on nice days.