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Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison

I bought this book long before I became a vegetarian.

Of course, I was buying it as a gift for my wife. But still, even as an omnivore I could immediately see the book’s value.

This volume is an encyclopedia of vegetable knowledge. For every edible plant you can name, Madison tells how to select, store, and clean it, and then she gives several great recipes, plus a list of recommended “go-withs.”

If you’ve ever found yourself in the grocery, looking at a huge mound of in-season whatevers, thinking “those look really great, and they’re cheap… but I wouldn’t begin to know what to do with them,” go ahead and buy some anyway. This book will tell you what to do.

The index is 18 pages long. The value of this resource can not be overstated; it is the key to the idea expressed above — that I can look up whatever vegetable I have at hand, and immediately learn how to prepare it.

The book itself tops 700 pages, and contains probably 1400 recipes: casseroles, salads, soups, pastas, sauces, sandwiches, desserts, basically everything you can think of that doesn’t have meat in it.

There are about twelve recipes we make frequently. These are my favorite three:

  1. Pesto (p. 57), the best I’ve ever had.
  2. Lentil Minestrone (p. 225), my favorite soup in the world.
  3. Lasagne with eggplant and chard (p. 468). This is a wonderful entree choice for a dinner party (look out, I’m channeling Martha Stewart), because it can be made the day before.

Again, you need not be a vegetarian to find this book useful. Unless you’re on the Atkins diet, throwing back a charcuterie platter three times a day and really believing all that fat isn’t going to give you a heart attack, you probably eat grains and vegetables every day — which means you’ll appreciate this cookbook.

Check out the Amazon link (below) for “look inside” preview pages, and many positive reviews.

Patronize these links, man:

posted to area: Cookbooks
updated: 2004-05-01 14:07:41

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