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Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine Hardcover – October 30, 2007

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Hardcover, October 30, 2007
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Editorial Reviews


“It takes true talent to write a cookbook that will appeal to both neophytes and experts, vegetarians and meat-lovers. For the tenderfoot in the kitchen, this personal introduction to Mediterranean food delivers memorable preparations you'll make over and over. For the expert, it's hard to believe that finally someone has put all our favorite recipes in one place. For the vegetarian, these are delicious all-vegetable recipes. For the omnivore, such as myself, it was two days after reading the book that I realized there were no meat recipes. That's the marraige of a great cuisine with a great cookbook writer.” ―Clifford A. Wright, winner of the James Beard/KitchenAid Cookbook of the Year and the James Beard Award for the Best Writing on Food in 2000 for A Mediterranean Feast

About the Author

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN is the author of more than 25 books, including Mediterranean Light, the Julia Child Award-winning Provençal Light, and the IACP Award-winning Entertaining Light. Her articles have appeared in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Cooking Light, Saveur, the Los Angeles Times, Health Magazine, and other publications. She has taught cooking classes around the country and has been featured on radio and television, including Good Morning America and the Food Network. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; First Edition edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594862346
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594862342
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For over 30 years I have been writing cookbooks devoted to eating well. A pioneer in vegetarian cooking, I began my career in 1973 at the age of 23. This was long before well-educated people from upper middle class backgrounds fantasized about becoming the next Food Network star or owning a successful restaurant. I was then a student at The University of Texas at Austin. I changed my major every semester, but my passion for cooking and for giving dinner parties was unwavering. I also had an interest in health, and combined the two in my approach to food, drawing upon many of the world's cuisines to create vegetarian dishes that were much better than the standard brown rice fare of the early 1970s. Culturally I was very much a product of my era, but as far as my cooking was concerned, I have always been way ahead of my time.
Once I'd had my epiphany about my calling, I developed a series of vegetarian cooking classes that I taught through the University of Texas Extension, and I opened a private "supper club" in my home. Every Thursday for two years I prepared a sit-down 3-course dinner for 30 people. My cozy "home restaurant" allowed me all the fun and few of the headaches of running a public restaurant, and at the same time gave me a place to experiment and develop a repertoire of dishes to showcase. I also learned to cook for a crowd. Soon I had a vegetarian catering service; I catered everything from breakfasts in bed and dinners for two to wedding receptions and conferences for two hundred.
I had also been, all along, a writer in search of a subject. I knew that I would write a cookbook, and when The Vegetarian Feast came out in 1979, my career had evolved from cook/caterer to food writer and cookbook author. The Vegetarian Feast won a 1979 Tastemaker Award (a precursor of the prestigious James Beard Awards) for Best Book, Health and Special Diets category, and remains in print.
I was never doctrinaire about vegetarian cooking; I just felt that I'd had my quota of meat by the time I reached the age of 21. I admired all good cooks, especially Julia Child, with whom I corresponded. In my first letter to her, a fan letter dated September 2, 1976 in which I described my cooking classes and my supper club, my catering service and the book I was trying to get published, I told her I was "trying to shed a new light on vegetarianism, to present it as an unmysterious, classical, and memorable cuisine. The art of cooking with an emphasis on nutrition as well as flavor is my interest, and because I am a vegetarian my cuisine is a meatless one."
Two years after the publication of The Vegetarian Feast I moved to Paris, where I continued to write cookbooks and articles, revived my Supper Club, and became a much better cook. During the twelve years I lived in France I traveled extensively in the Mediterranean to research its many cuisines. My book Mediterranean Light was published in 1989, just as the benefits of the Mediterranean diet were coming to light in the United States. The region continues to be my richest source of culinary inspiration.
To date, I have 27 cookbooks to my name. My work has been of a piece; not all of my books are vegetarian, but they all have a healthy focus. Several of my books have been nominated for cookbook awards and three have won them. In addition to the 1979 Tastemaker Award for The Vegetarian Feast, I've received the following nominations and prizes for my work:
*2001: International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), The Best Vegetarian Recipes, Nominee, Single Subject category
*1995 James Beard Awards, Great Breads, Nominee, Bread and Pastry category
*1994 Bertolli Olive Oil Award, Provençal Light, First Prize, Health and Special Diets category, Julia Child Awards
*1991 International Association of Culinary Professionals, Entertaining Light, First Prize, Health and Diet category
*1991 James Beard Awards, Entertaining Light, Nominee, Entertaining category
*1989 Tastemaker, Mediterranean Light, Nominee, Health and Special Diets category
*1988 Tastemaker, Supper Club chez Martha Rose, Nominee, Entertaining category

My cooking continues to evolve, as I hone and simplify my recipes to make them accessible to a wide range of cooks. I feel that I have played a role in improving the eating habits of many Americans, particularly since I began writing a daily recipe feature called Recipes for Health for the health section of The New York Times on the Web, in 2008. Its purpose is to empower people to cook healthy meals every day by giving them straightforward, delicious recipes. Each week's column is themed around a fresh ingredient from the market, a pantry item or a type of dish, with a new recipe posted every day. The reader response has been enthusiastic; my recipes regularly appear in the "10 Most Emailed" list on the health page. It has been extremely satisfying to know that I am reaching so many people and having an impact on their cooking.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

117 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Bundt Lust TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Martha Rose Shulman's Mediterranean Harvest owes a large debt to many who have gone before her, including Diane Kochilas, noted expert on Greek cuisine, and Clifford Wright, James Beard award-winning Mediterranean cookbook author. Shulman is quick to give credit where credit is due, and borrows widely from other culinary experts such as Carol Field (The Italian Baker) in areas of local expertise.

With a glut of Mediterranean vegetarian cookbooks on the shelves such as The Greek Vegetarian: More Than 100 Recipes Inspired by the Traditional Dishes and Flavors of Greece (Diane Kochilas), Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World (Gil Marks), and The The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen and Vegan Italiano: Meat-free, Egg-free, Dairy-free Dishes from Sun-Drenched Italy by Donna Klein, why should you choose the pricey Mediterranean Harvest?

One word: love.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Greenblatt on December 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
...the minestrone soup recipe in Martha Rose Shulman's Mediterranean Harvest makes me wonder why I ever used beef broth in the first place. The soup is rich and tasty, as are all the hors d'oeuvres and main courses. I just love this book and recently sent copies to friends. They are as thrilled as I am with the possibilities this wonderful cookbook offers!
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on September 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
In response to the sole one-star review of this book by M. Arthur on Sept. 3, 2010:

"I am at a disadvantage since you did not mention in which recipes you found the offending mentions of chicken stock, pancetta or fish, but I am extremely skeptical of this and wonder if, in fact, you are confusing this book with another. I went leafing through my copy and could find no recipes that ask for chicken stock at all. In fact, in the soup section, Shulman mentions that where a traditional Mediterranean soup that might have otherwise been a logicl inclusion would not translate well with a vegetable stock, she left it out rather than try to kluge a vegetarian version together. Elsewhere, she mentions adding parmesan rind to replace the salty umami of pancetta in a recipe. These comments suggest to me that you are mistaken about your assertion that any recipe in this book "calls for" meat - stock or otherwise.

If she mentions in a HEADNOTE that a particular dish was served to her with meat or that it traditionally contains meat, I hardly think that makes this book a non-vegetarian cookbook, but I suppose that is a matter of interpretation.

Finally, since Shulman is translating some dishes that are usually made with meat in their home countries, of course some won't be "authentic." You can't have it both ways - complain that the food isn't traditional enough and then insist that there be no mention of meat. All in all, your complaints do NOT warrant the sole one-star review of this cookbook."

I have not yet made any of the recipes in this book, but I can at least assert that it is indeed a vegetarian cookbook. Not only is a vegetarian cookbook, but it is written by a woman who is clearly passionate about cooking with vegetables. I have bookmarked several dozen recipes and look forward to returning here to write a review of them.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. D. FILKER on May 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We are trying to get more fresh veggies into our diet and this cookbook is just the ticket. The recipes are wonderful and the ingredients are readily available at most well stocked markets and farmers markets. Everything that I have made so far has gotten rave reviews from my family. The recipes are interesting and easy to follow, using good fresh ingredients. The recipes come from all over the Mediterranean region such as Turkey, Morocco, the Middle Eest, Spain, France, not just Italy and Greece. This is quickly becoming one of my favorites!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By G. Simeon Pillich on January 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The author's prose is clear and entertaining. The introduction,the section on Mediterranean spice blends, and necessities for the pantry was eye-opening and very informative. After trying about eight different recipes, I've decided that this is one of the best planned and conceived cookbooks that I've had the pleasure of using. Everyone should use it, whether you're a vegetarian or not (I'm not, but she makes it tasty!).
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia on January 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Shh... If you don't tell them, the spouse and kids will never miss the meat. Everyone will find treasures in this collection of splendid recipes. I made the fantastic Country Whole Wheat Bread today, and I couldn't believe the rave reviews from my kids. It was fun and fulfilling to have such satisfying results. The book has fun headers to each chapter and recipe too. I took it with me to the doctors office today and the time just flew by...hmmm , now what shall I make tomorrow?
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