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The Greek Vegetarian: More Than 100 Recipes Inspired by the Traditional Dishes and Flavors of Greece Paperback – April 7, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1ST edition (April 7, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312200765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312200763
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Ithaca, the villagers so revere the olive that they give names to the olive trees that bear them. We're not talking upstate New York here, but Greece, the land that gave us rosy-fingered dawns and spanakopita. Diane Kochilas gives us the Greek way with vegetables in The Greek Vegetarian, and she should be given some kind of humanitarian award for the effort. For anyone fussing over increasing greens, vegetables, and grains while reducing the place of meat in the usual American diet, The Greek Vegetarian is a place of comfort and repose, a place to settle back in the sun and flip through the pages and let the deliciousness of all these wonderful food ideas lap over your life like warm waves from the Aegean Sea.

There are 100 recipes herein, and they come from the traditions of Greek cuisine. No one is stretching just to make a dish vegetarian (oh, OK: there's one recipe for vegetarian souvlaki). Only recently have Greeks gained the dubious title of biggest meat eaters in Europe, and even then all they did, according to the author, was make their plates bigger for the added meat. They still eat a diet rich in vegetables. Always have; always will.

But some specifics. Kochilas divides her book into Meze, the little dishes of Greece, and Main Meals, the pastas, soups, stews, casseroles, savory pies and breads, the egg dishes. There's Beet and Apple Salad with a Yogurt Dressing, for starters. How about Roasted Eggplant and Chickpea Salad? Or Arugula Salad with Wrinkled Olives and Orange Slices? The Classic Greek Bean Soup is included. So too is a dish of Potatoes Stewed with Kalamata Olives. The possibilities build, one upon the other. This book bursts with flavor the same way a vine-ripened, sun-warmed tomato bursts at the first bite. It will dribble down your chin if you're not careful. --Schuyler Ingle

From Publishers Weekly

Kochilas, a chef and food writer (The Food and Wine of Greece) offers a delightful view into a cuisine whose "backbone... has always been what is harvested, in either wild or cultivated form, from the earth." Characterized by simplicity and purity of ingredients, these recipes for meat-free dishes promote an encouraging flexibility in terms of substitutions and meal planning that many home cooks will value. Creamy Orzo Casserole with Vegetables and a touch of cinnamon, while included in the Main Meal section might just as easily be served as a side dish; Giant Beans Baked with Honey and Dill could stand in for Boston Baked Beans. Many a family table or party buffet would be revitalized by the creative fusion of ingredients in such dishes as Small Tomatoes Stuffed with Eggplant Puree; Onion Pita (pie) with Dill, Raisins and Nutmeg; or Asparagus Frittata. Historical and cultural tidbits are included in recipe intros. Celebrating the joyful exuberance of Greek cuisine (the freshest of ingredients, fruity olive oil, crusty bread, olives, lemons), Kochilas also offers a deep appreciation for the historical and geographic development of its grain and vegetable tradition. Mail-order sources and bibliography are included; illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Diane Kochilas was born in New York City and has divided her time between NY, Athens, and her family's ancestral island, Ikaria, where she and her husband, Vasilis Stenos, run the Glorious Greek Kitchen cooking school. She has written 18 books on Greek cuisine. Her latest book, The Country Cooking of Greece (Chronicle), was hailed by the Virtual Gourmet (John Mariani) as her masterpiece and the best cookbook of 2012. Another tome, the Glorious Foods of Greece (William Morrow), won the prestigious IACP Jane Grigson Award for Excellence in Research.
Diane is consulting chef for two of New York's most highly regarded Greek restaurants, Pylos and Boukiés, as well as for Axia in New Jersey and Avli outside Chicago. She works with Harvard University as well as other top university dining services to help create healthy Greek menu options for the undergraduate student body. Currently, she is hosting her own television show, in Greek, called "What Are We Going to Have for Dinner Tonight, Mom?" which airs in Cyprus and Greece. For 20 years she was the food columnist and "most feared" restaurant critic in Athens Greece, where she worked for the country's largest daily newspaper, Ta Nea.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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It is very clearly written and includes a great variety of recipes.
Beth
Been using this cookbook for years and will give copies as gifts this holiday season to my family and friends.
Maria Karras
This book includes many recipes for classic Greek vegetarian dishes.
trilingual1946

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As a vegetarian for nearly a decade, I have tens upon tens of vegetarian cookbooks. And like many of the others, I bought The Greek Vegetarian after flipping though and seeing a recipe that I simply had to have: Potatoes Stewed with Olives. It was an irrational need, but it was the right decision. The dish has become a staple in my home. But the book doesn't end with that one dish: There are many, many good ideas in this book that beg to be tried.
The presentation of dishes is done nicely; they're easy to follow and to prepare. And the photos are wonderful: Instead of being airbrushed glamour shots, they are nicely done portraits of dishes that accurately reflect how a recipe will turn out.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
I recently read that people make an average of only 4-5 recipes from most cookbooks. To date, I've made 17 from this wonderful collection and look forward to trying many more. The directions are clear, the ingredient lists accurate, and the photos are as delightful to the eye as the dishes are to the palate. In addition to the many meze (little dishes), main courses, and soups, the author shares her wide-ranging knowledge of local Greek cuisines and the characteristic flavors of the Greek kitchen. A true classic!
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By merrymousies on October 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm quite pleased with this cookbook. It has a really wide assortment of recipes with the book broken down into 3 main sections: the greek pantry (here they talk about olives, olive oil, cheeses, breads, yogurts, spices - giving definitions and stories), Meze (here they have recipes for dips, spreads and other appetizers), and finally main dishes (pastas, grains, soups, stews, casseroles, pies, breads, egg dishes). We've tried a number of the recipes and enjoyed them all. None were overly complicated either.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Being a vegetarian in Greece, or in most Greek restaurants in America, is no easy task. One can eat stuffed tomatoes only so many times! Fortunately, even Greek dishes with meat are usually chock full of veggies, so the conversion to meatless is nicely accomplished by the author of this book. You'll find all the wonderful classics, like pastitsio and souvlaki, as well as many less well-known dishes, all meatless. I also like Ms. Kochilas' healthy attitude that tabulating every last calorie and fat gram in a recipe is silly - just prepare it in all its glory and eat a reasonable portion, and you'll be fine. (You'll realize the wisdom of this if you're ever in Greece, where you'll notice how trim everyone is, despite their habit of eating all sorts of foods swimming in olive oil.) The recipes here are authentic and deliciously satisfying. Oh, and the photos make my mouth water!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
For those who think vegetarian equals deprivation, they need only pick up this book to find that meat is not always necessary for rich, delicious meals. Many of the recipes require only a few ingredients, and none are difficult to prepare, so this is excellent for those just beginning to cook or interested in trying out a meatless diet. Most definitely worth adding to any cookbook collection
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Bundtlust TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 13, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those not in the know, my title is from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," in which John Corbett plays Ian Miller, a vegetarian high school teacher. His fiancee Toula's Greek family doesn't understand the meat-free concept. Thankfully, Diane Kochilas, author of several definitive cookbooks on Greek cuisine, does.

Although your first impression of Greek food might be the flaming cheese appetizer saganaki or greasy lamb or chicken gyros, many Greek recipes were meatless, particularly those that coincided with the fasting required by the Greek Orthodox calendar (48 days before Easter, 40 days before Christmas, and lesser fasting periods throughout the year in which meat and animal products were not allowed). The Lenten dishes in particular, called Lathera ("oiled"), consist of hearty bean stews, stewed eggplants, and other braised dishes with loads of olive oil as flavoring agent.

In addition to a brief cultural and culinary history of the Greek Islands, Kochilas also provides primers on various varieties of Greek olives (kalamata, conservolia, halkidiki, megaritiki, thrubolea), cheeses (feta, teleme, sfela, batsos, touloumotiri, galotiri, kopanisti, kasseri, graviera, kefalotiri, etc.), and a section devoted to bread (after such luscious descriptions of Greek bread, the book is noticeably lacking in bread recipes; a sore oversight). Greek flavor combinations of lemon, dill, olive oil, eggs, oregano and garlic, tomatoes and cinnamon, and others are also discussed in the introduction.

The book is dominated by vegetable and grain dishes, including a simple variation on the ubiquitous Greek salad. The recipes open with meze, or Greek appetizers similar to tapas.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By "caarina" on June 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is the most used vegetarian cookbook in my collection. I cook from it at least twice a week, and the recipes are terrific. Clear instructions make Greek cooking a breeze. Thank you Diane Kochilas!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Pantanizopoulos on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unlike many Greek cookbooks that I have bought, this one is actually GREEK. Kochilas has brought forth excellent recipes redolent of my years living in Greece. Bravo, Diana!
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