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In the 70s, The Vegetarian Epicure set the table for the counterculture. It earnestly introduced a generation of youth to now commonplace ethnic foods like polenta and to the philosophy of good food. Thomas' new book, packed with all new recipes, still resonates with the earnest enthusiasm of an amateur but in the best sense of the word. She is eager to share with readers her love of good food, ethnic flavors and the pleasure of cooking for friends and family. Places like Provence, Italy, Mexico and southern California, where Thomas lives, often provide inspiration for her recipes along with her Polish roots. Sweet illustrations evoke her philosophical and culinary roots.
A voice from the bellbottom years returns, sounding as fresh and fun now as she did then. In The Vegetarian Epicure, published in 1972 and followed a few years later by Volume II, Thomas was a wacky, workable combination of Adele Davis and Julia Child. Offering one of the first more sophisticated approaches to vegetarian cooking, Thomas's cookbooks gave rise to elegant vegetarian dinner parties as well as solid, meat-free family fare. That tradition is carried forward here, 20 years later, with menu-based recipes arranged by season, beginning with An Early Spring Dinner featuring Risotto de Zucca through a New Year's Eve dinner ("a meal for an occasion") co-starring Wild Mushroom Soup and Cream Cheese Pierogi with Timbales of Tahitian Squash and Pears. There are menus for picnics, for brunches, suppers or for celebrations that few fine home cooks will scorn to follow. That this is the '90s is evident in numerous elements: lowered fat (Revised Caesar Salad replaces the egg with a tablespoon or two of reduced-fat mayonnaise and calls for "a lighter hand with the olive oil"); a marked Southwest slant (lots of salsas and dried chiles, and recipes for nopalitos, the new shoots of the nopal cactus); the use of once exotic ingredients like Kabocha and Tahitian squash; roasting as a favored cooking method for vegetables; and plentiful recipes for the likes of polenta, sorbet and biscotti. Soups figure prominently, among them Raspberry Borscht and a Wild Mushroom and Charred Tomato Soup. There are crepes (Buckwheat Crepes with Onions, Apples and Cheese), numerous salads (Roasted Beet, Asparagus and Garlic Salad, with red and golden beets), breads and some pasta dishes. Dessert is invariably important, e.g., Warm Chocolate Cakes with Creme Anglaise and Boysenberry Sauce. Thomas's menu approach serves vegetarian cooking, where texture and flavoring are crucial to variety, eminently well; an index guides cooks searching for recipes by ingredient. From a simple roasted squash, garnished only with olive oil and salt and pepper, to the elaborate multi-stepped construction of a centerpiece Tamale Pie, Thomas proves once more that meatless meals can be fashionable, fun and satisfying.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
As an octo-lavo vegetarian, I was hoping to find new recipes to add to my repertoire. There are recipes in here that I want to try but I have seen versions of many of these... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Anonymous
Same as the first Veg. Epicure but better. You don't have to be a vegetarian to love these recipes.Published 7 months ago by willdex
We are not vegetarians, but want to incorporate more vegetarian meals. What I like the most is that these recipes use basic, common fresh vegetable ingredients and do not rely on... Read morePublished 12 months ago by SCL
I debated between the old version and this updated version. I am glad I went with this one (though admittedly don't have the old one for comparison). Read morePublished 19 months ago by labdesigner
had this cookbook years ago. loved the recipes, especially lemon souffle. astounding flavors. wonderfully written. very healthy way to eat.Published 20 months ago by captpete
i've had the original anna thomas for over 40 years, and love it. unfortunately, the 3 recipes i use most in it, real basic stuff, are not repeated here. Read morePublished on August 1, 2013 by Amazon Customer