The elegant simplicity and exquisite flavor of Deborah Madison's food make her one of America's leading cooks. In Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, she offers more than great food: her book includes comprehensive information about ingredients and techniques, plus more than 800 recipes. The recipes range from dishes as familiar as Guacamole to those as distinctive as Green Lentils with Roasted Beets and Preserved Lemons, and Cashew Curry. The 124-page chapter titled "Vegetables: The Heart of the Matter" is a virtual book of culinary revelations; you could use it as a manual on buying and preparing vegetables. Madison provides equally inspired recipes and guidance for everything from grains and soy to dairy foods and desserts.
From Library Journal
Madison, whose The Greens Cookbook sold more than 300,000 copies, offers recipes that will please even nonvegetarians. Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I just counted 34 cookbooks in my kitchen, but this is the one I use the most. Only the Joy of Cooking gets an equal workout. This book is the only vegetarian cookbook I've ever seen that: 1) Is comprehensive enough to cover every ingredient you have in your fridge (if you have a head of fennel and a potato, and nothing else, you will probably be able to find a recipe); 2) Is neither too far in the "twigs pebbles and roughage" camp nor the "80 ingredients you never heard of and 3 hours you don't have" camp. Most recipes are reasonable in scope and actually flavorful, although if you want to create a fancy banquet you can. Even if you are not a committed vegetarian (I'm not), but you just want to eat healthier, or to avoid the "vegetables turning into science experiments in the fridge" thing, this is a tremendous great resource.
This has become my favorite cookbook. I have been vegetarian for nearly 20 years and I am an avid cook, and this book has provided nothing but perfect food, without meat, every time I have used it. I love good food. Food that is merely nutritious and not really good, also, is a bane to humanity. This food is not generally low-fat, but it is still whole, nutritious food. The desserts are great, the salads are great, the vegetable dishes are great. You name it, in this book, it's good. The other thing that I love about this book is that Deborah Madison is not only a great chef she also knows how to translate her cooking talent into recipes that really WORK. I am disappointed by some chefs' cookbooks because it's obvious that they are excellent cooks, but their recipe-writing skills are sub-par. These, on the other hand, are well-tested, well-written recipes. The food in this book is what I'd call fine food. Some recipes in other cookbooks are for everyday-type food that will get you by, and others are for trendy food that are novel to make once in a while. The recipes in this book direct you to make the kind of food that will have you talking the next day about how good it was, and they're not trendy. Most are also uncomplicated. The flavors are refined and you might call them sophisticated, but that's misleading because there's nothing pretentious about the recipes or the presentation. The sophistication comes from a cleanness to the palate that is presented here. I have a large collection of cookbooks (200+) and this one definitely stands out. If you have others of Madison's cookbooks, such as the Savory Way or the Greens Cookbook, which are also both excellent, I suspect that you will find this one more accessible.Read more ›
My husband calls Deborah Madison the Dominatrix of Cooking because of the picture on the cover of the book (she looks like she could get pretty serious with those wooden spoons---why two?), and because of her high-minded attitude about certain standard ingredients (e.g. the Parmesan cheese in the green box and regular table salt). I think she earns the moniker because she is clearly in charge in the kitchen. I love these recipes for their simplicity. Though I have (too) many cookbooks, I use this one more than any other and recommend it to all my friends who are curious about vegetarian cooking. I have achieved a deep appreciation for chick peas--try chick peas and farfalle. This is easy, but so tasty, I serve it to company. Another elegant company dish: leek and goat cheese galette---sublime and wonderful, and not hard! Though some have described recipes as too "simplistic," I would say this book allows vegetables to shine in a healthy straightforward way, not drowned with fatty sauces. Many of the recipes are do-able on a day-to-day basis, and since I cook for my family (including four kids, ages 10 to 17), I can't be the French chef every night. I bought a copy for my oldest, who has also fallen in love with it, since she will be going off to college soon.
Since this is a classic you will find all kinds of great reviews. I have no loyalty to Deborah Madison. But I do think this is a wonderful book and some of the negatives are just strange or wrong. If you are considering this purchase, take it out of the library or look at it in a store. This is really worth having on the shelf and for many reasons. A One star reviewer says that on page 282...Potato Leek Gratin...ends up in a watery mess. The last word in the recipe says...DRAIN. Next..p636 ...Cranberry Nut Bread...uses two different kinds of sugar and doesn't say when to use each type. In defense again...in the directions it breaks things up with the words PUT (that starts the Cranberry Sauce), and then CREAM which uses the next ingredient in line (butter) and then the next type of sugar etc.. I'm no Mr. Chef but this seems straight forward to me.
The bit about Acorn Squash? Not accurate. Very few books that I have seen, have a direct reference to Acorn Squash...(Fanny Farmer, Joy of Cooking, Essential Vegetarian Cookbook etc.)This one does. With most you have to know it is also known as Winter Squash and find it that way. And this book does not just have info and bake at so and so. You can just bake it, there is a side note of good things "partners" that go with it, she gives ideas of what to use this for other than just as is, then another entry a bit more involved with some recipe for a flavored butter, and then, as Fanny Farmer says to put maple syrup and butter with it but then goes on to suggest 5 other kinds of flavors. Fanny Farmer though, says bake at 400 for 40 to 50 minutes, which really kills it. Out of all the cookbooks I have, Madison's book happened to be the most informative!!....Read more ›