98 of 102 people found the following review helpful
Oh yes, you will love this book! It is fabulous!,
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This review is from: Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes (Hardcover)
I have long been a fan of Deborah Madison. I once had the opportunity to learn from her before the publication of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, my favorite cookbook until today. Her recipes are nothing short of brilliant, and she is a genuinely nice person to boot. Her recipes turn the humble vegetable into sparkling masterpieces. Her ingredients are well thought out, and each one serves to add an important flavor component to the dish. I have been making some of her recipes for 12 or so years, from Greens, etc. and they do not seem dated, they still stun with their uniqueness and freshness. Therefore I could not wait to get my hands on this book, and I am totally thrilled with it. It is, in my opinion, a master work, and is her most gorgeous book to date. The Broccoli Bites with Curried Mayonnaise for example are quick to make, taste wonderful, and left me wondering why I had not thought of doing that before! Ditto the tomato and cilantro soup with black quinoa.
Besides being an absolutely fabulous cookbook, this is a great reference book. Instead of going from A-Z (A is for Asparagus, etc.) as so many authors have done with vegetables, Madison does something pretty astounding, and classifies vegetables by family. Deborah, through years of cooking and gardening experience, has observed that vegetables in the same family can be used interchangeably in cooking, due to shared botanical characteristics. So it greatly helps with the mystery of why some substitutions work beautifully and why some leave your family saying eeeek! She consulted with Botanist to bring us a book that is fun to read and learn from. The book has beautiful photography as well as formatting, and as usual Madison has some truly inventive and delicious recipes. The scientist and cook in me wants to stop everything and just read this book cover to cover, then cook everything! Madison even has a beautiful green ribbon bookmark in the book! How cool is that?
I own a lot of cookbooks, and Deborah Madison's are my very favorite ones. They make everyone a better cook! Please do NOT assume that this is a book of interest only to vegetarians, since Madison is known for her vegetarian books, because every cook, from home chef to restaurant chef should treasure this book. We all need to eat a more diversified plant based diet, and how wonderful it is to have vegetables that are so amazing in taste that they put a good steak or roasted chicken sitting beside them to shame!
Here are the Families:
* The Carrot Family
* The Mint Family
* The Sunflower Family
* The Knotweed Family
* The Cabbage Family
* The Nightshade Family
* The Goosefoot and Amaranth Families
* The (former) Lily Family
* The Cucurbit Family
* The Grass Family
* The Legume Family
* The Morning Glory Family
And a few of the over 400 pages of recipes and information include:
* Salsify, Jerusalem Artichoke, and Burdock soup with Truffle Salt
* Cauliflower Soup with Coconut, Turmeric, and Lime
* Caraway Seed Cake
* Carrot Almond Cake with Ricotta Cream
* Orange and Rosemary Compote
* Rhubarb, Apple, and Berry Pandowdy
* Braised Cabbage with Chewy Fried Potatoes, Feta, and Dill
* Slivered Brussels Sprouts roasted with Shallots
* Smoky Kale and Potato Cakes
* Winter Stew of Braised Rutabagas with Carrots, Potatoes, and Parsley Sauce
* Kohlrabi Salad with Green Onions, Parsley, and Frizzy Mustard Greens
* A Fragrant Onion Tart
* Quick Bread of Rye, Emmer, and Corn
* Winter Squash Wedges or Rounds with Gorgonzola Butter and Crushed Walnuts.
* Blue Lake Beans with Shallots, Pistachios, and Marjoram
* Asian Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Butter
* Green Pea Fritters with Herb-Laced Crème Fraiche
Honestly, if I had the money, I would buy this for all my friends who like to cook!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 2, 2013 2:07:11 PM PDT
Kate Runyan says:
Thank you for very insightful review, I also love Deborah Madison cookbooks, and I also have loads of cookbooks, but this new book sounds wonderful I have a birthday coming up very soon, and hopefully my husband will this for me. I also reccomend to you, Plenty and Jerusalem, both are quite special.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2013 2:28:43 PM PDT
Naomi Manygoats says:
Thanks Kate! Oh, I have both of those too....honestly my husband would love it if I were in a cookbook-buyers-12-step program!! But it would likely only make me want more (how is that possible)? Just tell hubby you will cook even better food for him!!
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