Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Vegetarian Epicure” as Want to Read:
Vegetarian Epicure
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Vegetarian Epicure

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  4,676 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
A friendly informal tone and some splendid recipes have made this a perennial bestseller. For all who love the fruits of the earth and the art of cooking. A classic with almost a million copies sold to date.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 12th 1972 by Vintage
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Vegetarian Epicure, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Vegetarian Epicure

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Linda Watson
Oct 25, 2011 Linda Watson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was sixteen, my parents let my sister and I each pick one book to buy for our three-week camping vacation. I picked The Vegetarian Epicure. I read it cover to cover and over and over again that summer. When we got back home, I used it to cook vegetarian meals for my family. They had let me quit eating meat as long as my mother didn't have to do any extra cooking. My mother is part Polish, so these recipes were not only delicious but familiar, which helped us all adapt to my new eating sty ...more
May 13, 2009 Bobbi rated it it was amazing
Most people would not put a cookbook in a list of books to read. However, Anna Thomas includes narrative of her relationship with food, entertainment, and life that is really a good read in itself. The food (recipes), by the way, is fabulous. She has the best hummus recipe ever.
Apr 02, 2009 Evie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Even though half of the book are recipes I wouldn't use, I have to give this book four stars because I love grassroots publications from the 70s. There's something about a book with charming illustrations of natural living, printed in brown ink on unbleached paper that warms my heart. I also appreciate when the ink budget is so tight that only three colours are used (which usually end up being brown, green, and orange). References to smoking grass don't hurt either.

I look forward to trying many
Feb 07, 2015 Cynthia rated it really liked it
This was one of our first cookbooks and very useful for a young cook. I just had to replace our copy, as it was in dozens of pieces.

Favorite recipes:
Pizza Rustica
Cheese Souffle
Eggplant Parmigiana
Sharp Vinagrette Salad Dressing

My only criticism of these recipes is they tend to be cheese and butter-heavy. I know the later edition of Vegetarian Epicure lightened up a bit, but I still rely on this edition on a regular basis. I made the cheese enchiladas so often as a newlywed that I was asked to cea
Feb 05, 2008 Tama added it
I agree that the grass smoking references in this book were pretty d---- funny...You're not going to see THAT in any other entertaining section of a cookbook anytime soon, folks.I love the artwork as well,and I'm looking forward to making the spinach lasagna....Oh, the book is very small-I expected it to be quite large, but it's packed with some good stuff...and no, i don't smoke, but thanks for asking...
Kathy Satterfield
Nov 30, 2014 Kathy Satterfield rated it really liked it
One of my first cookbooks as a newlywed in the 1970s, which set us off on a seven year vegetarian odyssey. Keep in mind this was pre-cookbooks with photos. You have to use your imagination!
Ellen Falls
Oct 30, 2012 Ellen Falls rated it really liked it
Used it so much over the years, it is in shreds. Perennially useful.
Feb 14, 2008 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: food
As a vegetarian cookbook, it's fine in an unreconstructed hippie sort of way, but the best part of this book is the introduction, in which the author offers suggestions on how to entertain, noting that certain dishes are wonderful for snacking "if grass is smoked socially in your home" and your guests develop "the munchies."

UPDATE: Some friends and I just started a project where each week we are going to cook from a different cookbook in our collections and try to get through all of them in a ye
Sarah Hendricks
Jun 09, 2014 Sarah Hendricks rated it really liked it
This book is golden! Haha, it is very clearly written in the 70's since there's a paragraph talking about socially smoking "grass" during dinner parties. That made me laugh!

I haven't tried anything from the book yet, since most of the recipes seem to take a long time, but on some slow Sunday I'll whip it out and make bread and soup.

Inspirational, if nothing else.
May 31, 2015 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking, cookbook
Turned on to the tasty ratatouille recipe in this book as an undergrad and once I gave up drinking 7-11 SuperGulps with every meal, I bought my own copy.

A friendly informal tone and some splendid recipes have made this a perennial bestseller. For all who love the fruits of the earth and the art of cooking. A classic with almost a million copies sold to date.
Linda Hartlaub
I've had this book forever - the retail price on the jacket is $4.95. I love the way Anna Thomas writes and her recipes don't drown in the overuse of whole grains, tofu and things you only find in out of the way health food stores. They are for middle of the road vegetarians (many are vegan), that will please the palates of vegetarians and omnivores alike.
Kathleane O'Leary
May 08, 2016 Kathleane O'Leary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbook-faves
The recipes in this book take time to make, but they are guaranteed to turn out absolutely amazing. I made my first Thanksgiving Dinner ever using the recipes in this book. I barely knew how to cook then, but I could read and follow directions and that's all I needed to do to turn out a memorable dinner that actually received applause!
Suzanne King
Feb 22, 2014 Suzanne King rated it really liked it
It is a bit dated now but I still make tons of dishes from this book....the lecas on page 186 is fantastic with red lentil loaf (if anyone wants that recipe I can provide). The guacamole (pg 296) is an old stand-by for us, as is the Raita (pg 314).
The breads and soups are wonderful.
Tara Lindahl
Jan 27, 2016 Tara Lindahl rated it it was amazing
My mom used this book when I was little, now I use it too--it's a classic vegetarian cookbook. Most of the lengthy recipes are worth the time to make. Look for the Vegetarian Epicure Book 2, also.
Feb 06, 2016 Suzyqzygurl rated it really liked it
This, and the second volume have been go-to cookbooks for years. A bit heavy on the cheese and cream for today's wholesome diet, but still a good resource.
Aug 10, 2015 Dane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food, 1970s, domesticity
As it's totally a hippie '70s cookbook, it's right up my alley, but I found very little in it that I'm interested in making. The recipes are fairly unimaginative (ok, admittedly, they're decades old, so they aren't going to be cutting edge) and she seems committed to making the ingredients the hardest to get versions as possible and to making the recipes as difficult as possible.

She's fairly pretentious, too. All told, it's pretty off-putting and I'll be unloading this book asap.
Liz D
May 05, 2015 Liz D rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Currently I find this more useful as a cultural artifact than as a cookbook, but there are some really great recipes in here!
Nancy Noyes-ward
Feb 06, 2014 Nancy Noyes-ward rated it really liked it
This book has been on my shelf for awhile. It is a trip to read now, vegetarian cooking has evolved quite a bit!
Mar 29, 2015 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't made the recipes yet, however by reading them I'm pretty excited to try some of these!!
Lisa Vegan
Well, way back when, when I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian, before I went vegan, this and its sequel were my favorite cookbooks. I don't cook that often, but I actually made many of the recipes in this book and they were delicious. I have not picked up the book since my first attempts to go vegan in 1988 as there were so many vegan cookbooks to try, but for a decade, this book was indispensable. The few omnivorous friends I subjected to my cooking, very much enjoyed the food as well. I guess it’s da ...more
Dassi Sklan
One of my favorite cookbooks
Apr 13, 2011 Carole rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
My dad gave this book to me, which is kind of weird, what with the pot references, but I have to say that, although I've only actually tried a few recipes in this book, I give it 4 stars because it has my absolute most favourite EVER cornbread recipe. I don't generally eat large portions of much of anything, but I could eat the entire batch of that cornbread. It's just *that* good.

Darn it. Now I'm going to have to bake some.
Aug 05, 2011 Josephine rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Just another vote for "amusing trip down memory lane"; boy, haven't we come a long way in terms of tasty vegetarian food, now! That said, it's still worth owning, although by no means suggesting it be the only vegetarian cookbook, much less the first. I inherited my mother's copy, and treasure it for her rating system of "spots"--i.e. how stained that recipe's page got in the course of returning to it.
Sep 26, 2007 Melipstick rated it liked it
Recommends it for: cookbook types
You really feel like you're taking a trip back to the early 70's when you open this book. The serifed font, basic layout, and wonderful line drawings enhance these very basic vegetarian recipes. The only problem is that some of the recipes actually call for MSG and bac-o-bits (?). What this landmark of a book truly illustrates is that we've come a long way in Vegetarian Cuisine since 1972.
Feb 15, 2008 Beth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: healthy-living
I'm revisiting this book because I'm paying attention to my diet -- again. It has been on my shelves for a long time and the pages are aged with various ingredients as well as wear and tear. The recipes are not necessarily low-fat, but they are great. I get my vegetarian comfort food recipes out of here. The corn and cheddar chowder recipe is worth the price of the book.

Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson
Jun 12, 2014 Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson rated it liked it
Shelves: cooking
I have used this book to the extent that it is literally falling apart. It's well written, well organized and most of the ingredients are not that difficult to find. Most of the recipes are easy to follow and not too complicated. I especially enjoyed the recipes from the middle east as being accessible and delicious!
Dec 09, 2011 Peter rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes vegetarian cooking
Shelves: i-own, reference
Although it can be a little hard to get hold of a copy now (unless it has been reprinted), it is well worth the effort.

Be careful with the desserts though. I put on 5 lbs. every time I read some of my favorite dessert recipes, without even lifting a whisk!
Dec 14, 2008 Joan added it
As my family will note, this is my most beloved tattered cookbook that I used when my children were growing up and I was attempting to get them to eat healthy. God Bless young families..these recipes are simple and ample.
Mary Coleman
Jan 25, 2008 Mary Coleman rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most fun books in the world to read. She is hilarious. And having lived through the seventies, i so appreciate everything she talks about. It also has, hands down, the best Spinach Lasagna recipe in the world.
Nov 11, 2012 Skyla rated it it was amazing
My favorite vegetarian cookbook ever. The stuffed pumpkin is especially unique, and a great holiday meal. The spanakopita is a go-too classic for fine dining. Her menus are inspired and her recipes excellent and unusual.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Vegetarian Epicure 3 10 May 04, 2012 08:24AM  
  • The New Laurel's Kitchen
  • The Tassajara Bread Book
  • The Greens Cookbook: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine from the Celebrated Restaurant
  • Still Life with Menu Cookbook
  • Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian: More Than 650 Meatless Recipes from Around the World
  • Diet for a Small Planet
  • Passionate Vegetarian
  • The Voluptuous Vegan: More Than 200 Sinfully Delicious Recipes for Meatless, Eggless, and Dairy-Free Meals
  • Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant: Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant
  • Recipes for a Small Planet
  • Horn of the Moon Cookbook: Recipes from Vermont's Renowned Vegetarian Restaurant
  • Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking
  • Moosewood Restaurant New Classics: 350 Recipes for Homestyle Favorites and Everyday Feasts
  • Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker: 200 Recipes for Healthy and Hearty One-Pot Meals That Are Ready When You Are
  • Beard on Bread
  • Chez Panisse Vegetables
Anna Thomas is the author of The Vegetarian Epicure cookbooks and a screenwriter. She lives in Ojai, California."
More about Anna Thomas...

Share This Book