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Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  7,125 ratings  ·  279 reviews
What Julia Child is to French cooking and Marcella Hazan is to Italian cooking, Deborah Madison is to contemporary vegetarian cooking.At Greens restaurant in San Francisco, where she was the founding chef, and in her two acclaimed vegetarian cookbooks, Madison elevated vegetarian cooking to new heights of sophistication, introducing many people to the joy of cooking withou ...more
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Published October 27th 2010 by Ten Speed Press (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rachel
if you like to eat food you will like this book. if you like to cook or wish you knew how you will like this book. if you love to cook and love vegetables and are a nerd this will be your bible.

this is my bible. and i am not the only one.

sometimes when i have a few extra unplanned minutes i will sit at my table and randomly open the book. how better to pass 4 minutes then reading about kambocha squash.

she has some elaborate recipes in here but what i really love the most is the basic information
...more
Elizabeth
Jul 29, 2007 Elizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone! (especially those of you who like vegetables)
Shelves: cookingandbaking
This is the best cookbook I have ever used. The most useful part of it is the vegetable section, where each fruit or vegetable is listed in alphabetical order, and each section discusses choosing, storage, and preparation of the fruit or vegetable, and then follows with at least one very simple recipe (green beans with butter and basil), and then more complicated ones. The way I use the book is by buying whatever looks good, and then coming home and figuring out what to do with it. That's been w ...more
Dianne
Sep 07, 2007 Dianne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: food
I am not a vegetarian; in fact, most of the time I'm carefully watching my carbs. This means that there is a high percentage of this book that I can't even use - all the pasta, rice, grain, bread, bean, and dessert recipes!

Why do I rate it so highly, then? It's simple - the vegetable recipes! Far, far, far too many vegetarian cookbooks assume that the objective of a vegetarian cookbook is to show people how to create a high protein entree. Often these vegetarian entrees are just as devoid of goo
...more
Jessica
Nov 23, 2007 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: "everyone," duh
Shelves: favorites
My mom has characterized this as "the vegetarian Joy of Cooking," which is pretty accurate. However, it's not just for vegetarians, but for anyone who might ever feel the need to cook some vegetables (or grains, beans, and other non-meat foods). That is to say, EVERYONE SHOULD OWN THIS BOOK.

One of Deborah Madison's basic ideas is that covering a vegetable in garlic, olive oil, and parsley will make it more delicious, and I have found this to be true. She has some other equally good basic ideas,
...more
Jensownzoo
Recently read this cover to cover, making a list of recipes to try in the next few months. Full of winners. I've had this book for a few years and have made several recipes from it and have never been disappointed. I consider this book one of the basic cookbooks that everyone should have in their repetoir, vegetarian or not. A few sample recipes:

Apple and Celery Salad with Gruyere
Carrot Red Pepper Soup
Butternut Squash Gratin with Onions and Sage
Eggplant Rollatini with Corn Bread Stuffing
Summer S
...more
Crystal
Eh. Don't get me wrong. there's a lot of good recipes in here. But so many that involve animal products, especially cheese, which is much harder to replace than milk or yogurt. There's also gluten, which I need to avoid as well. So basically while the recipes cover a wide spectrum of basic vegetarian cooking, it's too much effort for me to sift through for the vegan gluten free ones. If you are just looking to expand an omnivore's diet, however, or eat purely vegetarian, with dairy and eggs OK, ...more
Jesse Kelly-Landes
This book is an intensive guide to vegetables. However, the reason I love it are the cakes. These might be the best cakes I've ever baked.
Amberle
Jun 25, 2009 Amberle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to be a well-informed cook
This is by far the most informative cookbook I've encountered. It's clearly the result of a painstaking writing/re-writing and editorial process; every bit of the book, from the index to the individual recipes, is clear and informative without being overly wordy or pedantic. The prose is simply nice to read - yes, I did take this into bed with me for some pre-sleepy-time reading!

I've already noticed that I've become more adroit in the kitchen with a little help from the section on knives, which
...more
Vanessa
This is a very useful recipe to have, because of the instructions for preparing a very wide variety of vegetables. Like any cookbook, there are a few recipes that are not very good. I use the chapter on soups the most, because I do not really collect soup recipes. My only major criticism is that the suggested seasonings listed for each vegetable are a little too repetitive. I am allergic to two of the constantly listed ingredients, so I eventually stopped using this section.

In my collection (and
...more
Lafcadio
Dec 28, 2011 Lafcadio rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lafcadio by: Elizabeth
Shelves: released, lukapier, classy
I was hoping for something... different maybe? I'm not sure. I love vegetables, and I wanted to become more proficient in cooking them and with greater variety. This book certainly has plenty of recipes, and they look easy enough and well explained enough.

The problem is, I'm not much of a fan of squash of any kind. And onions are great, but as a seasoning, not as large cooked squishy mouthfuls. I enjoy eggplant every once in a while, but again in small bits as bonus zing rather than the primary
...more
Loraine
Fabulous book. It's the Joy of Cooking for anyone who cooks from scratch, or wants to learn. Great design & layout, and a near perfect index (by my standards), along with color photographs, make for a beautiful book. Add to that 1,400 recipes laid out in a very accessible format, clear instructions, and lots of hints, and . . . you have the perfect cookbook whether you only have space for one or for dozens. Madison has a generous spirit, a no nonsense manner, and a thoughtful style. As she s ...more
Jacinda
Best cookbook I own. It's not necessarily because the recipes are the best tasting (don't get me wrong, most are delicious, but I've made better meals from other books); it's more that she offers an excellent balance between gourmet and simplicity. Before I really knew how to cook, I could make almost any recipe in this book and she easily explained how to use any techniques I hadn't used before. She also has the ingredients lists set up in a way in which you can choose to cook almost all the me ...more
Helen
Deborah Madison was the founding chef of The Greens restaurant in San Francisco. While I have most all of her cookbooks this is my absolute favorite. My absolute favorite of any cookbook (except Fanny at Chez Panisse).

This is not just for vegetarians. I have yet to make anything in this cookbook that is not truly good. All of her recipes are simple, concise and scrumptious. She also explains things to people who are intimidated by cooking as a rule. This is much more than a cookbook for me. I re
...more
Susan
this book is so awesome i can't even begin to describe it because it would take too long. in summary, this book is not just for vegetarians but for anyone who wants to know how to cook non-meat things. most cookbooks use up most of the room for meat recipes leaving other things as just things to eat on the side. this book tells you how to cook delicious things and whether you choose to add meat to them or have them on the side is totally up to you. everything is great in this book from sandwich ...more
Sonnet
Wow. This is the most comprehensive cookbook I think I've ever read. I even like it more than Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

A few of the ingredients look expensive/hard to find, but maybe that's just due to where I live. I wish there were more protein based recipes, but I LOVE how many vegetable recipes there are. Everything looks super easy to make, as well.
Maybe after I've had a chance to make some recipes, I'll revisit my rating.

After making some food: I'm less impressed. First
...more
Rachel
Hard to say one "read" a cookbook...but I checked this out of the library and enjoyed going through it page by page because I love her chatty tone and pragmatic how-tos with each recipe, as well as general instruction on cooking. She makes "cooking by feel" something that can be learned, breaking it down into principles so it isn't a mystery for those who weren't just "born with the gift". Most of the recipes are accessibly presented. There are ridiculously simple basics, but they come with the ...more
Lori
This book is a fantastic guide for those wishing to be more creative with vegetables. Deborah Madison is a creative chef and an amazing teacher. I've had the book for years and it is marked up with notes, comments and reminders, making it my most "interactive" book - ever!
Megan
I love this book for two reasons. One, the recipes describe simple ways to make complex and subtle flavors. Think black bean spread with a sniff of smoky chipotle. The simplest lentil soup finished off with a dash of mustard and vinegar. Marjoram-scented tofu salad. Sherry-caramelized bell peppers in a potato/chickpea stew. And two, there is just so much here. I will be exploring this book for the rest of my life, I'm sure; for example, while flipping through it tonight I discovered that I can p ...more
Gina
Sep 04, 2007 Gina rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all cooks as a resource
This is the modern day "Joy of Cooking" without the meat.
Even if you are an AVID meat eater, this is still a fantastic resource. My friend Renée bought it for me as a gift since I am the problem vegetarian at all the BBQ's.
I don't use it to cook from very often.(The recipes are a little on the bland side so add whatever you want.) I use it as a reference for the ingredients I have on hand. Say, Spaghetti Squash: it looks cool but it's not around enough for me to remember how to prepare it. This
...more
Jules
VCFE by Deborah Madison is my bible. Dave and I are not vegetarians, but we do try to eat less meat and we have found we do not even miss it when we use Madison's creative and delicious (and not overly complicated) recipes. There are some winners that are now staples in our repertoire: black eyed peas, lentils with rice, lentil soups, yummy and inventive ways to cook veggies and tofu. All yummy! If I had to live with only one cookbook (god forbid) I would choose this one. Oh! And she is super ni ...more
Christopher
Aug 26, 2008 Christopher rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who eats.
Recommended to Christopher by: Lila
This is an essential book for anyone who likes to cook with lots of veggies, whether you're a vegan, a vegetarian, or a confirmed omnivore.

The book includes virtually every vegetable you could ever think of, providing a section for each specimen with prep, cooking and storage tips, and a couple of sample recipes highlighting each veg. This is in addition to a wealth of general cooking tips and tricks, and a whole treasure trove of helpful information for cooking pros and the kitchen-impaired al
...more
Kellyann
A great cookbook, truly for everyone: vegetarians, meat-eaters (who will find lots of good side dishes or who can change dishes according to their preferences), kosher-keepers (it's easy to find parve/dairy dishes), and vegans (Madison specifically notes that almost all recipes can be altered to make them vegan). This is our Food Bible: we make the leek and potato soup all the time, as well as the golden gratin. The golden gratin is the first dish I ever tasted rutabaga in, and I subsequently fe ...more
Alexis
Jun 04, 2007 Alexis rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: butternut squash lovers and people who bake in the Southwest
Shelves: cookbooks
The book's worth it for the butternut squash and tofu stew alone. It is totally delicious. However, a number of the other recipes don't work--especially the baked goods and some of the savory custard tarts if you're not in the southwestern US (a friend there and I have compared results and have had totally different outcomes on the same recipes--hers work, mine don't--and we both know how to bake).

It's also a good reference for how to cook all sorts of vegetables and would be a decent stand in f
...more
Kimmay
I borrowed this from the library. I hope to own my own copy someday. It had great recipes in it, and i liked the format. It was easy to find what you were looking for and had GREAT tips on things. Info on what pairs well with other things, on the differences between ceertain veggies that make a difference in the taste or texture of a dish.
I had to return it to the library but plan on checking it out again... at least until I can get a copy for my shelf. I think this is a cook book that I would
...more
Emily
If you purchase one cookbook in your entire life, let it be this one. I don't know how I lived so long without it. I've always loved vegetables, but especially in the past several years, I've really been more conscious of what I'm eating and how. I eat very little red meat these days, not so much chicken and pork, a little fish, and TONS of vegetables and fruits. It's not always easy to find new ways to cook vegetables, but this book is the veggie bible. Every single vegetable you can think of(a ...more
Peter Esveld
This is my favorite cookbook. Simple, surprising, flavorful and well-written. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to eat more vegetables, but finds Moosewood a bit flat.
Adrienna
Hard to skim thru recipes via eBook but used table of contents. There was clarification on usage of spices, herbs, beans, stews, etc. The recipes didn't seem appetizing based on the ones I reviewed (not all in its entirety). So finished read early.

Leisure read, 2014.
Michael
Jan 30, 2009 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cooks unsure of where or how to start
Shelves: food
This is the book that taught me how to cook, or, at the very least, set me on my way. Her approach to cooking anticipates the currently popular philosophy of Pollan &c. More importantly, she transmits both her approach and her prowess in the middle section of the book: vegetable by vegetable, she describes varieties, choice characteristics, complementary flavors, and cooking methods; she then teaches by example with a few recipes. This book contains numerous recipes, but its value is in the ...more
Marcie
I found this book when I was in college, babysitting at a professor's house. Knowing they tried to encourage meatless eating in their three young girls, I pulled the book off the shelf to look for things I might make them when they needed lunch or dinner.

I have to say I couldn't have found a better cookbook--and I soon bought it for myself. Simple, but satisfying recipes that are pretty foolproof--the only one that gave me trouble that I've tried was her potato gnocchi recipe--and I don't believ
...more
Deb
Sep 24, 2007 Deb rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to cook delicious veggies
Shelves: cooking
The reason I picked this book up was a sentence in a review from Powells' Daily Dose: "If my kitchen was on fire, this is the one book I'd grab."

Deborah Madison is not strictly a vegetarian, but she is famous for her vegetarian recipes and restaurant. The book is not just recipes: it's an encyclopedia on how to incorporate seasonal vegetables into your meals from scratch. BUT. Most of the recipes are NOT intimidating at all! I'll be making some Watermelon Blackberry soup before I return this boo
...more
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Deborah Madison is an American chef, writer and cooking teacher. She has been called an expert on vegetarian cooking and her gourmet repertoire showcases fresh garden produce. Her work also highlights Slow Food, local foods and farmers' markets.
More about Deborah Madison...
Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom The Greens Cookbook: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine from the Celebrated Restaurant Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation What We Eat When We Eat Alone: Stories and 100 Recipes

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