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Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  10,208 Ratings  ·  297 Reviews

The tenth anniversary edition of this landmark cookbook, with more than 325,000 copies in print, includes a new introduction from Deborah Madison, America’s leading authority on vegetarian cooking.

What Julia Child is to French cooking, Deborah Madison is to vegetarian cooking—a demystifier and definitive guide to the subject. After her many years as a teacher and writer, s

Hardcover, 752 pages
Published November 6th 2007 by Broadway (first published 1997)
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My aunt, not a fan of cooking, had this on her shelf along with a few other vegetarian cookbooks and a couple for health. I don't know how much she used it -- only one page has notes indicating she tried the recipes. That page is 337, and she made "Basic Green Beans (and Yellow and Purple)" (her review: "good 2/13") and "Green Beans Simmered with Tomato" ("okay, a little time consuming").

The instructions for that second recipe, to sum up, say to saute in oil thinly sliced onions until transluce
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(from the 10th anniversary introduction:) "...people come with their old books, pages tattered and stained with soup, inked with comments, and stuck with sticky notes. One, recently returned to me, was signed by all the monks who had used it in their monastery kitchen. The remains of the torn jacket were glued to the cover and the pages were so swollen with spills that the books was nearly twice its normal thickness. Clearly this old copy had had quite a workout, but nothing makes me happier tha ...more
Mar 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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,
Jul 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
May 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
After a student borrowed and lost a page of my favorite spinach tortellini recipe, that I knew had originated from this book, I finally checked it out of the library and loved it. In addition to being one of those ultimate resources where you can go to when you need to remember if asparagus is okay to put in stock or how to make any concievable sauce, everything I make from it has an unexpected depth of flavor - and there is variety on the same old lentil soups and other standard veggie recipes. ...more
Jun 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
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
Rebecca Van Wagner
Madison's lentil recipes changed my life. I want to cook my way through this entire book.
Jesse Kelly-Landes
Sep 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
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.
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a really solid and densely-packed cookbook that's easy to read, get ideas from, and modify. Madison organizes recipes in a very sensible way, where you go to the section on soup, subsection on winter squash, and find a bunch of different variations all together. She'll tell you how to make a bunch of different types of stock if you want to get fancy, but most of the recipes are fairly straightforward.

While some of the recipes do use eggs or dairy, most of them are very easily veganizabl
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Bought the original in a used bookstore, then upgraded as a first wedding anniversary present. Madison knows whereof she speaks, and has crammed a wide variety of recipes into this book. Great for folks who are learning to cook, great for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
Penny Perriguey
This cookbook is great for basic, French-style cooking. There are a lot of good recipes for sauces and condiments. I find that this is not my g0-to cookbook, however. I like my food a little more exotic than this book offers.
Jonathan Kauffman
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The first vegetarian cookbook you should buy and the one on my shelf with the most stains.
Ty Huard
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
the title says its for everyone but i feel like it didnt really appeal to me and every other Trans Fluid Octagon.
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking, how-to
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
Jun 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 31, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookery
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
Nov 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: foodie
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
Jun 04, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Aug 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
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
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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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.
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