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The Greens Cookbook: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine from the Celebrated Restaurant

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,279 ratings  ·  38 reviews
"The Greens Cookbook" is that rarity, a book that truly represents a revolution in cooking. Here are the recipes that helped to create the boldly original and highly successful Greens Restaurant on San Francisco Bay. Not only for vegetarians, this book caters to everyone who seeks delight in cooking and eating. Using an extraordinary range of fresh ingredients in imaginati ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published April 17th 2001 by Broadway Books (first published 1987)
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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,279 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Tanya Lolonis
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
one of 3 cookbooks i am always referring to, working from. the others are alice waters' "the art of simple food" and marcella hazan's "the essentials of italian cooking", which is falling apart. "greens" requires the most ingredients, most chopping, most work, but the results are always spot-on and deliriously good.
Jul 29, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: vegetarians and their friends
Shelves: cookingandbaking

This was my first vegetarian cookbook, and it served me well. Like many cookbooks, my main problem with it is ingredient fussiness: we can't all find caper berries, try though we might. I first bought this book in England and was using it there while cooking in a dorm on four unreliable electric hobs, and it got me through many dinner parties. For regular meals, though, the recipes need too much planning. That said, many are not very time-intensive at all. Pasta with tomato and tarragon cream wa
Rose Finchio cole
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Love the Pumpkin Bean Soup!
Feb 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cook-books
Recipes that I like from this book: Pizza with escarole, Fontina and walnuts; spinach noodle pudding; semolina pudding with blood orange syrup.
Tonstant Weader
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This edition of The Greens Cook Book is out of print. There is a newer edition, but I have not seen it so cannot compare the two. Years ago, maybe around 1999 or 2000, I had the most amazing soup at a Portland restaurant that specialized in breakfast and lunch. I mentioned how much I loved it to the waiter who said it came right out The Greens Cook Book. Money was tight so I went to Barnes & Noble, picked up the cookbook and copied out the recipe, intending to buy it later, but later never c ...more
Mindy Kannon
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've had and used his books for years. It is absolutely incredible if you want to eat a veggie-based diet. Tons of my clients loved the food that I made from this book. Highly recommend any cook book by Deborah Madison
Leah Hanley
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I need to purchase this one. It’s for people who embrace vegetables and love flavor, vegetarian or not.
Jan 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I've only eaten at the Greens restaurant once. The food was good, but I think because I already had the cookbook, I was expecting more. Not sure why exactly because this is one of those books that, while it's quite good, feels a bit old-fashioned... maybe because of the more traditional French feel. I guess that's why the food wasn't brilliantly memorable.

I do still use the cookbook though. There's a lovely fresh and bright tasting Potato-Sorrel Soup that continues to be one of my favorites.
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Some people have criticized this book because of the many recipes that seem to require special stocks, but in fact ordinary veg stock or water works just fine - I think this is a hiccup in the translation from restaurant to kitchen. I am not a vegetarian yet I love some of the recipes in this book - the yellow and red pepper tart is good, as is the black bean chili. I also want to stress that it's a vegetarian, not vegan, book. So butter and cream are in - can't imagine the dessert section witho ...more
Mar 03, 2008 rated it liked it
I agree with Carey's assessment of the limitations of this cookbook, however I do think that it provides some fundamental ideas on how to think outside the "vegetarian" box, aka, putting everything in your refrigerator into a skillet and frying it up. Unfortunately Madison goes the other direction by requiring obscure ingredients such as chervil (isn't parsley good enough?), thereby alienating a would-be receptive audience. Either way the pictures are nice, I do not understand why anyone would e ...more
Jul 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I should preface this review by stating that my husband and I love the Greens restaurant and go there every time we are in San Francisco.

This is a great cookbook that should be a part of any vegetarian or vegan library. The recipes are generally not fast or easy (some ingredients are difficult to get, depending on where you live) so I wouldn't suggest it for beginning or busy cooks. However, these recipes make the most out of wholesome ingredients and are delightful to serve (and eat!).
Aug 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! Although it has no photographs, the recipes are wonderful. Some great ideas and fresh takes on veggie meals. Some of the recipes have a lot of ingredients but I think its worth doing by the book!
Oct 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Jill by: Gloria Yoshida
This is my absolute favorite cookbook. The recipes are not too labor intensive, but they are more work than my typical weeknight dinner fare.

I like cooking from this book so much that we eat vegetarian many times a week as a result.

Good stuff.
Aug 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've had this since the early nineties and use it a LOT. Although not a vegetarian, I do eat a lot of meatless meals, and whether I follow a recipe religiously or not, she provides a lot of great jumping off points!
Dec 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
Exceptional flavors and flavor combinations: not watered down for cookbookland. The recipes are a bit complex, but you can substitute a little here and there and still have amazing results.
Red wine and red onion soup is a staple for me. The book opens to it now when I set it down.
Chelsea Feldman
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you have ever eaten at Greens, you know why this is a must-have cookbook. The Greens Cookbook has unbelievably yummy gourmet veggie recipes on every page. We use lots of these recipes for entertaining and special occasions.
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cookbooks
No pictures and somewhat complicated recipes. Not the greatest to me.
Catherine Woodman
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love this Fort Mason restaurant, and this cookbook allows you to make a meal that reproduces the food they serve--the recipes are pretty detailed but they do come out (just take time)
Trisha Keiman
great vegetarian meals and very creative
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fabulous veggie recipes even if you aren't a vegan.
Jul 30, 2011 added it
Excellent cookbook for vegetarians.
Mark Desrosiers
Sep 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
Some amazing pizza recipes in here, believe it or not.
Jan 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking-food
Though sometimes fussier than I like to cook, these are all delicious, memorable recipes.
Jan 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, cooking
I am going to buy a copy of this one; Madison has a lot of recipes for different seasons that could be made over a slow period of time, and her food is always delicious.
Catherine Woodman
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deborah madison--I am a huge fan, going back to the '70's, until now
May 01, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: vegetarians, rich folk
Shelves: cookbooks
Nothing in this book can be made for under $30. Still, yum.
Catherine Woodman
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the classic cookbook from my favorite vegetarian restaurant of my youth--but it is not simple food to make--deicious, but not simple
Misae Sakamura onaka
It is a treasure house of wonderful recipes!!! A friend gave this book to me over 20 years ago. I have enjoyed the recipes over the years.
Mar 11, 2010 rated it liked it
B Some good interesting recipes; I want to eat here!
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
This vegetarian cookbook can stand right alongside "Sundays at Moosewood" and "Moosewood Cooks at Home." It is a different style of vegetarian cooking, but equally good.
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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.