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Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  9,525 Ratings  ·  292 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 with ...more
ebook, 1146 pages
Published October 27th 2010 by Ten Speed Press (first published 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Miriam
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
...more
Rachel
Mar 23, 2008 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jessica
Oct 05, 2007 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Elizabeth
Jul 29, 2007 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Aug 29, 2007 Dianne rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
Jun 22, 2009 Crystal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Jesse Kelly-Landes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Penny
Dec 03, 2016 Penny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Vanessa
May 31, 2013 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: how-to, cooking
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
Amberle
Jun 13, 2009 Amberle rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Lafcadio
Jul 31, 2007 Lafcadio rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lafcadio by: Elizabeth
Shelves: classy, released, lukapier
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
Oct 15, 2012 Loraine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Helen
Jun 07, 2009 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 06, 2010 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jacinda
Feb 24, 2012 Jacinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
EsEfEm
Apr 18, 2014 EsEfEm 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
...more
Rachel
Nov 04, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Megan
Feb 21, 2011 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Alexis
Jun 04, 2007 Alexis rated it liked it  ·  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
Christopher
Aug 26, 2008 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  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
KA
Nov 09, 2011 KA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jules
Sep 30, 2009 Jules rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Gina
Sep 04, 2007 Gina rated it liked it  ·  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
Marcie
Nov 02, 2013 Marcie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kimmay
Nov 07, 2009 Kimmay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health-nutrition
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
Betsy
Jan 17, 2008 Betsy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
I'm not going to add all my cookbooks to this list (I own upwards of 40). However, when I've tried to simplify the books actually on my counter, this one has made it to the top 6 (along with Joy of Cooking, the More-With-Less series, Better Homes and Gardens, and home-compiled collections). It's great and has some absolutely fantastic recipes in it...and I'm no where near to becoming a vegetarian. The Mujadarrah is to die for and it's pretty much brown rice, lentils, and caramelized onions. Comf ...more
Amy
Oct 25, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a huge fan of cookbooks (unless they are the family ones with all the favorite family recipes). I feel like they just take up shelf space and only give you a few good recipes, and with the internet you can find a recipe for just about anything. Having said that, I LOVE this cookbook. We feel like it has revolutionized the way we eat. We haven't had a recipe fail yet. Some of our new "family favorites" are now in this cookbook. I feel like it is really comprehensive sharing ideas on how t ...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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