This is the most comprehensive book on vegetarian cooking we’ve seen. Six years in the making, it contains 1,400 recipes and is brimming with tips and illustrations. It’s easy to see why it won the James Beard award for best cook-book of the year.
Inside the weighty tome are 20 extensive chapters from “Becoming a Cook” to “Desserts: Ending on a Sweet Note.” In between, Madison discusses such kitchen fundamentals as equipment, cutting and chopping, and basic ingredients from herbs to nuts. We found unique tips, such as “Ingredients to use in Summer Stocks,” “Ingredients to use in Winter Stocks,” and “Ingredients to Avoid When Making Stocks.” The latter includes turnips, cabbage, onion skins, broccoli, cauliflower and powdered herbs—all can make stock bitter.
The backbone of the book is the chapter, “Vegetables: The Heart of the Matter,” with a glossary on greens (for instance, beet greens, spinach and chard are botanical cousins and can, in most cases, be used interchangeably).
For anyone new to vegetarianism or, like Madison herself, who isn’t vegetarian but strives to eat less meat, this book is a must.
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