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Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
(article, Kim Carlson)
Deborah Madison's elegant The Greens Cookbook has long been one of the restaurant cookbooks I admire most, but in honesty, I've always found most of its recipes to be too complicated for weeknight cooking. So I welcomed her Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone 10 years ago, and quickly it became one of my most relied upon sources of inspiration at the stove. (I was not alone — it won the James Beard Award, and two awards from an association for culinary professionals, including cookbook of the year.) Happily, I can report that in the past decade Vegetarian Cooking hasn't lost its luster.
Why the accolades? Madison collected 1,400 recipes, some of the best of which are basics that can enhance simply prepared vegetables, rice, or pasta (or meats). It's a Joy of Cooking-style compendium, but with food that's a little hipper and undoubtedly a whole lot healthier. Madison doesn't assume we readers know anything about ingredients or techniques, and thus her book contains welcome basic information about both (more intuitive or practiced cooks can ignore these sections and go straight to the recipes). The graceful design, with its black-and-burnt-red text and its attractive illustrations and photos, helps to organize and enhance the bounty of information.
Although it's not a new book, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is a smart addition to any cookbook collection — or a good start to one.
p(bio). [firstname.lastname@example.org "Kim Carlson"] is the editorial director of Culinate.