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ISO: vegetarian cookbook rec

  • s

I never buy myself cookbooks, because if I did I would have hundreds. So, I usually give those in search of gift-ideas-for-smokey the names of a couple of cookbooks I would like. The gift-ideas-for-smokey people are getting pretty demanding, but I don't really have any cookbooks I'm dying to get, so was hoping to learn from the collective wisdom.

If seen some of the recent cookbook lists, but I don't remember being struck by any vegetarian titles. Plus, those lists tended to focus on the recently published books. Although I'm certainly interested in recently published, I'll take old faves as well.

So, I'm looking for recommendations for a favorite vegetarian cookbook. I've already got and like:

World Vegetarian by Jaffrey
an earlier veggie by Jaffrey (Vegetarian cooking of Asia? something like that)
Vegetarian cooking for everybody by Madison
Italian Vegetarian (or some such) by Jack Bishop

Cooking Chinese/Japanes/Korean just doesn't interest me right now, so would prefer recs outside of that world, but if you know a great one, lay it on me.

Thanks for any advice,


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  1. i have (and love) the modern vegetarian kitchen, by peter berley. he has a new one out too, called fresh food fast, that has definitely made my christmas list.

    i don't have (but would like to) any of the alice walters chez panisse cookbooks - they're supposed to be great.

    i am also a big fan of the candle cafe cookbook and the angelica's kitchen cookbook.

    happy cooking!


    1. I'm enjoying Silk Road Cooking by Najmieh Batmanglij.

      1. Though it is not strictly vegetarian (and definitely not vegan), it is largely vegetarian: the classic Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash, who ran a wonderful restaurant on Nantucket for several years (and wife of the producer of the Victory Garden for a generation). It's a wonderful, reliable book, which also puts the vegetables in the context of garden. Full of great failsafe recipes.

        1. Don't forget the famous (famoose?) Moosewood Cookbook. :)

          3 Replies
          1. re: gina

            Oh gawd, that's terrible...I'm been a pesco-veg or 30 years, and I'm just about to throw my copy away...There's no reason for this!!!!

            Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com

            1. re: galleygirl
              babette feasts

              Not a fan of Moosewood?

              My sister gave me the Sundays at Moosewood book several years ago, and I've really enjoyed it. It gives a glimpse of fifteen or twenty different cuisines, so it's definitely not all hippie nut loaf with soy gravy type stuff.

              1. re: babette feasts
                Caitlin McGrath

                Just to clarify, Moosewood Cookbook, by Mollie Katzen, published in the 1970s, is very different from the Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks published in the 80s and 90s, which are by the currents staffs of the retaurants. The Moosewood Cookbook is mostly heavy egg/cheese/dairy stuff or sprouts-and-carob-type veggie stuff.

          2. f

            Jack Bishop has a new vegetarian cookbook that I haven't bought yet but looks very good, called "A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen: Easy Seasonal Dishes for Family and Friends." It's been getting pretty good reviews. Here's the link from amazon.com.

            Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI...

            1 Reply
            1. re: farmersdaughter

              I'll vouch for it - it's fabulous! Everything I've tried is really simple yet really special.

            2. c

              The Vegetarian Epicure - her spanakopita recipe is still the best I've ever come across after 25 years!! Her next book, Laurel's Kitchen is great too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cowgirlinthesand
                Caitlin McGrath

                Just a correction - Anna Thomas, author of the Vegetarian Epicure and Vegetarian Epicure II, did not write Laurel's Kitchen.

              2. The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook by Jack Bishop is a good one. Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas is too.

                1. v

                  Here are some of my favorites:

                  The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook by Whitecap Books This cookbook has such a wide variety of recipes that I look through it all the time for new ideas. The first printing was in Australia and not every recipe has Fahrenheit or other US measurements which though frustrating does give one an education of sorts in converting Metric measurements.

                  Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice L. Waters A classic.

                  Though I own all the Moosewood cookbooks I have to say I rarely use them.

                  I just ordered Joy of Cooking: All About Vegetarian by Irma S. Rombauer, Ethan Becker, Marion Rombauer Becker and if it is as essential as the good ol’ Joy of Cooking I will be a happy camper.

                  Fields of Greens : New Vegetarian Recipes From The Celebrated Greens Restaurant by Anne Someville is fantastic and has some great dinner party recipes.

                  Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon is a hit and miss book, but what I truly appreciate is the many variations she gives for recipes such as soups.

                  And because it actually has good recipes and it does not promote canibalism I have to recommend Babe's Country Cookbook : 80 Complete Meat-Free Recipes from the Farm by Dewey Gram, Martin Jacobs. I hate it when anthropomorphic animals beg us to eat them – it gives me the willies something awful. Babe takes another approach which though silly I still appreciate. And really there are some good recipes.

                  1. Don't for get Deborah Madison's Greens Cookbook

                    1. Mollie Katzen's books (The Moosewood Cookbook, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest) are worth a look. I went through a strictly-vegetarian phase (still eat a lot of fruits and veg, but eating meat again now) and used these cookbooks heavily.

                      More info here: http://www.molliekatzen.com

                      - er

                      Link: http://enrevanche.blogspot.com

                      1. The Madhur Jaffrey is one of my favorites. Here are a couple of others not mentioned yet that I find myself using a lot:

                        The Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons
                        Native Foods by Tanya Petrovna