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Aug 24, 2011 07:22 AM

Recommendation for vegetarian cookbook?

Hi --

I am looking to expand my repertory of vegetarian dishes, and would like to get some names of books that would help. But there's one caveat: So many vegetarian cookbooks I see are full of recipes for rice and noodles. I'm really looking for interesting ways to cook vegetables, not starches. Any thoughts?

Thank you.

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  1. Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cookbook for Everyone is not my favorite cookbook, but she does provide a lot of vegetable recipes. I happen to like a couple of old ones: the Vegetarian Epicure and some of Mollie Katzin's recipies in the Moosewood series. Mark Bittman has a vegetarian cookbook that I can't vouch for, but I do love most of what he does.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chicgail

      I'll vouch for Bitman ("How to Cook Everything Vegetarian"). The beauty of his book is that it's full of variations and re-combinations, not just set recipes.

      1. re: azveggieguy

        To the Bittman,which is excellent I would add give a look at two CIA texts that have been updated recently.VEGETABLES and GARDE MANGER
        and there is much to found in the MOOSEWOOD books,soups without the starch etc

    2. Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone was our Cookbook of the Month (COTM) during July 2008. Here's a link to our discussions and reports of recipes we made...

      This month, August 2011, we're cooking from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian which has over 630 Here's that link to discussions and reports...

      Finely, here's a link to a web site many of us belong to, Eat You Books. It is a place where we list the cookbooks we own and can search for a recipe we'd like to make given the ingredients we have on hand. There is a data base of library books constantly being updated and here's a link to that list. You can easily look through and see many books related to vegetables...

      1. I am enjoying World Vegetarian at the moment. If you are looking for creative vegetarian recipes which are a little bit different, take a look at Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, which was also Cookbook of the Month.

        2 Replies
        1. re: greedygirl

          Right... I forgot about Ottolenghi's Plenty. Wonderful meals from that book.

          1. re: greedygirl

            What do you recommend from world vegetarian?

          2. It's not exclusively vegetarian, but, whatever your feelings about Alice Waters, "Chez Panisse Vegetables" is one of my favorite vegetable cookbooks - it has good advice about choosing and storing vegetables. Many of the recipes are either vegetarian or vegan, or easily adaptable to be so. This is one of those rare cookbooks where I have actually cooked more than one or two recipes out of it.

            Not a fan at all of Deborah Madison's cookbooks.

            Despite being a vegetarian and mostly-vegan, I really have to say that you shouldn't limit yourself to vegetarian cookbooks to find good vegetarian recipes -- there are so many great recipes in standard cookbooks which are already vegetarian or easily adaptable. Also, there are tons of great recipes online - find a few web logs or recipe sites that you like, and poke around there.

            2 Replies
            1. re: will47

              +1 on the non-veg cookbooks. I get a lot of great ideas from ethnic cookbooks in particular. I love Indian and Thai food, which lend themselves particularly well to veg cooking, but almost any regional or country-specific book will have lots of options and ideas that are easily modified.

              Another one of my favorite books is "Olive Trees and Honey," a Jewish (mostly Sephardic) vegetarian book. Plenty of recipes from European/Mediterranean countries, but heavily weighed towards Middle Eastern, African (primarily Ethiopian) and Asian.

              1. re: herring

                I like Fuchsia Dunlop's cookbooks for Chinese food. The Hunan one especially does a good job of pointing out vegetarian modifications that can be made.

                Despite her insistence on authenticity and her fondness for lard, some of Diana Kennedy's cookbooks (Mexican cuisine) have some good vegetarian (or easily adaptable) recipes. I have to admit, I have yet to make a single recipe from Oaxaca Al Gusto, despite living in a city where I should be able to get some of the weird ingredients, but one of these days I will.

            2. Thanks to the good folks here I've found the cookbooks of Martha Rose Shulman and Marie Simmons. They both have an amazing way with vegetables and even if a particular recipe isn't strictly vegetarian it can be modified. I love Shulman's Mediterranean Harvest cook book and Mediterranean Light. From Simmons I love cooking from Fresh and Fast Vegetarian.