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Dec 17, 2012 02:26 PM

Vegetable cookbook recommendation

My daughter shops at the Brooklyn farmer's market and wants a vegetable cookbook. She's not vegetarian (or a great cook) and I think she just wants a simple cookbook about how to prepare the bounty she finds at the market. Seems like a lot of recs for Deborah Madison's books. Also been looking at Annie Somerville's books. Suggestions for what would be best for my daughter. Thanks.

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  1. Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" is a good one. It's not decidedly bent towards vegetarians as the title suggests, but is a good basic cookbook on vegetable cooking, with many interesting variations.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bacardi1

      "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" is my bible. Like poster below, I'm not wild about Deborah Madison's books. Ottolenghi "Plenty" is quite good. Interesting recipes and very good at using seasonal produce, and lovely pictures which always help.

      1. re: relizabeth

        HTCEV is a great book and has a permanent spot on my counter. I like that the book is organized by vegetables, grains, legumes, etc...

        There's so many variations of each dish and many preparations for every vegetable. I like that its easy to create a full meal from the book.

        1. re: cheesecake17

          Another yea for Bittman. But you might consider his "How to Cook Everything," an all-purpose cookbook with a great many vegetable recipes that are the basis of HTCEV, but meat and dairy too.

          Two great things about Bittman's books. First, he doesn't leave out any of the details and you never have to guess what to do. Second, he suggests lots of variations on basic recipes - a dozen things to add to peas, from mint to miso - which not only provide variety but encourage the cook to make her own variations.

          I'm not a fan of Deborah Madison's book - it keeps calling for ingredients that I can't conveniently get.

      2. re: Bacardi1

        I also agree with Bittman. I have a few veg buddies, so its been a staple in our house.

      3. Fast, Fresh and Green by Susie Middleton

        It's pretty straighforward and is separated into sections of the ways to cook vegetables and then has specific recipes.

        It would be really good for someone looking to start but still want some fancy things.

        1. Even as a longtime vegetarian, I've never been a big fan of Deborah Madison's cookbooks for some reason.

          As mentioned in some other threads, I really love the Chez Panisse Vegetables cookbook by Alice Waters. It's a great general purpose vegetable (not vegetarian) cookbook, with some great guidance on choosing vegetables.

          1. Jack Bishop's book on cooking vegetables is wonderfully simple. The book is organized alphabetically. For each vegetable he gives info on storage and basic preps, as well as a few good recipes.

            Also: Check out this link for "veggie tip sheets." With this link you may not even need a book! These sheets are intended for CSA's to distribute with the shares and give the basic info for every vegetable:

            (If the link doesn't work, go to, click on "resources," and then click on "veggie tip sheets"

            1 Reply
            1. re: alc

              This might be all she needs!

            2. To the Mark Bittman I would add

              James Peterson click on vegetable page

              I think both are excellent cook books,not just vegetarian for the sake of vegetarian