Customer Reviews for

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Average Rating 4
( 42 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

A Great "Classic" of a Cookbook--don't be put off by the word "vegetarian"

I bought this book many years ago when it was $40 and I considered it well worth the price, then. I have given it as a gift and plan to do so again. There's a reason why it won Book of the Year, The Julia Child Cookbook Award and the James Beard Foundation Award for Exc...
I bought this book many years ago when it was $40 and I considered it well worth the price, then. I have given it as a gift and plan to do so again. There's a reason why it won Book of the Year, The Julia Child Cookbook Award and the James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence. I have used it often and have not made anything I didn't like. The great wilted spinach salad recipe with quick pickled red onions comes to mind as does an olive oil cake that is fragrant and light. Madison really knows her stuff, but her voice is never stuffy. She gives you LOTS of practical tips alongside the recipes, for e.g., what to look for when buying vegetables in the store, different ways to cook them, serving suggestions, accompaniments for a meal, or how long the dishes will keep. No the book doesn't have glossy photos, just tasteful sketch type renderings; but the author also doesn't assume you are an expert either. I will say though that if you NEED pictures then maybe a Cooking 101 type cookbook is more your speed; Rather it's for people who aren't that familiar with how to cook vegetables in a way that is good tasting and satisfying, and for those who know that there's more to parsley than garnish on a plate, it strives to be a bit innovative in the kinds of recipes it offers. In short, this is a GREAT cookbook overall and a worthy addition to any reasonably knowledgeable cook's library. Get it while you can!

posted by 600278 on December 13, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

I'd really like to like this book, but I don't much; puzzlingly overated and definitely not my first choice of vegetarian cookbooks

I've had Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone since it was first published. I've wanted to like it: it has so many recipes, Madison has such a following, and it won many awards. But I can't warm up to it. Tho I look at it from time to time I haven't made a single recipe out ...
I've had Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone since it was first published. I've wanted to like it: it has so many recipes, Madison has such a following, and it won many awards. But I can't warm up to it. Tho I look at it from time to time I haven't made a single recipe out of it. Looked at recipe by recipe individual things sound good. But lay-out is dull and boring, and the writing is dry and unappealing, at least to this cook and reader. I have puzzled over why this is such a turnoff. I think it is that Madison never sounds excited or happy. her recipe descriptions have yet to make me want to get into the kitchen. They somehow don't invite me. Almost always, if a recipe has a note, it's about 'just' food. The tone is instructional, not sensual: no hints of a story, like how she learned or developed or found a recipe. This may sound peculiar, but this is to me one of the best parts of a good cookbook and where I learn the most and get inspired. I love to read a good cookbook and what makes it good for me is recipes PLUS info PLUS stories, sensuality, excitement, context, passion, even wit. To me a much better choice is Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon. Passionate Vegetarian has both fine recipes and context, plus all the above: recipes, stories, sensuality, wit etc. Passionate's exuberance seduced me into making five different recipes all of which were incredible ( 2 spectacular chilis, 1 curry, a pilaf and a dynamite veggie sauerbraten) within a week of buying it. Have tried several more since then; not one loser and have revisited some of those I had already tried. Also Passionate has terific menu suggestions. I also like Laurel's Kitchen, and The Vegetarian Hearth by Darra Goldstein. Oh, one more gripe about Veg. Cooking for Everyone: cover promises that 'most' of the recipes can be made vegan. That just isn't so. Tho I am not vegan I have two friends who are plus 1 lactose-intolerant kid. Madison relies too heavily on eggs, butter, cheese, and cream for flavoring agents, without offering variations that truly work for everyone.

posted by Anonymous on May 24, 2003

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2000

    Great book

    Wide variety of recipes -- far more than many of the tradition cookbooks I have in my collection. Also very informative about tools and the different ingredients.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 1999

    You must have this cookbook

    Excellent source for vegetarian cooking, for the cooks who like to cook slightly gourmet. The recipes are clear, with side-bit knowledge, hints, reasons, and how-to's. Following each recipe as written will produce perfect dishes, exquisitly tasty - no need to improvise or embellish (as I find many veg cookbooks to require). Each time I open the book, I find more recipes that I must try. Excellent, excellent, excellent.

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