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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  • Posted October 26, 2012

    Wonderful for experienced cooks

    This is a great reference for people who have mastered technique. The chef assumes you have and does not explain the processes. It uses many widely available ingredients that are fairly insexpensive, which makes cooking from this very inexpensive. We'll be getitng a lot of use out of it in this economy.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    A reference guide that happens to be a cookbook too!

    This book has so much information about "how to" almost everything. It is a great beginner/starter book - lots of techniques or margin comments that add to the overall value of the book. What's missing is some more pictures of actual items. The organization of the book was less than desirable to me, but it makes sense.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2003

    Thanks, Deborah (from your Passionate V colleague)

    I'm Crescent Dragonwagon, the author of the book Passionate Vegetarian, which was favorably referred to at the expense of Deborah's fine book in a reader review here (which a friend alerted me to). I was distressed by this. While it's nice to have someone compliment you, not so at the expense of a colleague who is as good and groundbreaking and hard-working work as Deborah Madison. I like Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone a lot --- perhaps her earlier, The Savory Way (5 stars in my view), is a little more appealing to me, but doing a definitive work is tough... believe me, I know. I am proud to give both Madison's excellent books a place of honor on my shelf and in my kitchen and life. It's true the tone and content of our work is quite different; so what? I'd like to feel not just that we both made important contributions to this field, but that this field is large and generous enough for many perspectives. Library Journal agreed: ' Deborah Madison's huge Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone came first, and it and Dragonwagon's book cover similar ground by virtue of having the same topic, but there is little overlap in terms of recipes. With vegetarian cooking more popular than ever, most libraries will want Passionate Vegetarian, too. '

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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