The New Vegetarian Epicure: Menus--with 325 All-New Recipes--for Family and Friends

The New Vegetarian Epicure: Menus--with 325 All-New Recipes--for Family and Friends

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by Anna Thomas
     
 

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Anna Thomas, author of the best-selling The Vegetarian Epicure, which became the bible of vegetarian cooks in the seventies and remains a classic, now returns with an exuberant new cookbook that reflects the way we live and eat today. The 66 menus are geared to busy, health-conscious families who are drawn to good fresh foods and lighter fare, filled with

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Overview

Anna Thomas, author of the best-selling The Vegetarian Epicure, which became the bible of vegetarian cooks in the seventies and remains a classic, now returns with an exuberant new cookbook that reflects the way we live and eat today. The 66 menus are geared to busy, health-conscious families who are drawn to good fresh foods and lighter fare, filled with the pungent ethnic flavors that Anna Thomas loves.

Here are more than 325 recipes for every occasion, from seasonal family meals and little dinner parties to picnics and holiday feasts. For example:

A Simple Autumn Dinner Party that includes a freshly made Focaccia, Lima Bean Soup, Torta di Polenta with a Roasted Tomato Sauce, and Parfaits of Fruit and Mascarpone

A family meal of a Salad of Bitter Greens with Gorgonzola Cheese and Walnuts, Oyster Mushroom Chowder, Fast Buttermilk Rolls, and an Apple and Pear Crumble

A celebratory Cinco de Mayo Dinner of Nopalito Salad, Tamales with Zucchini and Cilantro Filling, Chile Ancho Salsa, Garlic and Cumin Rice, and Flan with Caramel and Pineapple

There are easy Salad Lunches, Soup Suppers, Pasta Dinners, Dinner in a Bowl, and A Casserole Supper—all foods that children love. And there are salad lunches for hot days, mezze (hearty little Middle Eastern dishes) for a crowd, a variety of teas, brunches, and a wine-tasting.

Freshness is all-important to Anna Thomas, and she offers great tips about growing tomatoes, gathering wild mushrooms, and understanding chiles, as well as suggesting strategies for getting children to eat well.

The captivating voice of Anna Thomas, which inspired a whole generation, is now even more irresistible as she persuades her contemporaries, pressured by all the demands of the day, to carve out a little time to prepare delicious, healthy meals and to experience the joy of sharing with family and friends the pleasure of the table.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A voice from the bellbottom years returns, sounding as fresh and fun now as she did then. In The Vegetarian Epicure, published in 1972 and followed a few years later by Volume II, Thomas was a wacky, workable combination of Adele Davis and Julia Child. Offering one of the first more sophisticated approaches to vegetarian cooking, Thomas's cookbooks gave rise to elegant vegetarian dinner parties as well as solid, meat-free family fare. That tradition is carried forward here, 20 years later, with menu-based recipes arranged by season, beginning with An Early Spring Dinner featuring Risotto de Zucca through a New Year's Eve dinner ("a meal for an occasion") co-starring Wild Mushroom Soup and Cream Cheese Pierogi with Timbales of Tahitian Squash and Pears. There are menus for picnics, for brunches, suppers or for celebrations that few fine home cooks will scorn to follow. That this is the '90s is evident in numerous elements: lowered fat (Revised Caesar Salad replaces the egg with a tablespoon or two of reduced-fat mayonnaise and calls for "a lighter hand with the olive oil"); a marked Southwest slant (lots of salsas and dried chiles, and recipes for nopalitos, the new shoots of the nopal cactus); the use of once exotic ingredients like Kabocha and Tahitian squash; roasting as a favored cooking method for vegetables; and plentiful recipes for the likes of polenta, sorbet and biscotti. Soups figure prominently, among them Raspberry Borscht and a Wild Mushroom and Charred Tomato Soup. There are crepes (Buckwheat Crepes with Onions, Apples and Cheese), numerous salads (Roasted Beet, Asparagus and Garlic Salad, with red and golden beets), breads and some pasta dishes. Dessert is invariably important, e.g., Warm Chocolate Cakes with Crme Anglaise and Boysenberry Sauce. Thomas's menu approach serves vegetarian cooking, where texture and flavoring are crucial to variety, eminently well; an index guides cooks searching for recipes by ingredient. From a simple roasted squash, garnished only with olive oil and salt and pepper, to the elaborate multi-stepped construction of a centerpiece Tamale Pie, Thomas proves once more that meatless meals can be fashionable, fun and satisfying. (May)
Library Journal
For anyone who started to cook in the 1970s, vegetarian or not, The Vegetarian Epicure was one of the most sophisticated cookbooks around, and Thomas was a household name. Now she's back, with hundreds of fresh and sophisticated recipes for simple family suppers, elaborate celebrations, and everything in between. She offers 66 year-round menus, ranging from Tomato Harvest Dinner to A French Soup and Salad Lunch to A Gala Dinner for Late Spring. There are both "little dinner parties" and "easy family menus," with digressions on such topics as What Do Children Eat? The recipes are mouthwatering and enticing, with an emphasis on seasonal produce; although a few low-fat ingredients do creep in, no one would feel deprived eating any of these meals, and there are lots of delicious desserts, both indulgent and less so. Thomas has a lovely style, and her audience will certainly not be limited to vegetarians. An essential purchase.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679765882
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/28/1996
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
884,970
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.16(h) x 1.26(d)

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Read an Excerpt

From the Introduction

That first Vegetarian Epicure, and its sequel, captured the geist of a certain time—it was a guilt-free era, when butter and cream were used without a care and when cheese ruled. And while some may say, "Alas, things are so different now," I say thank goodness they are. We are all finding healthier ways to eat and enjoy lighter food, and I, for one, have never enjoyed it more. But this is not the only change that inspired me to work on a new book.

The years roll by, crowded with living, and so many things have changed since then. I have lived and cooked in so many different situations. I have traveled and worked. I've started raising two wonderful children...As a country, too, we've grown more sophisticated about cooking. Ethnic and cultural influences keep surfacing, and the availability of good raw materials continues to expand.

And yet, the really important things don't change.

Food is part of our lives every day. We eat to live, and why not live well? Fresh food, prepared with pleasure, is a wonderful thing...Good food brings sustenance and joy. Friendships are formed over it, wounds are healed, milestones are celebrated, and children raised on it. Good food is more than a recipe; it's part of everything else.

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