cover image Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Deborah Madison. Broadway Books, $40 (752pp) ISBN 978-0-7679-0014-0

Many have tried to create a reliable, encyclopedic vegetarian cookbook, but few have succeeded. Madison (The Greens Cookbook; The Savory Way) comes through with a weighty volume that contains reams of useful information, basic techniques and just plain great recipes. Madison admits that she herself is not a strict vegetarian. She is, however, strict about organization. She uses common sense in assembling a formidable volume of material, sometimes opting for suggestions or outlines rather than full recipes. A section on crudites in the appetizer chapter lists familiar (cucumbers) and less familiar (jicama) vegetables and details how to prepare them; soup recipes are preceded by an outline of how vegetable soups are generally created. Madison respects tradition just the right amount, which means that the chapter on soy foods combines tofu and tempeh with Asian flavors, as in Malaysian-Inspired Tofu Curry and Marinated and Fried Tempeh, Indonesian Style. As a rule, her recipes are full of intriguing flavors, but they're never wacky: Peruvian Potatoes with Peanut Sauce and Garnishes; Chard Stems with Saffron and Tomatoes; Broken Lasagne with Fried Green Tomatoes and Parsley; Millet with Pan-Roasted Corn and Tomatillo Salsa. A chapter on breakfast foods that are good anytime--like Cottage Cheese and Nutmeg Pancakes--is particularly strong, but it would be difficult to select a favorite section from this incredibly complete and triumphant effort. (Oct.)