cover image A YEAR IN A VEGETARIAN KITCHEN: Easy Seasonal Dishes for Family and Friends

A YEAR IN A VEGETARIAN KITCHEN: Easy Seasonal Dishes for Family and Friends

Jack Bishop, . . Houghton Mifflin, $35 (468pp) ISBN 978-0-618-23997-9

Cook's Illustrated executive editor Bishop largely succeeds in removing the tarnish from vegetarian cooking, sharing simple, seasonal dishes that make the lack of meat seem like an afterthought. Bishop's no-nonsense attitude toward tofu leads into a series of recipes that call for browning the tofu, then coating it with a pan sauce, such as Pan-Glazed Tofu with Thai Red Curry Sauce. The majority of these dishes can be thrown together at the last minute, such as Wilted Spinach Salad with Japanese Flavors, and Chard Burritos with Tomato-Chipotle Salsa; the few that are more labor-intensive (Orange Risotto Cakes with Pistachio Crust, for example) and are worth the effort. Many of the dishes have Italian or Mexican influences, and Bishop arranges recipes by season. Occasionally it's not clear what connects a dish to its season, (why is Fettuccine with Caramelized Onion Sauce a fall meal?), and there is some repetition: spring's Chickpea Patties with Arugula Salad hardly vary from the Herbed Chickpea Patties with Israeli Salad that appear in summer. There are odd lapses, too, such as a sidebar on blending puréed soups that neglects to mention immersion blenders, and a recipe for Root Vegetable Tarts with Rosemary that calls for a 14-ounce package of puff pastry, then uses only half of the package. Largely, though, the inventiveness of Arugula and Pear Soup and Tender Lettuce and Peach Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Sour Orange Vinaigrette far outweighs those puzzling blips. These are excellent recipes for alluring food. 16 color photos. Agent, Angela Miller. (May 21)

Forecast: Bishop (The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook; Vegetables Every Day) has become a recognizable name, and will embark on a five-city tour. His book should have wide appeal.