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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 49.
- Review Date: 2007-06-18
- Reviewer: Staff
Marking how mainstream vegetarian cooking has become, the next must-have for the vegetarian cook’s shelf comes from New York Times “Minimalist” chef Bittman, an avowed meat eater. And that ensures one of this massive compendium’s many attractions: a wealth of recipes that don’t scream “vegetarian” and plentiful guidelines to make cooking vegetarian as intuitive as cooking with meat. Like his now classic How to Cook Everything, this book opens with terrifically useful, straightforward discussions of essential ingredients, appliances and techniques, which Bittman builds on throughout in to-the-point sidebars and illustrated boxes. The recipes flow thick and fast in his theme-and-variations style: Green Tea with Udon Noodles is followed by concise instructions for making it 17 different ways, while Coconut Rice gets five additional takes and Kidney Beans with Apples and Sherry four; other lists (six Great Spreads for Bruschetta or Crostini, 10 Garnishes for Pozole with Mole) abound and inspire. New vegetarians and vegetarians cooking for omnivores will appreciate Bittman’s avoidance of faux meat products in favor of flavorful high-protein dishes like Braised Tofu in Caramel Sauce and Bechamel Burgers with Nuts. Even owners of the original book will find much new to savor while benefiting from Bittman’s remarkable ability to teach foundational skills and encourage innovation with them, which will help even longtime vegetarians freshen their repertory. (Oct.)
Make it meatless
Mark Bittman, the fabulous food columnist for the New York Times and cookbook author extraordinaire, doesn't shy away from the grand and comprehensive. His award-winning How to Cook Everything, published almost 10 years ago, was hailed as a "more hip Joy of Cooking," and has become the go-to cookbook for millions. Now, Mark has gone meatless and given us another essential: How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food. He's not a vegetarian and he's not here to convince you to become one, but he appreciates how important it can be to increase the proportion of non-meat products we eat. "And," he says, "the only way to do that is to make vegetarian meals both appealing and satisfying, whether you choose them once in a while or every day." And that, in turn, can be accomplished with this new, incredibly comprehensive cookbookmore than 2,000 recipes for salads, soups, stews, casseroles, pasta, rice, beans, drinks and dessertswhich offers the basics of cooking every vegetable, fruit, grain, legume and dairy product that you can find. Eating vegetable-centered meals, with less dependence on meat, has never been easier or more fun.