Most helpful critical review
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2011
Having had Rose Elliot recommended as a good authority on vegetarian cooking, I was somewhat disappointed with this book.
It would be a good buy for people starting a vegetarian diet, or vegetarians learning to cook, as it is very basic and, for me, overly simple. A fair few of the recipes are simply vegetarian versions of meat dishes, which I would think was common sense (vegetarian sausages and mash, for example), slight twists on basic dishes (a 'luxurious' mac and cheese, which is as standard but with the addition of tomatoes and boursin cheese. Hardly ground-breaking). An over-reliance on butter is also prevalent, and Elliot often fails to note that the hard cheeses she recommends are not vegetarian as standard.
The problem isn't that the recipes are bad; they are simple, solid, comfortable recipes for general cooking, but with many of them I felt that I could just have easily have searched the web and immediately found recipes that were just as good (e.g. nut roast, leek and potato soup, or the aforementioned mac and cheese). Or gone to the supermarket and picked something, thought what to put with it, and reach a similar conclusion as Elliot (avocado with raspberry vinaigrette, vegetable soup).
If you'd like to learn the basics of vegetarian cooking, and cooking in general, this book is for you. If you have already graduated to Ottolenghi and the like, don't bother.