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Savory Way [Paperback]

Deborah Madison
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jun 1998
A personal collection of more than 300 elegant recipes, The Savory Way presents Deborah Madison's innovative style of vegetarian cooking.  The recipes are flexible and forgiving and fit into her philosophy of cooking.  Some are quick fixes, designed to quell an urgent appetite; others are more leisurely affairs.  Some are low-fat; others, more decadent.  All allow for substitutions.  Using fresh fuits and vegetables, spices, flavored vinegars and oils, edible flowers, salsas and cheeses, she creates a vegetarian palate that is sophisticated and healthful. From soups to salads, sandwiches to crepes, breads to sweetmeats, The Savory Way reflects Deborah Madison's personal brand of contemporary vegetarianism.


Product details

  • Paperback: 444 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (1 Jun 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767901665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767901666
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 17.8 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,901,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vegetarian with no pretense 26 Aug 2001
Format:Paperback
The recipes in this book make no reference to nut loaf, vegetarian sausages or any sort of faux meat products like soy mince, for which I am profoundly grateful. Not myself a vegetarian, I see no reason why veggies should pretend to eat meat.
These recipes are really interesting ways of cooking whole meals, from bread to pudding. The dishes are satisfying, tasty and unusual (the white bean and potato soup is surprisingly good.) No one, even an omnivore like me, will miss animal products in the recipes. The true tastes of vegetables are brought out and combined.
The recipes are, at least in my copy, set out with US measurements, and some of the ingredients are given American names, but don't let that deter you. Put this book with the best of your cookery volumes.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of three must-have vegetarian cookbooks 10 Mar 2003
Format:Paperback
Fields of Greens, Greens and The Savory Way are the three vegetarian cookbooks linked to the classic San Francisco vegetarian restaurant 'Greens' - recipes to inspire and that work - these three books totally dispel the grim lentil loaf image of vegetarian cookery. My copy of the Savory Way is falling apart and spattered with cooking stains because I use it so often.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wonderful way to cook 1 Dec 1999
By Gillian Britt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Savory Way is a wonderful vegetarian cook book without being noticeably vegetarian. I have been working my way through the cook book since I received it as a gift in September '99 and have yet to discover any bad recipes. Some I've even made twice. The recipes are easy to follow and don't require very unusual ingredients. I would recommend this cook book to anyone interested in cooking good food that is not ordinary.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very savory cuisine (and it's vegetarian!) 12 July 2000
By F. Pereira - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book contains one of my all-time favorite recipes - Cold Noodles with Peanut Sauce. I have yet to make (or taste) another peanut sauce as good as this one.
The recipes are easy to follow, although some of the ingredients are difficult to get!
Overall, this book offers elegant and savory recipes for all levels of cooks, and I recommend it to anyone wanting to make a special meal.
46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Culinary Source for Vegetarians and Others 2 April 2005
By B. Marold - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
`The Savory Way' is an early (1990) book from leading vegetarian cookbook author, Deborah Madison so, as Ms. Madison has a new book on the way, I thought it was high time for me to catch up with her body of work so I can give an informed review of how her new volume fits into her other books.

Ms. Madison is a former colleague of Alice Waters and Lindsey Shere at Chez Panisse who specializes in a very general way, like Mollie Katzen and Madhur Jaffrey, on dishes that fit into a vegetarian lifestyle. Note that the term `vegetarian', especially as used by these three authors, is extremely misleading, as it is much more appropriate to say that they construct meals of everything under the sun except meat, fowl, fin fish and shell fish. Both Madison and Jaffrey make extensive use of milk, cheese, yoghurt, and eggs.

Madison's objective in this book is, in fact, to cover as broad as possible a survey of what can be done without using animal flesh. The book's title may be a bit misleading to some foodies in that `savory' is often one of the words used to divide dishes in two great groups of `savory' and `sweet'. This book in fact includes two rather long chapters on sweets.

A first look at this book shows lots of headnotes to the many recipes. The first thing you need to know if you are put off by `chatty' recipe books is that these notes are almost exclusively devoted to an understanding of the cooking involved with the recipe and how to get the best results from your ingredients. While little stories about the historical provenance of a recipe may interest many, including myself, that is not what this book is about. On top of this, I firmly agree with the blurbed opinion from Mollie Katzen who compliments both her cuisine AND her writing. Almost all professional culinary writers are pretty good, or have an excellent copy editor at work on their prose, but Ms. Madison is a food service professional who writes very well. I often wish the soon to be beknighted Jamie Oliver had a bit more talent with words, as I find his books so comforting in spite of the heavy contribution from his editors.

The very first attraction of the book is its Table of Contents, which lists every single recipe title in the front of the book. This is doubly useful in that this relatively long book divides recipes into chapters covering eleven different types of dishes suitable for just about any time of the day, including a good selection of recipes very good for breakfast. The eleven recipe chapters are:

Quick Bites with 40 pages of recipes for sandwiches, toasts, and spreads.

Salads to Start or Make a Meal with 42 pages

Soups and Stews with 50 pages of thick, thin, and pureed soups, including a new one with my favorite fall ingredient, chestnuts.

Eighteen Quick Pasta Dishes for Five and Company, 32 pages

Stovetop Vegetables, 27 pages of sautes and braises.

Baked and Roasted Vegetables, 25 pages with ratatouille, gratins, tians, and other goodies.

Grilled Vegetables and their Sauces, 11 pages with two to six sauces per grilled dish.

Down to Earth, 26 pages on Rice, Potatoes and Beans (although beans appear throughout all chapters!)

Morning Foods for Day and Night, 26 pages of Eggs and Cheese and Cereals and Breads.

Finishing Touches, 31 pages of sauces, salsas, condiments, dressings, pastes, and you name it.

Desserts, 45 pages on Fruit Dishes, Cream Cheeses, Pastries, and Custards

Sweetmeats, 12 pages on sweet pastes, peels, syrups, dried fruits, and other dessert dressings.

Every recipe I examined is relatively simple to prepare with fewer expensive or rare ingredients than you may find with Jaffrey or Jack Bishop, and great tips on understanding the recipes and the ingredients.

The appendix is just right for the occasional home cook who is lost in the forest of equipment you can find in a first rate kitchen supply store such as the second floor at Zabars. Ms. Madison puts it all in perspective by highlighting all my favorite tools such as gratin and tian pots, the mortar and pestle, a few good knives, the food mill and the pizza stone and peel. The chapter on the pantry has lots for the novice and a few good tips for the foodie, such as the fact that Mexican olive oils can be very spicy. Possibly the best items in the Appendix are the lists of dishes for special purposes such as entertaining, feeding large groups, and fitting into a low fat diet (note that for the number of recipes in this book, this low fat list is surprisingly short).

The list of sources is short with no Internet sites provided, but I recognize that virtually all of these vendors are still in business. The bibliography is also brief, but hits all the right titles, especially Joy Larkcom's excellent `The Salad Garden'.

This book is a great resource for `liberal' vegetarians who simply eschew meat. I would add this to Madhur Jaffrey's `World Vegetarian', Peter Berley's `The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen', and Jack Bishop's `The Complete Italian Vegetarian' to create a great core vegetarian library. I cannot at this time compare this to Ms. Madison's other books, as this is the first I have read, although I sense many of her more recent books have a narrower scope, focusing on vegetable dishes. I plan to review her other books in the next few days.

Highly recommended for both vegetarians and foodies in general.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good vegetarian cookbook for foodies 8 Mar 2004
By Brenda Jo Mengeling - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Savory Way by Deborah Madison is a vegetarian cookbook that focuses on flavorful, interesting dishes. The few I have tried have turned out well, but there are some caveats to the book. First, Madison relies heavily on very fresh and hard-to-get ingredients, which is great but not very practical if you don't have a big herb and vegetable garden in your yard. Second, although the directions are complete, she does assume that she is writing for "intermediate" or advanced cooks. Beginners might be confused as to appropriate end points to some of the steps. Third, this is not the cookbood for you if you are new to vegetarian cooking or simply cooking a lot of vegetables. For example, there are only two recipes for fresh asparagus and no instruction on the basics of cooking any vegetable (I'm sure that is her other cookbook). If you want some specialty, delicious vegetarian recipes for any meal or course, this is a good cookbook. For basic vegetarian cooking, you should look elsewhere.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great cook shares her recipe notebook 5 Dec 2011
By ThirstyBrooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Deborah Madison, Author of The Greens Cookbook, wrote The Savory Way from her collection in an old notebook. Collections like this will contain a lot of random hits and misses, and your idea of a hit may easily differ from mine. Madison has been a professional cook for years, so her collection contains a much broader base than that of most cooks.

Madison writes descriptively, both about the food and about how to prepare each recipe. Her flexible, uncomplicated recipes demonstrate good flavor balance as written and are robust enough to support further innovations by creative cooks.

I rate cookbooks by the number of valuable recipes in them. This book contains about 400 recipes, of which about 50 caught my eye. And many others that seemed just OK may turn out great.
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