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The Modern Vegetarian: Food Adventures for the Contemporary Palate Paperback – 16 Sep 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Kyle Cathie Limited (16 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906868808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906868802
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 1.2 x 23.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 873,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'In this exciting and inspiring new book, the vegetable is king. But this is not simply a book for vegetarians, as the recipes have enough flavour, balance and even dose of decadence to keep meat-eaters interested and fulfilled too.' BBC Good Food Magazine

'Bag a copy of Maria Elia's 'The Modern Vegetarian' which has more than 120 recipes to wake up your palate.' The Times

'The menu is that ubiquitous modern English that has colonised every dining room East of Tottenham Court Road: short and well made, and austere with treats...we were happy with the food.' A.A. Gill

'This savoury pastry (bakava) from The Modern Vegetarian is set to impress.' Channel 4 Food

'Not just for vegetarians who are bored with cooking the same old thing, but interesting enough to inspire the meat-eaters who might cook for them. One for aspiring or experienced cook.' --The Independent


The menu is that ubiquitous modern English that has colonised every dining room East of Tottenham Court Road: short and well made, and austere with treats...we were happy with the food. --A.A. Gill (The Times Restaurant Review) on The Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room with Head Chef Maria Elia

Bag a copy of Maria Elia's 'The Modern Vegetarian' which has more than 120 recipes to wake up your palate. --The Times

The menu is that ubiquitous modern English that has colonised every dining room East of Tottenham Court Road: short and well made, and austere with treats...we were happy with the food. --A.A. Gill (The Times Restaurant Review) on The Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room with Head Chef Maria Elia --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Brought up under the stove at her Greek Cypriot father's restaurant in Richmond, Maria's love of cooking has grown into a passion that has led her to travel the world including a season at El Bulli under Ferran Adrià. She has worked in Italy, America, Australia and Spain, and these international influences are reflected in her cooking style, which she demonstrated to great acclaim as head chef at Delfina's in London. Maria is a contributor to Food and Travel, Olive and Waitrose Food Illustrated. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Inside This Book

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A really excellent vegetarian cookbook that I fear will only appeal to a very limited minority - those who want to cook vegetarian food and have also got the talent, ability and desire to cook complex, sometimes difficult dishes using a large number of ingredients.

First off, it should be said that the recipes in this cookbook are really pretty remarkable.

Beautifully photographed, this book is a joy to read and I would happily leave it lying around on my coffee tables for everyone else to skim through with hungry appreciation.

Some of the recipes that particularly appealed to me were Watermelon Gazpacho in Thai Style; Lemongrass and Sweetcorn Soup with Creme Fraiche; Mushroom, Beetroot, Mozzarella with a Lentil Cartouche. I wasn't so keen on the idea of the Griddled Radicchio and Strawberry Risotto, but maybe it is amazing too. Hopefully this gives you a sense of the adventurous, exotic nature of the recipes in this cookbook!

With that said, personally I found the recipes so complex that I don't think I will be attempting to cook from this book often. They are the kind of food I would be absolutely delighted to be served in a restaurant, but which I probably wouldn't get around to preparing myself unless it's for a very special occasion where I want to wow my guests. For example, the opening dish of Carrot Pancakes with Houmous and a Feta Salad looks delicious but there are 36 separate components! Don't be put off - it's not that the recipes involve difficult techniques, and they are explained clearly and well. It's more the quantity of ingredients involved - just not things you would have hanging around in your kitchen cupboards. For me, getting all of the ingredients together would involve a lot of time and expense.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very inventive and imaginative book, with some wonderfully original and mouth-watering ideas. The only criticism I would make is that many of the recipes are very complicated with lots of stages involved - it is definitely not in the "quick and easy / supper in 30 minutes" category !

Really I wish that somebody else would take the trouble to make these lovely recipes for me ! However I will certainly use this book when having a dinner-party or any time when I want to make an effort for a special occasion
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Format: Hardcover
I read more cookbooks, and magazines, than I cook from -- the unused Nigella's and Jamie's are numerous on my shelves -- but this one is truly a revelation.

The recipes are stunning. And unusual. I am eagerly awaiting the next book from Maria Elia.

I am not a vegetarian, but started making more of an effort for friends who are. I bought this book because it looked nice, and was new at the time. I have since bought uncountable copies for various friends -- some are vegetarians, some are accomplished cooks looking for new combinations, some are gardeners looking to use up their produce. It was the Butternut Squash Tagine that did it for me... it is one of the best things I have ever eaten. The couscous is stunning and not cooked in a way that I'm used to...

If you have ever bought a book from Skye Gyngell, Peter Gordon or even Gordon Ramsay or Gary Rhodes, you will identify with this book.

Contrary to other reviews here, and also in contrast to the chefs above, I do not find anything in the book complicated to cook. That said, it is not mindless cooking. You don't need to have particularly good skills, but you do need to plan ahead. The recipes are occassionally lengthy, or the ingredients are out of the normal comfort zone. It has made me pay better attention: watermelon juice is readily available in my neighborhood Tesco! I haven't yet bought fenugreek leaves, but don't think their absence is noted in the absolutely gorgeous Tomato and Coconut Curry (and it is a simple 30 minute supper...).

I have now cooked at length from the book and have found no faulty recipes. I have only found my friends to be somewhat stunned, coming out with comments like 'michelin star cooking'.
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Format: Hardcover
I own many vegetarian cookbooks, but this is the only one where I actually want to try all the recipes. In the two years I've had the book, I have tried more recipes than from any other cookbook I own.
Unlike some previous reviewers, I haven't found the techniques difficult at all. Many of the dishes are very simple ideas, but they pack in lots of flavour.
The author is clearly creative, adventurous and enthusiastic about food and experimenting. Some of the ingredients are a little unusual but not difficult to track down; some come up again and again (feta, watermelon, filo pastry), betraying Maria Elia's roots.
We have tried the watermelon gazpacho (delicious), watermelon, black bean and paneer curry, apple baklava with Turkish delight ice cream (superb), lavender syrup cake, tomato, feta and date baklava, baked feta on a watermelon slab, butternut squash tagine with couscous, white chocolate and lemon brownies (yum), lemongrass and ginger chocolate tart (subtle, rich flavours) and more.
If I have a criticism, it's that the recipes are written by someone who is instinctive about cooking and expects the reader to be as well, so she doesn't always spell everything out. She is brimming with ideas for variations, but I'm not always convinced that she has thought them through, or that the recipes have been thoroughly tested (cooking times especially). Some of them take quite a lot longer to make than she suggests; and watch out, sometimes they're very salty!
But overall, it's an inspiring book and I'm looking forward to cooking many more recipes. By comparison my older vegetarian cookbooks seem full of brown, dull, worthy food.
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