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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Ah the lovely Rose Elliot....she is to vegetarian cookery what Mary Berry is to baking and what vinegar is to chips.

This is quite a hefty, solid hardcover book full of tempting recipes, well set out with clear, step by step instructions, and numerous beautiful photographs.

I have one or two grumbles, though....it is a common assumption these days that kitchens are equipped with a food processor. Mine is not and so many of the recipes are just not possible to undertake as Ms Elliot doesn't provide any alternative means to achieve the results. One can only assume that such recipes have been invented since the advent of this piece of equipment.

As a vegetarian of many years,I have often been asked if my diet is expensive. My usual answer is an emphatic No. However, this collection actually involves quite a bit of expense. How many kitchens, for instance, would have in its cupboards rosewater, rice vinegar, umeboshi plums or Toofer dhal? Not many I suspect, unless the owner is entering Masterchef. The list of specialised ingredients at the back of this book runs to three pages! The subtitle "The Ultimate Vegetarian Collection" I suppose is a clue that this is probably aimed at those who have slightly deeper pockets. If I were a novice vegetarian I would find this book a little intimidating so I would suggest, if you fall into this category, try some of Rose Elliot's earlier writings for more basic down-to-earth recipes. There are plenty available......"Not Just a Load of Old Lentils" has been my standby for years.

This is a lovely book, though, and a welcome addition to my collection; can't wait to get shopping and try some of the recipes.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am not a vegetarian but enjoy vegetarian food from time to time, particularly when having people staying who don't eat meat. Last year I stayed for a few days in a vegetarian hotel and enjoyed the food so much that I thought I would like to try some recipes out for myself. When this book came along, it seemed an ideal introduction and so I set to and have since enjoyed some fabulous food which friends and relatives have enjoyed also.

The book is very well laid out with categories covering everyday food such as "Midweek meals", "Al Fresco", "Soups and Salads", and also the more complex menus contained in the sections "Classics with a Twist", "Dinners to Impress", "Parties and Celebrations".

I started with Midweek Meals and found recipes for a wide range of quite simple dinners such as corn fritters with tomato sauce, chunky lentil, onion and chestnut loaf, and three cheese cauliflower with walnuts - all of which are delcious.

Under classics with a twist, I found a tamari flavoured nut roasts which was very good (tamari is a variation on soy sauce and I confess to using low salt soy sauce and being pleased with the result.

The omelette cannelloni with spinach filling was reasonably straightforward and worked out very well.

I have yet to try the other recipes but judging by my first attempts I shall enjoy trying some of them out.

The recipes are laid out well and the instructions are clear and straightforward. The book is very well bound and printed on thick paper - I think it would withstand quite a lot of kitchen treatment. I would say it's a great addition to any recipe book library and would also make a great gift for anyone who likes trying out new recipes.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This review will be rather gushing but I make no apologies. As a vegetarian I feel I have found the culinary version of an oasis after crawling across a relative desert. I have to look after a carnivore and have quite a few cook books with some interesting vegetarian choices but so many seem to think that they can tick a box by throwing in Ratatouille or chick peas with lemon verbena.

Sometimes vegetarian cookbooks are no better. I confess to being an awkward vegetarian. I don't like beans, I am not crazy about Tofu, I will not eat cheese unless it is vegetarian cheese, I can only cope with tomatoes in moderation, celery and pips not at all and I am not that enthusiastic about fruit either. Oh, and I don't like lemon verbena, too many things combined or anything on the menu at an expensive specialist vegetarian restaurant I was recently taken to for a `treat' (sorry, but the chips you bought me afterwards were yummy).

I therefore hope that you will understand that I am difficult to please and it is rare for me to be spoilt for choice. It is thus surprising for me to say that Rose Elliot's collection was simply mouth watering from start to finish. The selection is compiled from two previous offerings: Veggie Chic and Vegetarian Supercook,

Whilst I have been vegetarian for a number of years and have a reasonable repertoire of recipes of my own that I knock up, I was surprised to find so many new dishes that instantly appealed. Some recipes are more challenging than others but there are quite a few simple dishes to suit less experienced cooks.

A few that stood out for me were:

Chestnut stuffed onions with porcini gravy
Dauphinoise roulade with red chard and dolcelatte filling
Mushroom tempura with garlic mayonnaise
Pea, spinach & mint pithiviers
Mediterranean stuffed peppers with cauliflower mash
Mini feta and sun-dried tomato muffins

Recipes range from a simple snack-style toasted camembert baguette to dinner party dishes such as the aforementioned roulade and pithiviers. They are grouped into sections: starters, soups & salads, classics with a twist, midweek meals, dinners to impress, al fresco, parties & celebrations, side dishes and finally (but most importantly!) desserts & cakes.

An easily overlooked 'notes' section prior to the contents listing outlines a few things to watch out for if cooking for a vegetarian for the first time, such as using vegetarian labelled parmesan and other cheeses (many still contain animal derived rennet, particularly those that originate in France).

Good photographs accompany most recipes although disappointingly (as seems usual these days) not all dishes are illustrated. Ingredient lists were clear and instructions easy to follow. Whether you only occasionally cook vegetarian meals or, like me, it is a daily challenge to come up with something new, this book will really hit the spot - and a vegetarian guest will not be disappointed with anything you whip up from this book.
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VINE VOICEon 17 August 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
For those who own either of Elliot's cookbooks, Veggie Chic, or Vegetarian Supercook, it's worth knowing that this book is a collection of recipes selected from those 2 books. My own staple cookbook is Elliot's New Complete Vegetarian, and it is not surpassed, except in the department of sumptuous photography, by this latest "Best of" offering. Having said that, there can never be a downside to having another Rose Elliot cookery book on the shelf!

The Best of Rose Elliot is divided into 9 food sections: Starters; Soups & salads; Classics with a twist; Midweek meals; Dinners to impress; Al fresco; Parties & celebrations; Side dishes; Desserts & cakes. There are also notes on some of the more unusual ingredients which are interesting to read through. Almost all the dishes are accompanied by full-page glossy photographs that add to the pleasure of flicking through and finding something tasty to serve up. As usual with Elliot, the recipes are simple step-by-step processes with a clear list of ingredients and a succinct one or two sentence introduction.

I've tried a few of the recipes. The sweet potato & coconut dhal was lovely, and as mentioned in the book, tastes much better the next day. It would also be great blitzed up as a soup. I was disappointed by the three-bean chilli which lacked the flavour of a personal favourite recipe because it lacked both herbs and spices (only chilli and garlic in Elliot's, compared with cumin, cayenne, allspice, parsley and oregano). I can create a combination of the two recipes but Elliot's should still be good enough to stand alone; here I felt it played safe to the point of being bland. There are plenty of recipes I am looking forward to trying, such as the banana curry, the lemon & almond drizzle cake and the green risotto.

I always find Elliot to be a very companionable presence in the kitchen when I'm cooking, and this book is presented in the same relaxed and accessible style. The finished results are usually on a par with what is expected, and can be obtained by even a novice cook. This book contains a wide range of dishes, from simple flavoured sides (parsnips in sage butter: yum!) to more complex mains (red pepper, ricotta & fennel tortellini with tarragon sauce) that make it easy to find something for almost any occasion. All in all, a lovely book with a satisfying selection of recipes that isn't quite as good as its title suggests.
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on 3 July 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have owned Rose Elliot's classic Vegetarian Cookery since it was published in 1988. That was the first grown up cookery book I ever bought and is still referred to frequently. This new book dispenses with explaining exotic ingredients (we're all more familiar with them these days I think!) filling the pages with fresh and flavoursome recipes and gorgeous pictures. Everything is kept fairly simple with modest ingredient lists and 5 stages or less for most recipes. Most recipes are accompanied by a full page picture so you can see what you are aiming at!

I'm vegan and there are lots of vegan recipes here (around 50% are naturally vegan, and many others can be made vegan with substitutions. It is obvious that Rose has adapted her cooking for the times as everything in this book is fresh, healthy and colourful. No cheese laden pasta here!

The book is usefully arranged into themes - the usual starters, soups, mains, sides and desserts, plus also recipes for dinner parties, al fresco dining, parties. The dessert section is enormous and includes delights such as nectarines roasted with lavender, fig tarte tatin with ginger cream, fruit sushi plate, as well as comfort stodge!

So I shall look forward to working through these recipes over the next 25 years. A great companion to my old favourite.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My first Rose Elliot cookbook was her 30-Minute Vegetarian from last year and it quickly became obvious to me why she has so many fans - several of the recipes from that book have become regular favourites of mine in the past year. I was planning to pick up her earlier cookbooks too so when I noticed this new book, which cherry-picks (hopefully) the best recipes from her earlier Vegetarian Supercook and Veggie Chic, it seemed the perfect next solution - buy one and get two. This book features a wide selection of recipes which aren't in such a hurry as the 30-minute Vegetarian selections, divided into logical sections such as Starters, Soups & Salads and Midweek Meals. Like many vegetarian cookbooks the recipes, or influences at least, come from all over the world but there's a recurring South-East Asian theme (or maybe I just particularly enjoyed those?) with tasty Malaysian, Thai or Indonesian spiced dishes.

One of my absolute favourites from the 30-Minute Vegetarian is the Tomato and Pesto Tart (it's featured on the cover of that book) and its slightly more sophisticated elder brother turns up in this book, in the form of a lovely Tomato, Pesto & Mozzarella Tart - for example the crumbly walnut crust from the 30-minute version becomes crisp home-made walnut pastry. They're both delicious, by the way, just make whichever one you have time and the ingredients for.

The book's layout is simple and clear with most (though not all) recipes illustrated with full page photo's. If you already have the original books these recipes appeared in then of course it's a bit redundant but for catcher-uppers, like me, or as a gift it's a terrific book of varied and really tasty vegetarian food that any competent cook could achieve.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 July 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Rose Elliot has been the doyenne of vegetarian cooking for forty years. My first vegetarian cook book, back in the 1970s, was 'Simply Delicious' and over the years I have bought most of her books. I must admit that I gradually stopped using the books because they became a little 'brown' and old-fashioned. The latest books and the collection of recipes in this book are much more modern, often influenced by the cuisines of the Far East, although some old vegetarian stalwarts are there, albeit generally lighter in style.

This book has taken the recipes from two of her recent books (Veggie Chic and Vegetarian Supercook). As far as I can tell there aren't any new recipes so if you have one of those earlier books you might want to take a look inside before buying.

To give you a flavour of the recipes, starters include Tomato & Parmesan tarts with basil cream, rosemary sorbet, aubergine & mozzarella scallops, lentil & olive pâté with fennel, Vietnamese spring rolls & mushroom tempura with garlic mayo. There is a good range of soups & salads of which my favourites ar creamy fennel soup with gremolata, chilled melon soup with mint granita, and a butterbean salad with chilli dressing.

There is a chapter entitled 'Classics with a Twist' - think Thai-flavoured mushroom stroganoff, tamari-flavoured nut roast, oven-baked ratatouille, lentil shepherd's pie with smoky cheese mash. More main courses can be found in a series of chapters covering midweek meals, dinners to impress and alfresco meals. A few of my favourites are three cheese cauliflower with walnuts; red pepper, ricotta & fennel tortellini; celeriac rosti; lentil cakes in citrus broth; chickpea flatcake with honey-roasted vegetables; pea, spinach & mint pithiviers; halloumi with lime vinaigrette. Other chapters cover party food, side dishes and desserts (white chocolate ice cream with summer berry sauce, cappuccino meringues, coconut & honey ice cream with banana fritters, orange creams with caramel & toffee sauce to name a few).

The photography is good and the recipes pretty reliable. Occasionally there are some more unusual ingredients although I have been able to find most of these in my local Waitrose.
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on 15 October 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The majority of people in this country are not vegetarians, but over the years we've all become aware of the health benefits of eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables. Many of the so-called `superfoods' belong to these two food groups - including beetroot, pomegranates and watercress, to name but three examples.

Additionally we have the government (backed by the advice of nutritionists and health advisors) hammering into everyone the concept of `five-a-day' portions of fruit and veg for a healthy-balanced diet. So it clearly makes sense to follow their advice.

I'm not a vegetarian myself, but would happily become one (provided I was allowed the odd bacon sandwich or beef dinner!) if I was served dishes that look as mouth-watering as the meals in this book.

Well known foodie Rose Elliot is responsible for this volume, which in addition to the very-well detailed recipes provided, also contains a very useful notes section on the ingredients. Here she writes about their health benefits, availability and the best way to buy and store them, among other topics.

It is chunky, beautifully produced, and contains a wealth of full-page photographs of food that is to die for. Clearly a lot of love and thought has gone into the preparation of this lovely book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 14 September 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
it's hard to put into words, but don't really like this book. hard to find inspiration, it's set out like an 80s cookbook. personally the food seems old hat and nothing new. if you want a veggie book go for hugh f-w's veg!!
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A beautifully illustrated cookbook that runs the gauntlet from basic to exotic vegetarian dishes grouped according to every conceivable occasion and mostly confined to a simple 5 stage process. To any carnivore that jokes about vegetarians being confined to eating salad (yawn) simply show them some of the mouth watering diversity contained in these pages and give them food for thought! Be it microwave mainstays or the world of the bizarrely named pudding Rosie has it covered. Unfortunately, not all the dishes are illustrated and neither is there calorific data or cooking times. As such, this book must drop a star, as you may wish to shop around if you really are in search of the 'ultimate' cookbook. Vegetarians on a budget- on the other hand- may wish to find a more practical cookbook that steers clear of high falutin' ingredients they'll never use again. A wonderful addition to any kitchen but not quite up there with the best.
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