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4.6 out of 5 stars27
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: HardcoverChange
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2009
This is basically the only vegetarian cookbook you will ever need and it is a fabulous resource. This hefty, well-produced tome contains recipes for absolutely everything, divided into types of vegetable so you can easily find recipes for whatever you have in the house. It doesn't exactly take a chatty tone, but the recipes are well-written and the selection is huge. Every recipe I've tried has been of a consistently high standard, even when I thought it sounded a bit odd before I made it.

Yes, it's so comprehensive that there are bound to be recipes you don't use - I just don't buy certain vegetables. But if I ended up with a sudden glut of something or other, I would know where to look to find out what to do with it!

Unlike many cookbooks, you can just tell that every recipe in here has been tested, retested and refined - the instructions and clear and specific and everything I've ever made from it has turned out brilliantly on first try. A top choice for dinner party food - I get lots of compliments when I made things from here.

On the downside, this isn't a very well-illustrated cookbook and there aren't many photos. That said, the recipes really do speak for themselves and the lack of photos means that the recipes are really packed in - it's a very in-depth resource.

It's interesting to note that the title of this book has changed from Leiths Vegetarian Bible to Leiths Vegetable Bible. I guess that this is meant to reflect the fact that, although all of the recipes are vegetarian, this is a fantastically comprehensive, reliable and sophisticated resource for lovers of all things vegetable - whether you're a vegetarian or not!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2010
First a plaudit for Amazon. The delivery driver left the book in our porch - in the rain. The packaging got damp and that warped the pages. I filled in the returns section on the Amazon website and a replacement arrived the following morning. Outstanding service.

And an outstanding book. This was originally published as Leith's Vegetarian Bible, but had a name change and cover redesign, probably to disassociate itself from the brown rice and sandals types. (No offence intended!)It is packed with recipes, all conveniently grouped into types of vegetables. So, if you have a glut of beans, or your supermarket is selling off tomatoes cheaply, for instance, just turn to the appropriate section and you'll find a shedload of recipes, reflecting a wide range of cuisines.

However, unlike most of today's crop of cookbooks, this one doesn't have loads of arty photos of celebrity chefs. There are no amusing stories or anecdotes, and very few photographs of dishes. What you get is a list of ingredients followed by a method, and that's it. But, every dish I have tried so far has worked out perfectly. I believe all the recipes have been thoroughly tested, so that if they work in Pru Leith's kitchen, they're probably going to work in yours and mine. And there are loads of them.

You don't have to be a vegetarian, this is a book aimed at people who like eating vegetables and want to prepare them in new and interesting ways. If that describes you, buy it now!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2011
I'm so pleased that I bought this book! I borrowed it from a friend initially, tried 3 or 4 recipes & all worked a treat. I have lots of veggie cook books (I'm vegetarian but cater periodically for meat-eating friends) & this is the best yet. Everything I've tried since buying the book has worked really well & earned lots of appreciative comments.

I wanted to be inspired again, to be able to search for recipes containing a certain vegetable, to be able to trust that the recipes would turn out well, taste great & appeal to non-veggie friends. This book fulfils all these & more.

The flavours are different from those I normally put together, making cooking an exciting adventure again. Who could resist 'red pesto risotto with caremelized onions', or 'beetroot, coconut & lime soup'? What about spicing up boring turnips with 'caremelized turnips with orange & horseradish'? Even the puds are deliciously different - 'bruleed pineapple with coconut sables', 'camembert toast with warm grape sauce' or 'pink grapefruit cheesecake'. Real cordon vert!

There's also a helpful section on 'basics' - pastry, sauces, stock etc. in all shapes & forms.

Every friend I've shown it to has browsed through the recipes saying things like "Oh, that sounds great" or "I must have a go at that". Being a keen gardener, I love the fact that I can search in the index under any veg I have a glut of & find plenty of interesting recipes. Of course, it's not just vegetables either, so you can also search under e.g. rice & find lots of options. Plenty of the recipes are vegan-friendly too, proving that vegan food doesn't have to be bland.

I momentarily hesitated at the price, but would say that it is definitely worth the money, particularly at Amazon prices. I've used little else since buying it.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2009
I'm totally new to cooking and I've had this book now for a couple weeks and I love it but a couple things are starting to bug me.

I've made 12 or so dishes, 2 have been amazing and I'll make them again without hesitating, the rest have been well above average in taste and flavor.

For the most part the recipes are very well explained and are easily followed. Specifically the Index is amazing and makes the book very useable.

There is just the right amount of information, so you feel informed but not stupid. It's definitely written for the intelligent reader.

Unlike the BBC Food recipes which are all 3-4 steps the recipes in here are varied in complexity, which I really like. Some days you want something simple with 4 ingredients that will take 15 minutes other days you have an afternoon and want to make something more complex. I really like that variety in this book.

On the other side of positive...

Almost every third recipe has one "exotic" ingredient. Meaning there's always something I can't find in the local shops and I have to make substitutions. Swish Chard, Lovage, Borage being a few off the top of my head.

Not all the recipes contain serving sizes (such as the Spinach Gnocchi on page 53). Some recipes contain the information in the last step, "divide into 4 plates" etc, and most commonly they are

Some recipes contain mistakes or omissions (The butternut squash risotto with toasted walnuts and deep-fried sage on page 365 calls for an onion but nowhere in the recipe does it tell you that you have to chop it)

There is no calories per serving information in any of the recipes.

None of the recipes give you any idea of how long it's going to take to make them.

Overall this is my favorite cook book and I make something out of it almost every day.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2009
This is by far the best vegetarian cookbook I have bought and it never makes it out of the kitchen. All recipies are in print you can read easily from the counter without having to pick the book up every 5 minutes It has also got the only falafel recipe i have found that doesnt disintegrate instantly in the pan! a book to be used every day and a veritable find. love it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2011
This book is comprehensive, easy to understand, and at times inspired.

Its main strength is the way it is organised, grouping recipes with similar ingredients, rather than 'starters' 'mains' 'light bites' etc. Often setting out to cook one thing can lead to cooking another on the same page, or pencilling it in for the future.

Some of the recipes do require a decent basic knowledge of cookery, but the appendices would explain how to make common sauces, etc for those who are relatively new to cooking.

Would recommend this to anyone who enjoys home cooking, vegetarian or otherwise.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2011
I bought this book 9 months ago, a little underwhelmed by the lack of photographs. How misleading my first impressions were. I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years, & it is head and shoulders above any other cookbook I have ever used. I needed a boost to restart my cooking life, as I've been diagnosed as coeliac, & need to prepare fresh food every day.
I have tried about 30 recipes, with just 1 that I wouldn't cook again. Meals are varied, tasty, fun to cook & the book is well set out to help you use whatever you like as a base ingredient, depending on season or availability. Despite having a full time job, I've been able to incorporate recipes from this book into my daily routine with ease.
Some reviewers have correctly noted that the book often gives no idea of the number it will feed or the overall time involved. This is true, though I've invariably noticed that the meals feed 4 & you just to need to plan carefully to work out timings.
Highlights? Well going on family & friends' reactions I'd say Vegetable Jambalaya, Macaroni Bake (not at all what you might imagine it's going to be), Sweet & Sour Tofu & Oriental Spiced Halloumi Salad.
Highly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2009
Now I'm not a veggie, but I have friends who are and I brought this as a present recently for one of them. I've had a copy for years now and I use it all the time. As with all of the Leith's Bibles the recipes are clear, easy to follow and, more importantly, they work. If you're looking for a vegetarian cookbook you really won't go wrong with this, it's got everything you could possibly want and will take you some time to work your way through it to try out all the recipes. If you're someone, like me, who entertains a lot and often gets stuck on producing something different for your veggie friends it's a really handy book to have on the shelves. Oh, and the Onion Marmalade Cheesecake is stunning, I often cook it for parties as my contribution to the food and it always, always gets comments about how amazing it is. I have over 200 cookbooks (I cook a lot!) but if I had to get rid of most of them, I'd keep only my range of Leith's Bibles on the shelves.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2009
I've accumulated a good few cookery books over the years but The Vegetable Bible is easily the best and most comprehensive. The range of dishes is astonishing, the recipes are clearly explained and so far they have all been delicious. If I was only allowed to keep one recipe book this would definitely be my desert and (dessert)island choice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2009
This book is fabulous! I have a large collection of cookery books, but this is the one I mainly use now. Every recipe I've done so far has been delicious, with easy to follow instructions that work. Pity there aren't more illustrations, and an index with recipes divided up into main meals/starters etc would have been useful, but the index by ingredients is really good.
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