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4.3 out of 5 stars
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 6 August 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The late Elizabeth David was an influential culinary writer, who specialised in British and European cooking and was the author of a number of influential books during her lifetime, as well as several posthumous volumes such as this one. She did publish quite a lot of recipes in which vegetables were the principle ingredients, which have provided plenty of source material for this book.

Personally I am not a vegetarian, but I have no problem at all with eating in a vegetarian fashion for some of the time as some vegetarian dishes are delicious. There is a good selection of recipes here which are likely to tempt even the more committed carnivore. The recipes are presented as a short essay with Elizabeth often giving some background to the recipe and then the details of how to make it. Sometimes there is a list of ingredients, and sometimes it is down to the reader to distil this information from the text. Whilst there is a certain charm in reading the original version, it would probably have made for a more user friendly book if the introduction, ingredients and methodology had been sorted out and separated in the fashion we are more used to in our cook books these days. The presentation of the recipes is somewhat inconsistent as they were presumably written at different times and for publication in different places.

This is an interesting compendium of some very simple techniques, such as ways of cooking and serving tomatoes or potatoes. On the other hand there are some much more sophisticated dishes such as Gratin of Rice and Courgettes, and some which are much more complex than one would reasonably expect such as La Soupe au Pistou (vegetable soup). However, there is a great selection and it would be surprising if the reader was not tempted by at least some of these classic recipes.
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on 30 May 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a wonderful cookbook that will be used and cherished for years. It's a collection of Elizabeth David's vegetable recipes and as such it's a brilliant resource for anyone interested in cooking veg. There's a real range of recipes, from grains to soups, pastas to salads and loads more besides. The recipes themselves are simple in execution and range of ingredients. On every page there's something I want to cook, and I don't say that very often. The layout of the recipes is of its age and takes some getting used to (ingredients aren't listed at the start of every recipe, nor are exact quantities), but you get used to it. The photography is gorgeous. Highly recommended.
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on 9 June 2014
Another excellent book in the Elizabeth David range. Even after all this time it is still extremely informative & helpful. A very necessary addition to the kitchen library. The book was well packaged & arrived within good time.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 March 2016
I've always enjoyed Elizabeth David's books. Her recipes are often simple but incredibly tasty, but I really enjoy her anecdotes that are part of her cookery writing. I was lucky enough to find this in a discount store for £4.99 and didn't think twice! It's a stunning hardback and brings together over 100 of her vegetable recipes into a single volume. They were originally published in her French and Italian cookery books published in the 1950's and 1960's, but this edition really brings them to life with fabulous full page colour photos.

Elizabeth David was a talented writer. She had a passion for food, often peasant in origin, and her recipes are filled with insight into culture, literature and history. She inspired an entire post war generation of people, mainly housewives, to think very differently about dull British food. She changed the way people ate and what they expected from a good restaurant meal. She encouraged her readers to follow the principles of the recipe rather than be explicit to th last detail. She was ( and remains) inspirational.

This book is ideal if you're not familiar with her writing or recipes. It's ideal if you love vegetables. It's ideal if you're not keen on veg, because it's filled with tasty ideas and it's ideal if you've read everything she's ever written because this edition is like no other. Seven chapters; soups, salads, side dishes, pasta, rice beans and lentils, mains, breads and desserts. It's a great addition to any collection.
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on 1 July 2013
Perhaps I should have looked more carefully at what I was buying. As books go, it is well presented and with attractive photo graphs. The text material is a compilation from the various books by the late Elixabeth David, books worthy of a place in any collection and of constant reference in the kitchen. Mistakenly, I assumed that it was a reprint of a book on vegetables by Elixabeth David, There is nothing about individual vegetables and how to use them. Instead it is a series of chapters on soups, salads, and so on using vegetarian recipes from Elizabeth David's published works. It even has chapters on bread and desserts. I cannot fault the presentation, but the content is not what I had expected - my fault for being so hasty in my purchase. I may look at it from time to time from the comfort of my armchair. I cannot imagine that it will ever find its way into my kitchen.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Like everyone, I have my likes and dislikes but I'll try most things once (providing they don't include four-legged meat) and I muddle along happily omnivorous most of the time. I enjoy collecting cookbooks and can find something worth trying in almost all of them, even if sometimes they don't quite match my tastes. However I don't think I've ever stumbled into a cookbook that so matches my taste in vegetarian food as much as this one does and I'd happily eat this way every single day - really I aspire to eat like this every day. It's not that the food is particularly fancy, actually it's quite the opposite and seems to follow the Italian (maybe Mediterranean?) attitude toward cooking - get the best ingredients you can and then make something essentially simple with them, letting their actual flavours do the work. In other words make REAL food.

Of course Elizabeth Davis is no longer with us and so these recipes are gathered from her books first published decades ago and maybe that is what makes the difference? In an age of neon-coloured cup-cakes and techno-foods maybe it's just nice to be reminded of how appetising simple foods, made with a bit of care and flair, can be? The overall style is very Mediterranean and/or French Provincial, lots of olive oil and garlic and general yumminess. The layout of the book was disconcerting at first, there are no lists of carefully quantified ingredients alongside the method - most recipes are just a paragraph or two and you learn what's actually in them as you read how to make them. It's a book about cookery, not just a list of recipes, and once you understand that it's actually much more fun - you realise it really doesn't matter how many peppercorns you use, just go make something gorgeous. A real treat.
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on 26 May 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
...a collection of original recipes, peppered with colour.

Following on from At Elizabeth David's Table: Her Very Best Everyday Recipes, we have another superbly produced hardback book with a dash of colour, this time spot-lighting vegetables. This selection is also compiled by Jill Norman - the trustee of the ED estate. She pens the introduction which concludes:

* '...2013 is the centenary of Elizabeth David's birth. I hope this collection of her vegetable dishes, published to celebrate the occasion, will lead readers familiar with her work to discover dishes they had overlooked, and will introduce younger readers to the work of this remarkable woman who did so much to improve British food.'

This is a hardback edition, with dustjacket.
Inside the durable covers, we find 192 quality shiny pages split over main chapters offering a selection of the original recipes with their characteristic vagueness and approximate nature, interspersed with full colour plates, from Kristin Peters, and peppered with Elizabeth's writings affectionately known as 'essays'.

1. SOUPS
2. SMALL DISHES
3. SALADS
4. PASTA, GNOCCHI & POLENTA
5. RICE, BEANS & LENTILS
6. MAIN DISHES
7. BREADS
8. DESSERTS

The recipes are sandwiched between that aforementioned intro and a 4-page index.

Hardly surprisingly, I am hooked at the first plate, well 'dish' to be precise - a Le Creuset one, no less!
Reading through, the layout of the recipes is largely unchanged as they are written in the quaint way that was typical of this era, but there is the inclusion of the odd note or two to bring them into the present, so-to-speak, e.g.:

'Mayorquina', on page 17, which states:

'Today it would be more usual to put the bread into individual soup bowls.'

or:

'Polenta', on page 114, - 'Quick-cooking polenta (Valsugana and other Italian brands are widely available) can be cooked in about 8 minutes.'

or:

'Carrot Soup', on page 18, - NOTE 3 - 'The consistency of the soup depends to a certain extent upon the quality of the potatoes, which makes it almost impossible to give an exact quantity for the stock.'

Other recipes include (title translation most often given):

* Zuppa pavese
* Carrot soup
* Pastenak and cress cream
* Tahina salad
* Aubergine purée
* Leeks with red wine
* Pommes fondants
* Mushrooms cooked in vine leaves
* Piperade
* Lentil salad
* Rice and cucumber salad
* Coriander mushrooms
* Salsa alla marinara
* Pesto
* Pilau rice
* Vegetable risotto
* Fasoulia
* Pumpkin and tomato gratin
* Peperonata
* La truffado
* Gratin dauphinois
* Parmiagiana
* A pizza in the Roman way
* Irish wholemeal soda bread
* Cheese and dill sticks
* Strawberry granita
* Open apple tart
* Spiced prunes

My favourite is good old 'Pasta with Cream Cheese & Walnuts', which is short & sweet...and...a really tasty treat.

For fans of the elegant lady and her writing, this is certainly a colourful and useful addition to the ED bookshelf.
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on 16 April 2015
Beautifully produced compilation of vegetable recipes from one of the first post war cookery writers who brought a blast of Mediterranean sunshine into gloomy post war British kitchens.It must have all seemed like a distant and posh dream then, but now the ingredients are everyday items.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 June 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As a hardback, this looks very good in the kitchen - the photography is wonderful and almost every other page, has an enticing full-colour plate. The recipes are interspersed amongst articles and divided into logical chapters - they are a good size that allows them to be read easily on one page, while cooking, without turning over.

However, this is only a compilation of articles that have appeared before and they vary in style and detail. You don't always get a list of ingredients and some are exceedingly brief. Orange and Celery Salad, for example, is basically a one-liner.

Jill Norman has created this book as a tribute to Elizabeth David on the 100th anniversary of her birth. In this context, it does make sense in showing how her influence has changed the way that we in Britain look at Mediterranean cuisine and the simplicity of these dishes, which contrasts with more traditional views on what is good cooking.

This reminds you of all those articles in the Sunday Times colour supplements during the 70s and 80s. It's not an organised cook book, but I have to recommend it and give it at least 4 stars, for the enthusiasm that comes through in every page.

The photos add a lot, but I also enjoyed the articles. For example the story of discovering "Green Risotto" and how it is based on a wild asparagus that only grows for 10 days in May in the Venetian countryside. This is all about using the best, simple ingredients that would be available locally in Italy, Spain and Provincial France. It's appropriate to focus on Vegetables therefore, as Elizabeth David was "against pretentiousness and fuss " and these recipes epitomise her principles.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Elizabeth David's fame as a food writer was at its height in the 1950s and 60s with such titles as Elizabeth David Classics: "Mediterranean Food", "French Country Cooking" and "Summer Cooking" and French Provincial Cooking. She lived at various times in France, Italy, Greece, Egypt and India - immersing herself in the local cuisine before relaying its essence to the British public through her books.

This volume is a selection of vegetable dishes from across her published works. A sort of green greatest hits.

I find the recipes a little bit dated. They come from a time after all when Britons could only buy olive oil at the chemist, and its principle use was softening ear wax.

David was an incredibly influential food writer and many of today's famous chefs are devotees. Drawing on her source they will have updated her ideas. Her DNA will be found in any book by Hugh, Jamie, Rick or Delia. I would have to say that the books of these modern day followers of Elizabeth might be a better stopping off point for many home cooks. Certainly Hugh's River Cottage Veg Every Day! (River Cottage Every Day) is likely to be of far more value to you. And I am constantly delighted by Alice Hart's Vegetarian.

So if you only buy one book on vegetables it shouldn't really be this one. That is not to downplay her huge importance to the history of opening up the UK's tastebuds, but its a fact I cannot escape. If you are really into cooking and its history and already have a shelf full of recipe books, then by all means have a look at this. It is interesting and it is a nicely illustrated round-up of mostly Mediterrannean cooking.

Another historical factor may also annoy those used to a more modern approach though. There is no list of ingredients and amounts by each recipe. Everything is revealed in the text, but I think many people will miss a clear separate list when assembling the necessary raw materials.

And finally, I like a cookery book to be built for the rigors of the kitchen. It should have a wipeable cover and we able to withstand splats and spatters. But this book, while hardback has a flimsy paper jacket that is more suited to the coffee-table than the kitchen counter.
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