1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
You don't have to be a Vegetarian to enjoy this,
This review is from: The Vegetarian Option (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Quite often I choose a Vegetarian dish in a restaurant because it looks more appetising than the normal carnivore options.
Meat and fish are becoming very expensive in the shops these days and most weeks we only use them a couple of times, so this (2009 edition reviewed) book seemed to be a good choice.
The introduction is useful, and I recommend it is read first for one to gain the full benefit from the rest of the book. The presentation is immaculate throughout, with a clear layout in sections grouping related recipes, type just big enough for relaxed reading, while still managing to keep to one or occasionally two recipes per page.
Each recipe has a clear title, a block of the larger text describing the method, a side column listing the ingredients, and a footnote with some comments, alternatives, thoughts, random extras. Pictures of appropriate size are only added when relevant, allowing the maximum room for the text. The contents table and separate index work well and are useful.
Not all of the recipes are to my taste, but there are quite a few new to me that look very appetising and I can't wait to try them. Several more are very familiar, and we found ourselves agreeing he was offering the best way to do them. For example, his way of making a clear bouillon is so simple but so tasty; essentially, one cooks it in a sealed preserving jar, and this has the advantage one can do a batch and keep some sealed jars of it for a reasonable time.
Sometimes the grammar suffers from long sentences and strange punctuation, and it makes more sense when read out aloud. But that is my only quibble on the presentation. Generally, it easy to read and anything but boring.
So why only four stars? There are some brilliant recipes here, and several are new and exciting to all four of us who cook in this house, but quite a few are distinctly unappealing. However, other more truly vegetarian gastronomes may well have different tastes from us.
On balance, this is an excellent book both on presentation and content, and well worth a careful study.
You might also want to consider The Seasoned Vegetarian by Simon Rimmer and Prue Leith's Vegetarian Cookery Book for a greater variety of more useable recipes.
Addendum. 28th November 2009.
After the first three standards I cooked before writing the review, we've now tried a different new recipe approximately every two days. All have worked as promised in the book and turned out to be delicious, and each was easy. However we've not plucked up enough courage to try any of the unappealing ones! So my opinion of the book is unchanged - definitely worth a try.