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on 25 March 2016
Not beautifully produced (another printed in China number). Also, not truly vegetarian, which was my assumption with such a title. My main reservation, however, is the American bias in terms of vocabularly and ingredients. There is a weird innocence re products and the kind of variety we are used to in UK, both of which appear to strike Deborah as highly unusual - namely types of yoghourt, fats and spices we are well accustomed to here. She refers to ghee as a totally 'new fat for me'. She hasn't heard of ghee? She says she has lived in Ireland and recommends the very ordinary Kerrygold butter, making no mention of Beurre d'échiré or any of our super English organic small farm butters, say. She does recommend American ones. Under the 'pepper' headline, she remarks that she is no connoisseur of pepper varieties, but approves of freshly ground pepper, a recommendation that is extremely basic to anyone who would shell out the high sum for this book written by a woman known for working with Alice Waters and opening the reputed restaurant Greens, not to mention, it seems, maintaining a career in food teaching and writing and advising. Much of the material on vegetables is interesting, but repetitive. The recipes are interesting, but uninspiring. I would rather this book be a vegetable history companion alone and leave aside the recipes. It wants to satisfy on too many fronts and ends up being hard to use and rather diffuse. And this is not a good book for the European cook's shelf. Very disappointing.
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on 24 February 2014
I have been a huge -- and I mean huge -- fan of Deborah Madison for many years. Her writing is clean and clear and full of passion without being preachy. The first thing you'll notice is that the book is gorgeous. The photography and design are fantastic and the vegetables all look amazing. But it's not a coffee table book -- it begs to be read and savoured. Deborah has brought together an incredible wealth of knowledge about vegetables so I constantly had "I didn't know that" moments which is a very good sign. She focuses on well known and lesser known vegetables and shares her passion so that you too want to get growing (and cooking). I highly recommend it.
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Vegetables are finding their true place in our cooking and eating world. Many df us are eating more vegetables for health reasons, or because we hav given up meat, or, for like most of us, fresh vegetables can be found in almost every market. Most towns and cities have their own farmers markets, and many of us have our own gardens. I am a member of a CSA, Community Supported Agriculture. I pay yearly dues to a farm, and then receive weekly supplies of vegetables. This is wonderful, but what do I don with garlic scapes and how do I cook these vegetables in a new and different maner.

Deborah Madison has assisted me with this fabulous new book that I received for my birthday. Her knowledge of cooking, and gardening has brought great surprises to me. She has a new format for her cookbook, she has written her chapters based on plants within the same family. This is an area that opened my eyes. I never thought about the fact that tomatoes go so well with eggplant. Within each chapter, each vegetable gets its own recipes, growing tips, recommended varieties, bits of kitchen wisdom, and preferred culinary companions. This is a 405 page book on Vegetable Literacy, on cooking and gardening with twelve families from the edible plant kingdom, and over 300 simple recipes.

This all started when Deborah Madison noted the lacy flowers on some of her plants, carrots, parsley , fennel, cilantro, and anise. She wondered if all these lacy flowered plants were related, and she found they were. And, so, she started looking at other plant families and what they had in common. What she discovered is that they could be cooked together for delicious tastes. We receive a simple lesson on plant botany, and then learn how this will new knowledge can be put to taste.

The recipes in this book are so well documented with glorious photography by Christopher Hirshemier and Melissa Hamilton. You will want to start cooking immediately. Page 144 caught my eye, ' Cauliflower with Saffron, Pepper Flakes, plenty of Parsley and Pasta'. Page 190, ' Halloumi with Seared Red Peppers, Olives and Capers'. Page after page of vegetables cooked in a new way. A new method for us to arrange our vegetables, how we cook with them, and how we look at our eating.

This is a book to be savoured, to be read as a book and not as a cookbook. This is a book on Vegetable Literacy, and I have found a new way to look at my vegetables.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 07-14-13
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on 16 November 2014
Forget the Nigella Goddess, but maybe not Claudia Roden, or Elizabeth David - women cooks can be so unpretentious. I remember showing my edition of the Greens Cookbook to my sister. She said, oh no, not another. We have a lot of sorell in the garden, what can I do with it. Looked it up in the index as one does. I am going to get this, she says. This book is brilliant. Apparently, Ottelonghi likes what she does, and is impressed with what she knows - she is remarkably free of spin. I trust what she says, experience has proved her spot on. A lovely book. Meat eaters, please purchase.
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on 6 March 2014
as someone who grew up on vegetables boiled until the point of mercy I have a slight aversion to anything which grows out of the ground. I bought this book to help make vegetables interesting and enticing and I have to say I was very impressed. An encyclopedia of vegetables is perhaps how to best describe it. a great addition to anyone's book shelf.
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on 14 January 2015
I have very many of her books and this one is very good too. Madison gives u delicious, well explained, unfussy food. The botanical info is really good too. This is a different vegetation food cookery book and I would recommend it to any cook, from the novice to the seasoned one.
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on 11 May 2016
Deborah Madison writes beautifully. I borrowed this book of a friend and have since invested myself, plus bought all of her back catalogue. She's highly knowledgable and I use all of her books for reliable reference.
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on 28 December 2013
Really really wordy. It felt in desperate need of an editor. A few pages of solid dense text about a vegetable and it feels like every personal anecdote she has about that vegetable, then a few recipes. Honestly I don't care that some man once wrote you that he likes his Kale plain but that you don't like it plain. Wasted space on similarly thrilling anecdotes. Very few pictures of the recipes.
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on 4 January 2015
great present for new veggie
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on 1 July 2014
great book! very happy
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