Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen

| February 11, 2012 | 3 Comments

Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen

I love supper. It’s friendly and relaxed. It’s easy to invite people over for supper, for there’s a quality of comfort that isn’t always there with dinner, a meal that suggests more serious culinary expectations—truly a joy to meet, but not all the time. Supper, on the other hand, is for when friends happen to run into each other at the farmers’ market or drop in from out of town. Supper is for Sunday night or a Thursday. Supper can be impromptu, it can be potluck, and it can break

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  1. Shelly Sutherland says:
    163 of 164 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    My favorite cookbook!, November 25, 2005

    I love this book! It is great for exactly what I wanted to do…learn how to cook some fun, vegetarian dishes that even I wouldn’t goof up!

    Every dish that I’ve tried has been a success…that’s saying a lot since my mother’s only cooking lesson was ‘how to heat a can of corn.’

    One thing to mention is that this book is meant to build on Madison’s other cookbooks. It is not meant to be a complete guide for basic family meal planning, just simple yet elegant main dish ideas suitable for casual entertaining.

    With our only child in junior high now, and my husband doing volunteer work, we are up to having about 1/3 the time that a serious cook does for making dinner, and these meals fit right in.

    Most of the recipes I’ve used take about 25-40 minutes to prepare, mostly because I’m really slow at cutting vegetables, finding where I set the teaspoon, etc.

    I guess you can’t see the contents or preface above, so here’s the layout of the chapters:

    1. Savory Pies and Gratins
    2. Vegetable Stews and Braises
    3. Pasta with Vegetables
    4. Crepes and Fritters
    5. Mostly Tofu and some Tempeh
    6. Eggs for Supper
    7. Hearty Cool Weather Suppers
    8. Light Meals for Warm Weather
    9. Supper Sandwiches
    10. Basics (eg, guacamole, peanut sauce, tapenade, warm goat cheese sauce)

    What I really like about this book is she explains things simply enough for a beginner, and uses mostly ingredients that I’ve heard of, but always takes things a step beyond what I’m familiar with, so I’m learning something.

    So if you are a food snob, this book is probably not pretentious enough for you. If you have a large family and don’t feel like getting creative with dinner at the end of the day, and just want something you can throw together fast that will feed several and probably be edible, this book is not for you. But for a family of 3-4, or a couple who likes to have something special a few nights a week, this is just perfect.

    My favorite recipe is one for a couple of eggs cooked over mushrooms sauted in wine and bread crumbs…it’s something I can throw together for myself in just a few minutes when I get home late, and I don’t have to measure anything because you just put in as much of each ingredient as you like…and it tastes so good!

    About the wine recommendations–Not only is it good for your heart, but new research shows drinking red wine on a regular basis may help prevent or delay the onset of alzheimer’s. Since both health problems run in my husband’s family, the suggested wines have been a fun way to incorperate a very healthy habit.

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  2. Eve says:
    61 of 61 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Her best yet, April 19, 2006
    Eve (San Francisco) –

    I adore Deborah Madison; she is my favorite cookbook author. She just makes the kind of food I love to eat. She is the master of rustic, tasty, healthy whole-food recipes, and is better at herbing and zesting the ingredients than any other cookbook author I have come across. Making her food is very satisfying. Somehow she makes everything taste sublime. I will undoubtedly buy any book she writes. That said, this is my favorite of her books so far. The food is just so delicious, and none of the recipes are difficult. If you live anywhere in the vicinity of a great farmers’ market, this is just the book to help you make use of the wonderful produce you can find there. Favorite recipes I’ve tried include Spinach Quesadillas, Yellow Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa, Black Bean Tostadas, Artichoke Fritatta, Masa Crepes with Chard, Winter Squash Lasagne, Whole Wheat Penne with broccoli and green olives, Gnocchi with winter Squash and Radicchio. If I pared down my whole cookbook collection, this book would be one of the 5 books I’d keep. In my opinion, this is also her best looking book so far, since the photos and graphics are much better than in the past. With each recipe, she includes go-withs that are to be found in two of her previous cookbooks. If you are a Madison fan already, you’ll have these books, but since most of these recipes are full meals in themselves, you can also go without. This book is a must-have.

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  3. M. Franz says:
    48 of 50 people found the following review helpful:
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Hit or Miss – but mostly miss…, May 25, 2008
    M. Franz (Georgia) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen (Paperback)

    I own several of D. Madison’s books and have gotten to know her cooking as reliably good, tasty, and easy to make. In fact, I have liked many recipes so much, that I did not hesitate to expand my collection of vegetarian cookbooks by acquiring this volume.

    I am sad to say that the recipes in this book do not live up to Madison’s reputation.

    Since I am an avid cook who tries up to four new recipes every day (usually lunch, dinner, a side dish, and a dessert or breakfast), I have made it a habit to grade recipes so that I can easily access whether making them again is worth it or not. Grades, of course, go from A to F with recipes in this book averaging a rather sorry C-

    All recipes thus far have been easy to make while drawing on ingredients that are either staples in most households or easily found at a local food market, but the vast majority of dishes I have tried from this book have failed to come together into a delicious composition. Instead, I (and my family) find ourselves eating them simply because effort went into their creation and because we don’t believe in wasting food. More often than not, we have failed to even slightly enjoy dishes from this book. Unfortunately, I have made at least one dish that went straight into the compost pile – it was simply inedible. The mere memory makes me wince.

    To make matters worse, the binding of this book seems to be reflective of it’s recipes – it is of rather poor quality. After my first use, the glue along the spine holding the pages in place simply failed. I now own a collection of loose pages. Admittedly, I live in a fairly humid climate but still, other books survive just fine.

    Overall, this book is on the low end of the scale for Deborah Madison’s efforts in vegetarian cooking. I’d advise you to skip it and either purchase one of her other books or go straight to Carol Gelles’ 1000 Vegetarian Recipes – which is infinitely better.

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