The key to successful vegetarian cooking is blending intriguing flavors and interesting textures with balanced nutrition. Don't worry about the absence of meat--you'll never miss it with these flavorful recipes. With over 20 cookbooks to her name, Martha Rose Shulman really does know the best vegetarian recipes. "A good recipe ... is one that both a beginner and a seasoned cook can follow with consistent results," says Shulman. "And those results must be enticing, pleasing to the palate, with familiar but evocative flavors."
An introduction to vegetarian cooking, instructions on how to follow a recipe, and a list for the well-stocked pantry lead into the chapters "Spreads, Dips, and Condiments," "Salads, Soups, Eggs, and Cheese," "Grains and Beans," "Pasta and Pizza," "Vegetable Side Dishes, "Stews, Stir-Fries, and Gratins," "Tofu," and "Desserts." Start with a Spicy Red Pepper Spread on crostini followed by an Arugula, Pear, and Walnut Salad. For the main dish, serve Farfalle with Asparagus or maybe Pizza with Summer Squash, Goat Cheese, and Herbs. Round out the meal with Citrus and Date Gratin or the light Lemon Sorbetto.
The recipes in The Best Vegetarian Recipes are clear and easy to follow, plus Shulman tells you how far in advance you can prepare them and how long they will keep in the fridge. She uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry but maybe haven't tried together (Mashed Potatoes with Kale). Vegetarian or not, this would be a great addition to any cook's kitchen. --Dana Van Nest