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Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen    by Deborah Madison order for
Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen
by Deborah Madison
Order:  USA  Can
Broadway, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Deborah Madison states in Vegetarian Suppers that she loves this mealtime - 'It's friendly and relaxed. It's easy to invite people over for supper, for there's a quality of comfort that isn't there with dinner, a meal that suggests more serious culinary expectations.' She tells us that 'With supper there's a willingness to make do with what's available and to cook and eat simply. It can also be special and beautifully crafted if that's what you want.' Madison, author of the bestselling Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, lists tips to make your cooking simple, tasty, and attractive. And then moves into the meat of the book, with no meat on the menu. This is vegetarian cooking, remember? Which suits me just fine.

She starts with Savory Pies and Gratins. The photo on the first page of this section is enough to make you pick up a fork. Dried Porcini and Fresh Mushroom Tart looks exotically wonderful, while Feta and Ricotta Cheese Skillet Pie looks simple to make and a delight to eat especially with the Zinfandel Madison recommends. Eggplant and Tomato Gratin also seems uncomplicated but the flavor must be marvelous, combining eggplant and tomato. Divine! I've always loved stews and pretty much gave them up when I stopped eating meat. The Vegetable Stews and Braises here have given them back to me. With Brussels Sprout and Mushroom Ragout with Herb Dumplings, Asparagus Ragout, or Ratatouille, I'm back in business.

Pasta has always been a love of mine and there are enough lovely recipes to keep me cooking suppers for a long time to come. Thank you, Deborah. Thanks also for the Crepes and Fritters. They look luscious. These Zucchini Skillet Cakes would rival my daughter's and she's a past master at rustling them up. I'll have to try Lemony Risotto Croquettes with Slivered Almonds, Snow Peas, Asparagus and Leeks. I'm ready to dig in with a glass of the Giacosa Arneis recommended. Mostly Tofu (and some Tempeh) comes next. Don't turn up your nose. Tofu's good stuff. Try it and let me know. There are enough recipes here to make a believer of you. Who could ever turn down Eggs for Supper? Here are a Fried Egg Sandwich, Scrambled Eggs in a Tortilla, or Spinach Frittata. Good any time of year especially in cold weather.

Madison finishes her must-have cookbook with Hearty Cool-Weather Suppers, Light Meals for Warm Weather, Supper Sandwiches, and Condiments and Sauces. Vegetarian Suppers is a real find.

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