In My KitchenAward winning chef and author, Deborah Madison, presents one hundred new and favorite recipes in her book In My Kitchen. Drawing on many years of experience Madison’s recipes reflect both her love of vegetables and her understanding of how to bring out the best in every ingredient she uses. She has fine-tuned her recipes so that they are healthy and simple to make yet can easily be modified to reflect the creativity of the cook without losing the essential goodness of the dish.

The recipes are arranged alphabetically by key ingredient starting with artichoke and scallion sauté over garlic-rubbed toast and ending with zucchini pancakes with feta and dill. In between we find such wonders as shaved fennel salad with fennel blossoms, fronds, and pistachios, masa crepes with chard, black beans, avocado and pickled onions, and tomato and roasted cauliflower curry with paneer. The recipes are primarily vegetarian but vegan and gluten-free ones are included and many of them can be modified to meet the requirements of restricted diets. Most of the ingredients can e found in large grocery stores but some like orach, manouri cheese, and blister peanuts might be challenging.  Each recipe has an introduction that includes stories from Madison’s past experience with the ingredients or whole dish, and tips for cooking and serving, all presented in a way that makes you feel as that you are standing in Madison’s kitchen as she cooks. A list of ingredients and clearly written directions follow, with a large photograph of either the main ingredient/s or the finished dish.

The variety of recipes and ease of cooking make this book a gem. Madison gives a contemporary flare to each recipe, old or new, while also respecting the healthfulness of the ingredients. Although most of the recipes can be either a side or a vegetarian main course, they are difficult to access by category (breakfast, lunch etc) which is no problem if you are reading the book for pleasure. Every picture is a delight but I for one would like more photographs of the completed dish. If you are interested in exciting vegetable dishes this is an excellent choice.

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By Karen