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The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen [Hardcover]

Peter Berley , Melissa Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 7 2000

Peter Berley's mission is to show how the simple act of cooking food can enliven your senses and nourish your life--from going to the farmer's market and outfitting your kitchen with the simplest, most useful tools to learning techniques and sharing meals with friends and family. The much-admired former chef of Angelica Kitchen, one of New York City's finest restaurants, Berley takes you through the seasons, with more than two hundred sumptuous recipes that feature each ingredient at its peak, including:

  • Summer Corn and Vegetable Chowder

  • Hearts of Romaine with Creamy Miso Dressing

  • Baby Artichokes in White Wine, Lemon, and Herbs

  • Fresh Asian-Style Whole-Wheat Noodles in Dashi

  • Wild Mushroom Stew with Crispy Pan-Fried Tofu

  • Wintry Root-Vegetable Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms

  • Authentic Country French Sourdough Bread

  • Coconut Cream Tart

A cooking teacher for many years, Berley has kept the needs of his students continually in mind in this book. The recipes are written to feature the basic techniques and background information needed to create wonderful meals with fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains. He truly inspires both novice and experienced cooks to understand what they are doing and why, to learn to work with the ingredients, and to apply their skills creatively. This wonderful book brings vegetarian cuisine to a new level.

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From Amazon

Peter Berley was introduced to macrobiotic cooking by a Japanese acupuncturist during the 1970s. His appreciation for this new and, at that time, slightly radical way of eating and cooking led to a career as a vegetarian chef. Berley started simply, hosting small dinner clubs; by 1992, he was executive chef at a strictly vegan restaurant in New York, Angelica Kitchen. In his first cookbook, Berley shares unique color and flavor combinations to demonstrate both the visual and toothsome possibilities of creative vegetarian cooking. But at the heart are the staples. A chapter on salads lists dishes by season--to encourage the reader to take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables. An assortment of bean recipes provides imaginative uses for chickpeas, white beans, black beans, and lentils. Bread recipes are complemented by a variety of tapenades, pestos, and herbed oils. Desserts include the expected pumpkin pie but also temptations such as Pear-Cranberry Crisp and Chocolate Mousse. Through it all, Berley proves that eating the vegetarian way can offer as much in cuisine as it does in health. --Teresa Simanton

From Publishers Weekly

A chef for seven years at the Angelica Kitchen, New York City's hip vegan restaurant, Berley focuses on how the act of cooking can nourish one's life in this (mostly) vegan cookbook. Emphasizing home-cooked meals as opposed to gourmet feasts, Berley articulates the principles and techniques behind each recipe. Based on fresh and seasonally available ingredients, the cookbook reads like a valentine to Berley's grandmother, who cooked and baked using foods from her organic garden. Although dashi, miso and tofu are becoming more familiar to American cooks, other ingredients he calls for, such as spelt, kombu and nabe mono, aren't as well known. It's impossible to appreciate Berley's world without making several special shopping tripsAthere's always that one ingredient you can't get at the grocery store. Berley includes instructions for broths, roll pastas and bake breads using "wild" yeast. Following his recipes to the letter requires tremendous amounts of time, as well as patience. But his recipes reward: Roasted Red Peppers are sweeter and more luscious than anything bottled, Basil-Almond Pesto is sublime for having freshly peeled almonds, and Corn and Vegetable Chowder evokes a perfect summer afternoon. For vegans, vegetarians and interested cooks seeking to explore seasonal vegetarian cuisine, this book is a must have. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I am a non-vegetarian living in a co-op that requires all shared meals to be vegetarian. I found this book on sale at Sur La Table, and bought it to provide me with more ideas for the dinners I cook for my house. After the first few meals that I made that included 2-3 different recipes from this book, it quickly became my FAVORITE cookbook (all genres). I now select this book more often than any other for my house and other dinner parties with non-vegetarian friends. The flavors are rich, the combinations are unique and work very well, and the instructions are easy to follow and provide you with all the info you need, even if you're not a seasoned macrobiotic chef. I give this book a HUGE "thumbs up"! (Some favorites: Creamy Garlic Miso Salad Dressing, Three Sisters Stew (beans, corn dumplings, and winter squash with toasted pumpkin seeds), Eggplant and Seitan Falafel).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just the right amount of detail June 9 2004
As someone who is not trained but is also not afraid to spend the day in the kitchen attempting to make something good or learn some new chemistry techniques along the way this book was a perfect fit. I basically read it straight through as a textbook. There is a very informative intro to each chapter that provides some background info as well as information on techniques and ingredients. There are very few general public kitchen books that have given me this amount of useful information in such little time. I imagine it would be great for vegetarian cooking class. For example you learn how to make your own seitan as well as create a starter for making your sourdough bread. The recipes are all keepers and probably worth the price alone. I'm eating the summer miso now, had some carmelized fennel earlier and just finished a batch of the refried beans which will last me all week. Everything i've made so far i'll keep making over and over again.
My only issue with the book is the index should be more fleshed out. There is nothing worse than trying to find something in a cookbook with chipotle paste all over your hands. #;@]
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Peter Berley's book is an extremely informative, accurate and thorough body of work. At a time when the market is overrun with so many bogus coookbooks, Peter's book stands apart as a "must have" for any Kitchen library. Peter treats Vegetarian and Vegan Cuisine with the respect and reverence it deserves. Like the title denotes, everything about this work is Modern: from it's slick packaging and easy-to-read text, to its no-nonsense prose and enlightened cooking techniques. Berley's book is more than just a collection of incredible recipes; it is a "how-to" guide on cooking that will appeal to established, professional chefs as well as the "weekend kitchen warrior". I am sure that it will serve as a milestone work for Vegetarians and Vegans, but should also impress even the most non-repentent of carnivores. For Vegetarian Chefs it is almost on par with, dare I say, Saulnier's Le Repertoire de La Cuisine. I consider myself qualified enough to make these comments because I worked under Peter Berley for 2 years and I have personally cooked, tested, tasted, experimented with and ingested just about everything in the book. It is a SLAM DUNK!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Culinary Masterpiece Jan. 5 2001
By >>>
If you are fortunate enough to have tasted Peter Berley's masterful creations at New York's Angelica Kitchen, then this book will enable you to step into the chef's shoes and create hundreds of them on your own.
If you've never been to Angelica Kitchen (now or during the 7 years when Peter was executive chef), then this book will be a revelation -- a truly inspired, lucid, and masterful handbook for preparing what is arguably the best-tasting, healthiest cuisine in the world.
While many vegetarian cookbooks (and most vegetarian restaurants) seem stuck in a 1970's time-warp, Peter has created a cuisine which is truly modern, because it is so far ahead of most anything currently practiced -- yet at the same time is accessible, sensible, and practical.
The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen is a must-have for any level of cooking skill, and for any kitchen (vegan, vegetarian or not).
My only regret is that Amazon's rating system has a maximum of 5 stars.
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A few months ago I was a total 'newcomer' to the world of vegetarian, vegan and macrobiotic cooking. The whole idea of starting on this new culinary journey was very overwhelming. Now, thanks to this wonderful book from Peter Berley I can say that this culinary journey is turning out to be spectacular and is opening up some amazing new paths into some of the most delicious foods out there that really need to be investigated by any serious cook - be it vegetarian or carnivorous. Peter's recipes very easy to follow. The diagrams and explanations of how to prepare food are wonderful, simple and uncluttered. EVERYTHING that I have made out of this book has been a success. Peter has a knack of adding that certain 'je ne sais quoi' to recipes to make them taste totally yummy. You'll want to make it again and again. If you are looking for the ultimate vegetarian cookbook, then look no further. You won't be disappointed! IT'S BRILLIANT!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful - even for a non-vegetarian Nov. 19 2000
I am not a vegetarian but like to eat that way some times because it seems like it should be healthier. But I've been disappointed in a lot of the vegetarian food I've tried. Luckily, Peter Berley has a great philosophy about food: Healthy eating is also the most pleasurable eating. Hey, that works for me and this book delivers. I've prepared quite a few of the dishes here for friends and the food has always been well received.
A lot of the ingredients used in vegetarian cooking were a mystery to me. They have strange names and I didn't know how to prepare them. What's the difference between tofu and seitan? And what is seitan anyway? This book uncovers many of these mysteries. It's all there and well written.
This is one of those cook books that will be stained with food very quickly. Highly recommended.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource
This book is a fantastic resource, covering a vast breath of vegetables. There are a lot of recipes in here and all that I have tried have been delicious (except the seitan which I... Read more
Published 19 months ago by A. Soares
5.0 out of 5 stars great!
i'm chef too and this is one of best books and best recepies i ever tried
Published on Dec 27 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars If 6 stars were an option, this book would rate it
This is the ultimate cookbook for anyone who loves the art of cooking and is willing to bond with food in order to create delicious labors of love. Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2002 by Rachel C. Teuer
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter is a culinary God
I previously rated this book 4 out of 5 stars, but I've decided that was wrong. This book deserves every star I can give! Read more
Published on April 10 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any culinary enthusiast
Peter Berleys new book is a godsend. Not only for vegetarians and vegans, but for any chef who wants to meet the demands for healthy cuisine in the mainstream. Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2000 by Frank Giannantonio
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! The bible for vegetarian cooking!
Whether your a vegetarian for life or for the weekend, the recipes in this book are sure to please everyone. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2000 by Michael Perrine
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Teacher, Excellent Book!
I have taken cooking classes from Peter Berley, and I anxiously awaited the release of this cookbook. All of his recipes are easy to follow and absolutely DIVINE! Read more
Published on Sept. 14 2000 by Deb Walter
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