Vegetarian cookbooks?
April 18, 2012 11:50 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to suggestions for 1-2 interesting (not necessarily exhaustive) cookbooks that feature vegetables/beans prominently with gorgeous photography that I can work through this summer and next year.

I'm a college student, and a year of unlimited dining hall food (most of which has been vegan) opened my eyes to a lot of new good food, as well as the bad decisions I tend to make. This summer and next year, I will have a kitchen and would like to eat less prepared food and do more weekend cooking and things to feed myself well.

I would like to make myself work through a cookbook or two to make myself try things I wouldn't ordinarily - I have how to cook everything and such at my disposal already, so I'd like something more limited in scope and interesting. Various ethnic cookbooks are generally good, so long as they aren't meat-centric. Right now, I eat almost entirely vegetarian and try to limit dairy, eggs, white flour/sugar and soy protein (the last one is totally irrational I know) - so veggies, whole grains, and beans feature prominently in my diet.

Basically, I'd like a more limited version of Aromas of Aleppo (so highly recommended!). Visual appeal is a huge plus.

Thanks so much for your suggestions!
posted by R a c h e l to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Ottolenghi's Plenty (Amazon link, you can search inside the book to check it out, which I would recommend with cookbooks whenever possible). A few unusual ingredients (almost all of which can be substituted), but tons of beautiful pictures and some seriously terrific recipes. Some recipes involve dairy/etc but not heavily and those can also often be omitted or substituted.
posted by j.edwards at 11:59 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

Supernatural Cooking and Supernatural Everyday are both good, vegetarian, pretty cookbooks that use a lot of veggies and grains. I believe many recipes are vegan or have vegan subs if I recall. They're also from the author of the blog 101 Cookbooks, so you could peruse her photography and cooking style before you decide to purchase them.
posted by itsonreserve at 12:03 PM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

I like Simply Delicious Vegetarian. It provides a gorgeous picture of every recipe.
posted by shoesietart at 12:03 PM on April 18, 2012

It is not exclusively vegetarian, but Heirloom Beans is an incredible bean resource, and, if you're like me, it will make you want to cook and eat beans every day for the rest of your life.
posted by Betty's Table at 12:24 PM on April 18, 2012

Seconding Plenty. Easy recipes and really tasty results. And he has photos of almost every dish, so it's easy to make a visually appealing presentation.
posted by molybdenum at 12:27 PM on April 18, 2012

My favourite cookbook of all time is Tender by Nigel Slater. He has a vegetable garden so he does talk a bit about that, but even if you're not interested in gardening, you'll probably enjoy reading his comments. The recipes sometimes include specific measurements but he encourages people to cook freely or to estimate or to prepare food to their own taste.
posted by cranberrymonger at 12:31 PM on April 18, 2012

Thirding Plenty. I just made this recipe from it and holy crap. SO GOOD.
posted by grapesaresour at 12:46 PM on April 18, 2012

This book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is exactly what you are describing. Beautiful photographs of every recipe, vegetables and legumes featured heavily, some mildly adventurous stuff, pretty diverse.
posted by Specklet at 1:28 PM on April 18, 2012

Jamie Oliver's Jamie at Home has pretty photos and great, seasonally-based recipes.
posted by k8lin at 1:35 PM on April 18, 2012

VeganYumYum has great photos and good recipes. She has a book, too.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:40 PM on April 18, 2012

posted by FlyingMonkey at 3:01 PM on April 18, 2012

Fourthing Plenty!
posted by Kololo at 3:06 PM on April 18, 2012

Seconding Jamie at Home. He puts his recipes together with a great deal of flexibility and once you have the basics of a recipe down then they are easy to adapt. The pictures are great as well. If you are interested in a larger book I would recommend The River Cottage Cookbook if you were a meat eater. But Hugh has recently taken up a more veg centric life and published Veg: River Cottage Everyday. I have not ready that one but based on Hugh's other works I think it would be worth a look.
posted by The Violet Cypher at 7:34 PM on April 18, 2012

Chez Panisse Vegetables. It lacks the photos you're looking for, but more than makes up for it in knowledge. You'll armed to the teeth when you go to a farmer's market.
I have a sizable cookbook collection, and on a small budget. I'll go to Amazon, read reviews, get the ISBN#, then see if the library has it. Check it out, then buy it if I like it; usually from Abe Books. With all the recommendations you've been given (all good), you might want to use the library.
Oh, and Veganomicon
posted by JABof72 at 2:59 PM on April 19, 2012

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