Greatest Hits of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian?
June 21, 2017 2:20 AM   Subscribe

What it says on the tin. Do you own this cookbook? What are the best recipes in it? I find it to be very hit-or-miss. Certain staples (like pancakes) are so helpful but other recipes turn out just plain bad (I'm looking at you, tofu in tomato curry sauce). But I am just as loathe for it to collect dust. There are so many variations and tips: what are your favorites?
posted by athirstforsalt to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Cold sesame noodles are on heavy rotation in our house in the summer. I make the waffles all the time too.
posted by biggreenplant at 4:26 AM on June 21, 2017

I've had good luck with the yeasted breads, I've tried 5 or 6 of them. I've had bad luck with the quick breads though.
posted by tchemgrrl at 5:10 AM on June 21, 2017

Last night for dinner I made the broiled three-bean salad, Italian style (pg 75). Quick, easy, and good.

Huevos rancheros, pg 174

Broiled eggpaln with peppers, onions, and yogurt pg. 298

Couscous with pesto and goat cheese, pg 554

I enjoy the tofu Provencal style (pg 649), though I'm the only one in the family who does!

There's a spinach and Parmesan dish, too, that is really good, that I thought was in the book but can't find it right now.
posted by lharmon at 5:36 AM on June 21, 2017

Just made the quinoa and goat cheese stuffed red peppers and loved them! (Variation on the stuffed tomato recipe)

I like lots of the soups and salads.

The quick tomato sauce (and the several variations he offers on that recipe) is a staple for me (with more herbs thrown in)

A common complaint with Bittman recipes is blandness, so I often find that recipes I was so-so on are a lot better with some additional garlic, salt and pepper. (Or other herbs/spices, but garlic, salt, and pepper are often huge helps on their own)
posted by nuclear_soup at 6:04 AM on June 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Stuck-pot rice (524). Spicy red beans, Indian-style (593) Roman-style cauliflower (271). Thanks for the reminder. I've definitely run into poor flavor combos in here, but I picked this up after getting into his Minimalist series, and have the used the book in a similar way - as a framework rather than a recipe. For that reason, his charts (and alt-recipes) are some of my favorite elements - flavor profiles that point toward new horizons, I season according to my taste, not his.
posted by SoundInhabitant at 6:15 AM on June 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Dry pan mushrooms. White beans and sage. My go-to hummus recipe is from this book.

I also find it hit or miss generally. I think Bittman thinks everyone cooks like him, with constant tweaking of recipes while cooking, so a lot of the recipes are more like suggestions. Personally I prefer to avoid the mental load of making a lot of decisions while I cook and like to just shut my brain off and follow the recipe so this book doesn't get as much use as I expected when I first got it.
posted by eeek at 7:55 AM on June 21, 2017

The vegan variation of the nut burgers - the one with the nori flakes inside. It was a flavor/technique combo I would never have thought of and now it's my favorite. Also, his basic instructions for different types of rice dish - how to make sushi rice, for example, or the technique of cooking rice with the onion and seasoning before adding water. I tend to sit down and read the book here and there - I like to read cookbooks at breakfast - and then if I'm cooking and I remember something I read, I'll go and look it up and make adjustments according to my taste.
posted by theweasel at 9:18 AM on June 21, 2017

I rely on it for seitan, but I also adjust the broth.
posted by Laura in Canada at 10:47 AM on June 21, 2017

I love the olive oil salt bread. If I remember right, you can bake it in the oven or fry it on the stove, but personally, I prefer baking it.

There's also a recipe for white beans with garlic -- I don't have the book in front of me, so I can't give you a page number, but it's in there and it's a great, simple recipe.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:21 PM on June 21, 2017

Seconding the stuck pot rice recipe.

I'm about to eat the gazpacho, and will echo that it seemed bland at first, but I added some basil and that seemed to help.
posted by mostly vowels at 4:54 PM on June 21, 2017

The Brussels sprout recipe is basically the best simple vegetable side in the history of sides.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 1:00 PM on June 22, 2017

You mentioned you like the pancakes;the chickpea flour pancake recipe (the skillet variation, haven't tried the others) is very good, although I used slightly less water than is called for. It's not that exciting on its own but it's a great accompaniment to any vegetable-based dish.
posted by eeek at 5:11 PM on June 22, 2017

Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw is one I keep coming back to. Mostly I use it to look up how to cook random vegetables I haven't eaten in ages, or have a glut of and want to use up in a variety of ways.
posted by harriet vane at 9:09 AM on June 27, 2017

scrambled eggs
posted by aniola at 9:39 PM on July 18, 2017

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