A new book by Martha Stewart is always cause for celebration. Typically, they’re filled with innovative recipes, creative suggestions, and gorgeous color photography. Her latest publication, Meatless: More Than 200 of the Very Best Vegetarian Recipes, does not disappoint. It has all that and more.
Martha introduces the book with a story of her young daughter’s announcement that she would no longer eat meat. This decision was reached after learning her pet sheep was the source of that evening’s dinner. Martha recalls the wholesome, satisfying meals that her daughter makes for her family today and the fact that she also is eating less meat and fish. Clearly, the experiences left an impression. She saw a need to leave her mark in the vegetarian cookbook niche and Meatless: More Than 200 of the Very Best Vegetarian Recipes was the result of that.
My first impression of the book is the sheer amount of photography. Every recipe is accompanied with a beautiful color photo. This is a luxury few cookbook authors are given and one I don’t recall seeing in any of her previous books.
A photo with each recipe is more than just a visual guide. If you enjoy cooking, you probably know this. A photo is eye-candy for armchair readers, and a helpful illustration of the end result. Individual photos of each recipe gives the book a decadent feel.
The recipes themselves are unbelievable. She uses gourmet ingredients like black rice, farro grains, and broccoli rabe pizza with hazelnut dough. But she also upgrades traditional vegetarian classics such as using roasted sweet potatoes for salsa and fresh peas or lentils and cashews for hummus.
The index could be improved a bit. For example, when I looked under ‘h’ for hummus there weren’t any results. However, I know of at least 2 recipes for hummus that you’d have to either flip through to find or know their full titles to get the page number. But I did cross-check some other results that were more obscure and they were listed in a way I would be able to find them.
The size of the book is also a shortcoming. It’s thick-384 pages-but they’re cut smaller than the average cookbook Plus, it’s paperback (and as of right now there’s no hardcover version) so the cover doesn’t have enough weight to keep it propped open to your recipe. If you’re planning to cook straight from it, you’ll need something heavy to put on the book or you’ll want to copy the recipe down first.
Meatless: More Than 200 of the Very Best Vegetarian Recipes is a great addition to my vegetarian cookbook library. Filled with over 200 recipes, each with a full-color photograph, you’ll be doing a lot of cooking to work your way through it!