Deborah Madison’s (The New) Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is always in high rotation in my kitchen and has been ever since its publication in 1997. It is truly my desert-island choice, with dozens of favorite recipes, methods, and inspirations. One not-so-secret tip from this book is that it’s not just for vegetarians! Many VCE recipes can accompany meat or fish, or take well to having these proteins tossed in.
But my favorite VCE tip is actually hiding in plain sight, as it is scattered throughout this 665-page book, to be found numerous times in every chapter. Can you guess what it is?
Deborah Madison's Herb Advice
Answer: the other (fresh) herbs!
We are all familiar with parsley, of course, and thankfully basil is nearly as common these days. Rosemary, too, has a pretty popular following, as does thyme.
But one of the beauties of cooking from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is Deborah Madison’s liberal use of the lesser-known (but still delicious) herbs. She is very partial to marjoram, for instance, and chervil, and lovage. It’s because of her that I have planted many of these herbs in my garden, alongside the usual parsley, basil, and sage, and it has really opened up my cooking.
Besides marjoram, chervil, and lovage, consider planting tarragon, lemon balm, lemon verbena, salad burnet, and sorrel for your herb garden/windowsill this year. Fresh oregano is also fun to explore, as it is slightly less potent than dried and offers a fresh, almost lemony flavor.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison