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  • Anonymous says:

    Rating

    I come to you deliriously happy after having eaten Bishop’s mozzerella and tomato tart with a basil and garlic crust. My husband had to be physically restrained from eating until he was in pain (I had to whisk the tart off to the kitchen, but he vowed to finish it late tonight). All this and I didn’t even make the recipe right! I used canned whole tomatoes sliced (no fresh on hand), dried basil (again no fresh around), and didn’t wait the extra hour to let the tart dough rest in the fridge before baking it. No matter, it was extraordinary. I’ll need to go into a recovery program if I make it the right way! But this is the beauty of this book. He gives these extraordinary yet simple recipes and encourages you to think for yourself. Like his mentor told him and he passes along to us, take what is simple and good and bring it together. Inspired. This is one of those cookbooks that doesn’t just give you recipes but gives you ideas. Bishop also simplifies some recipies that have been intimidating to me. He makes polenta so simple, I have made it twice now while busy doing other things. I just go in and give it a stir every ten minutes. It was lovely. I wanted to make the garlicky greens on the cover of the book, but found I had no chard. I made it with fresh broccoli florets, and it was a pleasure. The instructions for risotto are likewise easy and encouraging. All the recipes in this book can be made without fuss and turn out impressively. This is a cookbook for real people, who don’t have time to cook all day, and normal kitchens. This is absolutely my favorite cookbook. I make my first risotto next week!

  • Jeanette A. DeMain says:

    Rating

    I almost wish Jack Bishop hadn’t put “vegetarian” in the title. I hope the connotation of that word doesn’t deter meat eaters from checking out this book. These are fantastic recipes – they just happen to be meatless. I don’t think there’s a recipe in here that has more than 10 ingredients, and most have less than that. I’ve tried dozens, and haven’t come across a bad one yet. The dessert chapter was a little disappointing, probably because I don’t have an ice cream machine, but I have discovered the joys of strawberries with balsamic vinegar! This is the book I reach for whenever I want to make something easy and delicious – which is all of the time, of course!

  • steffan says:

    Rating

    First, I’d like to urge the reader below who gave the title a single star to please try another recipe from the book. (Might I recommend the FANTASTIC recipie for baked tomato and potatoes and herbs… Not bland, at all, and it takes perhaps an hour to prepare, and 40 minutes to cook. But pleae start with a Good olive oil, and fresh tomatoes, or you’ll be qute dissappointed, good ingredients are ofteen the key to a successful recipe.) I’m a full time student, and I work 35 hours in addition to that, and I never find these recipes too time consuming, (unless of course, I’m tackling lasagne.) This book has been my source for improvisation and inspiration in the kitchen for about a year and a half. It is my favorite cookbook by far, and I use it for special occasions and when I want to impress my friends, many of whom have been to italy, and are suprised at the authentic flavor I am able to produce. However, I would tend to agree with the anonymous reviewer in Seattle when he/she states that the recipes are not always “low fat.”

  • Anonymous says:

    Rating

    A book has to really, really “WOW” me (or thoroughly disgust me) before I am willing to write a review. This cookbook obviously falls into the former category since I gave it five stars, and although it has all of the glowing reports it needs, I feel compelled to add my raves to the rest. I bought this book after my teenage daughter turned vegetarian in the hopes of finding a cookbook that would inspire me to make food that the whole family would enjoy. That means delicious enough that my non-vegetarin kids would eat it, gourmet enough that it satisfies my husband’s soul as well as his tastebuds, and simple enough that I don’t go off the deep end trying to prepare dinner while simultaneously helping kids with homework night after night. This book fits the bill. The food is authentic, simple, elegant, generally kid-friendly (ok, so I don’t make the recipes with mushrooms or eggplant and expect my kids to fall all over themselves vying for seconds), and deliciously soul-satisfying. It is everything I look for in a cookbook and (sadly) very seldom find.

  • Jen1229 says:

    Rating

    This is a terrific book. I cannot say enough great things about it. I originally purchased it from a store bookshelf after comparing it to many other Italian cookbooks a few years ago. I’ve since bought copies for relatives who love it too. By the way, none of us are vegetarians.
    My first favorite thing about it is that it can be read like a book, because it has wonderful intros to each of the sections and interesting notes about each recipe. I learned alot about Italian cooking and a deeper appreciation for the amazing creation of vegetables and how to celebrate them! Jack Bishop’s attitude reminds me of my Dad’s who is also of Italian heritage and loved to cook too.
    Jack Bishop’s complete step-by-step instructions and chapter set up provide the cook with a freedom to improvise and change ingredients with confidence; to go off and make a creation of their own from his “basic” recipe. Yet, he also provides specific recipes, so if you’re not in the mood to be creative, you have full recipes to pick from also. It’s far more than just an accumulation of recipes here. I wish every cookbook was set up this way! I learned so much from this book!!!!

  • merrymousies says:

    Rating

    My mom’s side ofthe family is Italian (not vegetarian mind you) and last year I convinced them to come to our house for Christmas dinner….they were skeptical but we pulled it off and this cookbook was a great help! There are so many delicious recipes, all very gourmet in flavor and taste yet mostly not too tough to make. We had rvilois as the main dish (my grandmother’s secret recipe) but then I pulled in the rest almost all from here. We had a great sauteed zucchini with lemon and mint, cannellini beans with tomatoes, sage and garlic. There are all sorts of other great recipes too – pasta dishes, beans, salads, soups, etc. Everything I’ve tried has been good and has been true to itlian flavors. I love to use Balsamic vinegar and there is a great (easy) recipe for penne with tomoatoes, rosemary and balsamic vinegar. I love thus book – really glad to have it on hand.

  • Anonymous says:

    Rating

    Every recipe from this book that I have made has turned out excellent! I also appreciate the layout: each section lists all the recipes at the beginning so it’s easy to plan a menu (author also has included many of his own menu suggestions) and to find recipes using ingredients that one already has on hand. The contents/sections are broken up into several different catagories ranging from antipasto, to polenta, to vegetable main courses and even vegetable side dishes, again making it easy to find just the recipe that you are looking for. The recipes are very clear, simple and easy to follow. Not very many photos, if that’s important.

  • K. Walters says:

    Rating

    It is clear after using this cookbook that the author is not only an accomplished chef and dedicated vegetarian, but also that he spent time living in Italy (Florence), thoroughly understands the mixture of flavorings in Italian cooking and the importance of fresh ingredients AND is a busy family man who doesn’t have hours every night to spend in the kitchen! Whether you are a vegetarian (as I am) or a meat-eater who loves Italian food, this is a must have for your cookbook library. The recipes in this book are incredible and numerous – there are sections for all kinds of Italian specialties, including pizza, risottos, pasta, salads, antipasto, frittatas, legumes, panini, dolci (desserts), vegetable sides and main dishes, etc., etc. For the most part, the recipes are simple to make and not too time consuming and use easily available, fresh and healthy ingredients. Included in the Introduction to the book are suggested menus for varying occasions and seasons. All-in-all one of my favorite cookbooks in my large collection, and one I go to time and time again for delicious, healthful, Italian meals.

  • Amalfi Coast Girl says:

    Rating

    To put this review into perspective for you, it is written by an amateur cook that has been seriously studying cooking on her own for 25 years with the last 10 years spent mostly on Italian cuisine. My favorite cookbook is “The Professional Chef” by the Culinary Institute of America.

    I fell in love with Italian cooking on my first trip to Italy back in 1995. My love of Italian food continues to grow, and I enjoy adding new Italian cookbooks to my collection. Italians do not eat as much meat as we do in America. That makes an Italian Vegetarian Cookbook a natural.

    This book is not a vegan cookbook. There are plenty of dairy and eggs in this book. But don’t let that stop you if you are a vegan. There are many recipes in this book that are vegan or that can easily be adapted to a vegan lifestyle.

    My usual complaint of Italian cookbooks is that they are not truly Italian, but usually more Italian American in origin. This book is actually Italian which I appreciate.

    I love the recipe for Mashed Fava Beans and Potatoes with Arugula. The Fresh Tomato Tart with Basil-Garlic Crust is also a winner, with or without the mozzarella cheese.

    This is a highly recommend for anyone that misses the food they had in Italy, or just wants to cook a little more healthy at home.

  • J. Ordman says:

    Rating

    I recently moved to Italy and decided to get this book to bring with me so as not to get stuck in a vegetarian food rut and also to be able to eat good Italian food without always having to go out to a restaurant. I have made something different almost everynight for a month so far. Not one recipe has disappointed me. They are all very easy to follow and super tasty. My boyfriend is loveing my new found love of cooking, and especially la cucina italiana! I’d also like to add that I used to be vegan so I always look at recipes from an “Is it possible to make this vegan?” standpoint. MANY MANY of these are already vegan on their own and even more of them are if you have the right soy products and a little imagination so I reccomend this book to vegans as well.

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