Cookbook author and food journalist
I’ve never thought of The Savory Way--or the other cookbooks by Madison--as vegetarian cookbooks. As she once put it, her books are “about vegetables”--simply real food that’s good as is, not apologies for a meal without meat. Like Madison, I’m not a vegetarian, but I share her unabashed love for vegetables of every kind. So I love the way she brings vegetables out of the wings and into the spotlight, creating complexity by adding different points of flavor and incorporating a variety of textures in her recipes. Her combinations of flavors continue to inspire my own recipes, whether I’m preparing something center-of-the-plate or just a side dish: Buckwheat Noodles with Brown Butter and Cabbages; Grilled Eggplant with Garlic Mayonnaise; Flageolet and Artichoke Gratin (creamy with goat cheese and crisped with bread crumbs); even simple Avocado Toasts (decades before the current rage for them). Her instructions are as clear as if she were looking over your shoulder: for the homey Winter Greens and Potatoes (Vegetable Hash), Madison tells us to cook past the pretty stage, until “everything is mixed and the colors are somewhat muddled” because this way “you can taste everything in your mouth at once.” And needless to say, that taste is delicious.