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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Vegetarian Dinner Parties

ISBN: 9781609615017
Publisher: Rodale Books
Publication Date: 09/09/14
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 3 Stars
If you’re inclined to throw a dinner party, you probably do what most folks do: you make a few sides and maybe a salad, ask someone to bring dessert, and put a hunk of meat in the middle of the table, like the roast beast in The Grinch. But what about vegetables? Living in a meat-centric world, most of us simply don’t know how to cobble together a series of vegetarian dishes that work together to create a perfect dinner party. Why? Because vegetarian cooking for dinner parties is not part of the American culinary lexicon, until now.
Here, critically-acclaimed, food writers (and omnivores) Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough take the reader by the hand and teach them not only how to make extraordinarily delicious and modern vegetarian and vegan dishes that everyone will love—everything from sweet pea samosas to warm vegan donuts, stews, braises, pastas, and more—they show readers how to actually build dinner parties starting with flavors, seasonality and availability, and even time and skill. Each recipe, which can certainly stand on its own, will be complemented by a wine or drink matching, and instructions for how to place the finished dish in the choreography of a 3-course dinner party.

My Review

A special thank you to Rodale Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review
After reviewing two sensational other Vegan Cookbooks recently, found VEGETARIAN DINNER PARTIES to be lacking in comparison. “Presentation is everything”, when it comes to food and entertaining.
First, and most importantly –food photography. As most can see by my website, my Pinterest, Clipzine, and Tumblr social media boards—top priority. If you are putting together a high-end cookbook, spend the money on high-resolution imagery. Due to the poor low res images and dark photography—a lower overall rating. Not appealing-if you can get past the images, for the recipes. Since the book was about entertaining, would have been fitting for more table settings to set the mood, thereby enticing the reader. In addition, not a fan of some of the pages with dark background and white font, making it difficult to read.
The positives – the well laid out pages, the call outs, the vegan recipes (as I am an avid vegan), so always looking for ways to enhance my healthy eating lifestyle choice. The fonts, colors, columns are nicely displayed on the white background on the recipe pages.
A great source for dinner parties and a good understanding and education of vegetables. The authors demonstrate how to build dinner parties starting with flavors, seasonality and availability, and even time and skill.
The recipes are divided into seven types which go along with the order of a dinner party: cocktails and nibbles to go with them, small plates, salads, soups, pastas, large plates, and desserts. Between each chapter are helpful tips on what to serve and how to move along during a party.
The introductions, ingredients, and preparation steps were helpful with a menu of which plates to with certain recipes, etc. A wide variety of recipes; however, since I am a vegan need to substitute the milk, cheese, and dairy products.
All in all, full of wonderful ways to entertain vegetarian style, and will use the book for reference and try many of the recipes; however, disappointed in the food styling and photography, which would have made this a 5 star instead of a 3.






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