In My Kitchen – Deborah Madison

In My Kitchen: A Collection of New and Favorite Vegetarian Recipes by Deborah Madison shares 100 innovative recipes from her vast career which not only brought vegetarian food to the center stage but also elevated it. The recipes shared are pared down to the key ingredients needed to achieve delicious, nuanced flavor, with simplified preparations. 

This vegetable-forward cookbook, which I think is her most beautiful yet, is organized alphabetically and features recipes like Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Sunflower Sprouts; Fennel Shaved with Tarragon and Walnuts; and Carrot Soup with Zesty Relish or Smoky-Spice Butter which are sure to be the main attraction. So often vegetarian recipes are regulated to side dishes or as an option for the vegetarians in our lives but the dishes herein will be the stars of the table.
Anise Seed Shortbread with Star Anise Impressions is stunning and I’m going to attempt to bake this recipe soon. Be sure to try the Warmed Feta with Toasted Sesame Seeds – so simple and yet so elegant. The Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Togarashi Tofu Crisps is on my list for next week (I even think I can get my husband to try this – I will just tell him the tofu is cheese.)

The book is gorgeous and the recipes are tempting but Deborah really struck a chord with this passage: “Don’t apologize because you feel your food is lacking. If you do that, you just take away the pleasure of others. In my experience, this can be a hard lesson to learn, yet I feel it’s the most important one, and one I’m still learning.” I know I do this – I demand so much of myself especially when we have guests over. While cooking brings me happiness and I know I’m pretty good at it, I feel the need to apologize if I think something is a little off. As cooks we love to nurture and take care of people, there is no need to downgrade our efforts and their enjoyment with self-sabatoging remarks.

Thanks to Deborah and Ten Speed for sharing this show stopper flan with our readers. Be sure to head to our contest page to enter our giveaway for three copies of In My Kitchen.

1 pound chard (enough leaves to make 8 cups, minus the stems)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 hefty spring onion, quartered lengthwise and diced into small pieces (enough to make about a cup), or 1 medium onion, finely diced
1 plump garlic clove, pounded in a mortar or finely minced Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
A big pinch of saffron threads soaked in 1 tablespoon near-boiling water
1 1⁄2 cups cream or 3⁄4 cup half-and-half
mixed with 3⁄4 cup ricotta
 Grated zest of 1 lemon
1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Butter
About 1⁄2 cup almonds, ground or finely chopped  almonds
3 tablespoons pine nuts or slivered almonds
The Spring Greens
Several handfuls of greens and herbs (see page 88)
Sea salt Olive oil
Lemon juice or vinegar 
Heat the oven to 375°F. Tear or chop the chard into pieces, then wash and drain the pieces, but do not dry them. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a wide skillet and add the onion. Move it around the pan to cook for about a minute, then add the chard with the water clinging to its leaves. Sprinkle over 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt and cook, turning the leaves occasionally, until they’re soft, about 8 to 10 minutes for later-season chard, which can be tough, less for more tender leaves. Turn off the heat. Taste for salt and season with pepper.
Beat the eggs in a bowl, then stir in the saffron water (plus threads), cream, lemon zest, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir in the chard and season with pepper.
To finish, butter a 4-cup gratin dish, then dust the bottom and sides of the dish with the finely chopped almonds. Pour in the filling and scatter the pine nuts or almonds over the surface. Bake until the flan is golden and set, about 30 minutes.

TO MAKE THE SALAD Tear the herbs into large pieces and keep the more salady greens larger. Toss them with salt, just enough olive oil to coat lightly, and a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar to sharpen the flavors.
Put the dressed spring greens on individual plates and spoon the flan carefully over or next to them. The heat of the flan will wilt them a bit and bring out their aromas.
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  • pistachiopeas  on  April 8, 2017

    One thing I really think is cool about this book is how it's organized simply by what Ms. Madison considers her essentials. And I love the note about not apologizing! It's so key–especially when hosting others .

  • rennots  on  April 8, 2017

    I would try Zucchini pancakes with fetta and dill

  • cheftina888  on  April 9, 2017

    I love the idea of the book – great ways to incorporate more veggies into the one's diet in a delicious and sneaky way – I would definitely try Anise seed shortbreads with star anise impressions because it sounds so good with a cup of tea or coffee.
    Roasted asparagus and arugula with hard-cooked eggs and walnuts and Rio Zape beans with smoked chile

  • PennyG  on  April 9, 2017

    I love everything Deborah Madison does. I don't think I can pick a favorite but I made a simple sandwich years ago from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone that still stands out in my mind – with radishes and sprouts.

  • tangaloor  on  April 9, 2017

    I don't have a favourite DM recipe but this one is tempting.

  • earthnfire  on  April 9, 2017

    I love Deborah Madison's books and recipes – makes me eat more veggies.

  • thecharlah  on  April 9, 2017

    I love so many of Deborah's recipes, but her Cauliflower Gratin with Tomatoes and Feta is one of my favorites!

  • monique.potel  on  April 10, 2017

    we love deborah madison in our house she really has turned us on to vegetables

  • pani_vel  on  April 11, 2017

    warmed feta sounds magical

  • XXOOL  on  April 12, 2017

    Any of the recipes with saffron sound intriguing and the cauliflower with romanesco sauce sounds fabulous.

  • Uhmandanicole  on  April 15, 2017

    I can't say I have a favorite recipe because I'm not familiar with Deborah Madison. But this recipe here sounds delicious…so can I say this one? haha

  • t.t  on  April 15, 2017

    I don't have a favorite.

  • lgroom  on  April 15, 2017

    I make the feta, tomato and cauliflower gratin quite often.

  • Nancith  on  April 16, 2017

    Her Gnocchi with winter squash and seared radicchio, from Vegetarian Suppers, is quite yummy.

  • RSW  on  April 17, 2017

    No I couldn't pick just one.

  • fiarose  on  April 18, 2017

    i don't have a favorite recipe just because i appreciate the overall theme of her work the most–the idea that vegetables contribute so much to cooking, that they deserve attention and care and can shine just as much as any other ingredient!

  • mph993  on  April 20, 2017

    Anise seed shortbreads with star anise impressions

  • Mimin  on  April 22, 2017

    Have rediscovered cauliflower again and would love to try Deborah's recipes, especially the cauliflower gratin with tomatoes and feta🍅

  • edyenicole  on  April 22, 2017

    No, I don't have a favorite.

  • hippiechick1955  on  April 23, 2017

    The cauliflower gratin with tomatoes and feta cheese…..tantalizing.

  • amandacooks  on  April 23, 2017

    I'm currently borrowing this book from the library and am loving it so far. I made the chard and saffron flan for dinner tonight, and it was delicious! Very special, but simple to make.

  • kelliwinter  on  April 24, 2017

    i do not………..yet!

  • debbielovesbooks  on  April 28, 2017

    I love her attitude towards food and eating. I am not a vegetarian, and I never feel guilty for that when I choose recipes from Deborah Madison's books. Want to try those Anise Shortbreads!

  • Siegal  on  April 29, 2017

    I don't have a fav yet

  • TrishaCP  on  April 30, 2017

    I really like her "pesto" with marjoram and capers. I haven't made it in a while since I lost the marjoram plant in my garden, but I'll be looking for marjoram again just for that recipe.

  • imaluckyducky  on  April 30, 2017

    Every single recipe from Vegetable Literacy have become faves.

  • Lem9579  on  May 2, 2017

    Braised summer vegetables. I mean, summer vegetables?! Who can resist?

  • betsyp  on  May 3, 2017

    My favorite Deborah Madison recipe is her Jam Bars from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

  • Mariarosa  on  May 7, 2017

    I don't have a favorite Deborah Madison recipe.

  • bstewart  on  May 8, 2017

    Super excited about Deborah Madison and adding more veggie-focused recipes to my collection.

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