my books
  Seasonal Fruit Desserts from Orchard, Farm and Market

All the things that go into making good savory dishes –the hand, the heart and the five senses – go into making desserts. Seaonsal Fruit Desserts captures fruit as a means to pleasure and knowledge. I‘ve used the subject of (mostly) fruit desserts to guide readers to the names of stellar varieties, their characteristics, where and when they might be found, and the history of some of our unique American fruits. It also looks at tree crops, from Medjool dates to shagbark hickkory nuts, and America's new farmstead cheeses for the last course of the meal. Seasonal Desserts from Orchard, Farm and Market challenges our ideas about what's in season by looking at where foods are grown and what their true seasonalilty looks like. Green rhubarb with blackberries? Of course!

Because good fruit speaks so well for itself, these desserts don't depend on terribly exacting conditions and manual dexterity for success. These are recipes for cooks rather than pastry chefs, meaning they are easily made.

  What We Eat When We Eat Alone (with Patrick McFarlin)

Not all meals are shared, recipes don't always matter, nor does all the knowledge we may have about cooking and eating. What We Eat When We Eat Alone sneaks a look at our solitary doings in the kitchen when no one else is there to watch or comment and uncovers an often humorous glimpse of unfettered human activity.

What We Eat When We Eat Alone grew out of Patrick McFarlin’s habit of questioning chefs and food writers about their solitary practices when we were traveling as part of Oldways Preservation and Trust's food think tank. When he handed me his drawings of crazed cooks in their kitchens, I was compelled to join him in asking others about their soliatary eating habits.

Some readers see this as a cookbook, for there are 100 recipes. “You’ve completley gotten me out of the box and freed my cooking!“ said one enthusiast. But others see it as stories. “Thank heavens it isn’t a cookbook! " said another as she bought five copies for friends who read. Of course, it's both stories and recipes.

What people are saying

“Just when you thought there was nothing conceivably new to write about food, Deborah “Greens” Madison and her artist partner, Patrick McFarlin have devised a truly intimate, startling, funny, and genuinely subversive book. What We Eat When We Eat Alone is like peeping through a one-way mirror into the life of others.” - Peter Coyote, actor and author

"I am hooked on this book. It confirms once again that we humans are endlessly confounding and entertaining creatures. This is another keeper from Deborah Madison." - Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Host of The Splendid Table ®.

 “I just finished your book and absolutely adored it. I loved all of the stories and recipes and was laughing a lot while I read it. Patrick’s art is sensational and I could not get enough of his drawings! (I especially love the ones of the vegetables that look like they need some R & R.) And I am going to make so many of the recipes!” - Annie Slokum

What We Eat When We Eat Alone is the most charming book!  Just ate the whole thing up in a few hours, laughed out loud at the drawings - so funny! - and thought that the ending was perfect because it said to me that the issue is being human, and food is this secondary, ubiquitous puzzle that punctuates our life with personality and character.” - Jamie Kusch

  Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

For a long time information about the various foods enjoyed by vegetarians floated around in bits and pieces. When it at last became evident to me that there was a real need for a vegetarian compendium, something like the Joy of Cooking or Madeleine Kamman’s tombe, The Making of a Cook, where all the parts could be gathered under one cover, I saw that I’d  have to write it myself. It took seven years, and it’s called Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

This best-seller soup-to-nuts volume with 1400 recipes is intended for anyone who wants to eat more vegetables (and other plant foods) without necessarily adopting a vegetairan life style as well as for committed vegetarians and even vegans. As with the cooking at Greens, I wanted to take vegetarian food beyond its then stodgy image to offer recipes that were bright, delicious, and accessible. As a cooking teacher, I knew it was important for people to have a grasp of basic information if they were to feel at ease cooking, so my goal was to be a friendly voice of encouragement. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone was written not only to provide a wealth of interesting recipes, but to inform the reader about the process of cooking. Throughout the book, the recipes proceed from simple to complex. All categories of food are covered, including breads and desserts. The book also introduces new varieties of vegetables to the reader.

People often refer to it as “The Bible” or “your big orange book.” Despite the cover portrait, I'm not the vegetarian domamatrix. It's really all about the vegetables.

Winner of a James Beard Award and the Julia Child's Cookbook of the Year.

What people are saying

Deborah Madion’s book is utterly credible and accessible, because she writes the same way she cooks and gardens: with passion and knowledge. It's not just an authoritative and reliable vegetarian cookbook, it's a humanitarian one, too, because she communicates so well the beauty of a sustainable way of cooking and eating.” - Alice Waters, Chez Panisse

“Believe me when I tell you that Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone has changed my life.  I am not a vegetarian, but your techniques, your common-sense combinations and the simplicity of so many of your recipes have elevated my cooking in my my friends' eyes. They taste a simple seasonal dish, such as eggplant baked with feta and tomatoes and are mystified as to what's in it. I will not tell. I simply push the book at them and say, ‘It changed my life.  It can change yours.’ ” - from a reader

  Local Flavors, Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers Markets

Cooking is more than assembling ingredients from the store, and farmers markets are more than farmers selling produce. They reflect the reemerging culture of small scale farming and the goodness and sense of community that comes with them. With Local Flavors I began to talk about the relationship between food, farming and cooking in earnest.

After years of cooking from the farmers markets (and even managing one), I wanted to take a look at farmers markets across the country to get a better sense of what local, seaonsal eating really looks like over time and distance. I crisscrossed the US, visiting about 100 markets (Alaska by phone) to see what was there, talked to farmers and recorded their stories about meeting the challenges of growing food. I think of Local Flavors as a portrait of America's seasons and regions, a book that connects recipes and menus to profiles of farmers and markets.

Winner of a James Beard Award and the Julia Child's Cookbook of the Year.

What people are saying

“For anyone trying to eat locally and seasonally, Local Flavors is indispensable.” - Michael Pollan, author of The Ominvore's Dilemma

“I sat down at the kitchen table with Deborah Madison’s gorgeous cookbook, Local Flavors, which works from the premise that any week of the year can render up, from very near your home, the best meal of your life.” - Barbara Kingsolver, author of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

“Deborah Madison is a wizard at combining ingredients in new ways that feel honest and traditional. She is one of the very few people responsible for reinventing and furthering the cause of American home cooking.“ - Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything

“This is food writing taken to its highest calling. To walk through a farmers‘ market with Deborah Madison is my idea of heaven. Local Flavors is no less than a luscious miracle.“ - Gary Nabhan, author of Coming Home to Eat

  The Greens Cookbook, Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine from the Celebrated Restaurant

Just as Greens was at the forefront of the new American cooking, offering food that was not merely meatless, but delicious, stylish, and closely tied to local ingredients, The Greens Cookbook introduced the idea of seasonal eating, the use of heirloom vegetable varieties, plenty of fresh herbs, and the new and daring chipotle chile. It was my first cookbook and is still in print after more than twenty years. The Greens Cookbook was written so that the reader could duplicate the food tasted at Greens. When someone made a meal for me cooked entirely from the book, I knew it had succeded.

Probably the best known recipe (and most copied one) is the Black Bean Chile. After so many years, it still sings.

The Greens Cookbook was nominated for a cookbook award by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) and winner of the Andre Simon Memorial Prize.

What people are saying

“For all of us who remember the glorious dishes Deborah Madison created at Greens, this book is a particular pleasure. What makes it special is not only her enticing and original way with fruits and vegetables, but her generous and inventive spirit”
 - Carol Field, author of The Italian Baker

“This dazzling cookbook presents a new cuisine that is intelligent, inventive, and above all, delicoius. This is brilliantly crafted food that just happens to be made without meat. Bravo! ” - Anthony Dias Blue, CBS Radio Food Critic

  The Savory Way, High-Spirited, Down-to-Earth Recipes for Savory Vegetable Dishes

I had developed my foodscape in northern California faily well, but when I moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, it radically shifted. It was a new experience to find myself in a place where there were no farmers markets, no sun-dried tomatoes or fresh pasta shops, no foodies and urban singles, but instead supermarkets and busy families with children. I was forced to find new ways to access the kinds of foods I missed - driving far to buy from farmers, making connections with Mormon women who brought down peaches from Utah, meeting local gardeners whom I discovered at the country fair - and to learn how to make full use of the supermarket and its previously limited offerings.

My challenge was to figure out how to come up with the same high-spirited flavors of my past but within the confines of less time and less variety. Despite the lack of abundance when it came to produce, herbs and other ingredients, I managed to find treasures I had overlooked previously and to cook food with the zest and flavor I knew and loved from my life in California.

Flagstaff has changed since I lived there - it now has a farmers market and a Slow Food chapter - but learning to cook within limits was important to me. The Savory Way marked a shift away from restaurant cooking to the more straight-forward flavors and techniques of home cooking, something I've been committed to advancing ever since.

The Savory Way was named IACP's best General Cookbook and was the Julia Child Cookbook of the Year. It is now out of print, but can be found on the Internet.

What people are saying

“Deborah Madison is a rare and gifted cook. Her recipes are original and imaginative compositions that are so harmonious, they feel at once familiar and comforting. Deborah never disappoints - everything works just as she says it will, to produce a dish that’s the essence of simple goodness.” - Marion Cunningham, author of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook

“I don’t know which is more satisfying, Deborah’s cuisines or her writing. Her work is a rare combination of eleant and intuitive; she lifts meatless cookery to new vistas, yet keeps it practical and accessible. I love her psirit and her sensibility. This book is an inspiration.” - Mollie Katzen, author of The Moosewood Cookbook

The Savory Way represents the most complete and delicious introduction to a new kind of cooking in this country—one that begins with the garden—its freshness, flavors and seasons. We have a new Joy of Cooking here.” - Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Restaurant

  Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen

The cover of this book depicts a broth in which asparagus tips float with slivers of edible green peas, spinach leaves and violet chive blossoms - the colors and flavors of spring. Soups aren't just for winter, although we love them especially well then, but for all times of the year. Regardless of the season, soups comfort and also invigorate us. They are embued with nourishing powers and plenty of visual charm.

I always think of both pottery and food as coming from the earth, so it seems natural to consider the dish as much as - in this case - the soup that goes in it. I've always been drawn to folk art ceramics for their beauty and they way they set off foods of all kinds. I have featured traditional folk art ceramics in all my books. But in Vegetable Soups, which portrays the vessel as well as its content, you'll find some extraordinary ceramics made by contemporary American potters as well as some more traditional pieces. Both show off soups with extraordinary clarity.

Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen was an IACP Cookbook Finalist and a James Beard Cookbook Award Nominee.

What people are saying

“Your range of soups is fantastic, and I've used many of the recipes. I found that I could make big batches and freeze the soups.  The best compliment I could give you is this: people say that when they buy cookbooks, they usually use just one or two recipes from each, which is why they have so many cookbooks. Well, with your books, it just simply isn't true.  I'm using many and very happy about it.” - Flavia Baracella, artist

  Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen

I long wanted to assemble a collection of recipes that could answer the question, “What’s for dinner?” when it’s not chicken, meat or fish. I myself sometimes struggle to answer this question and know well that it can be tough to figure out what to eat when it's not going to be meat. You can't just answer “Sweet potatoes!” although sweet potatoes have been my dinner on many an occasion. (In fact, I admit to being a fan of the single vegetable dinner.)

This book points right to the center of the plate with 100-plus vegetarian main dishes assuming center stage. I see them mostly supper dishes, which I love because they're friendly, relaxed, and have a quality of comfort and ease. Some, however, are more involved and should be considered company dinner dishes. Recipes range from supper sandwiches to tofu curries, to a wild mushroom tart to black-eyed peas with coriander and greens.

Wine suggestions accompany each recipe as well as tips for converting vegetarian recipes to vegan versions.

What people are saying

“Deborah Madison has done for vegetarian meals what Extreme Makeover has done for the dowdy: transforms them into something sexy and appealing. She’s done it with a combination of relaxed charm, a warmly resassuring writing style, and reliable recipes.” - The Washington Post

“Deborah Madison, a wizard with fresh produce, offers one appealing recipe after another in Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen.” - The New York Times

  This Can't Be Tofu! 75 Recipes to Cook Something You Never Thought You Would - and Love Every Bite

I grew up eating super-fresh tofu in Japanese restaurants along the Sacramento river where no one spoke English. Sukiyaki, with its big cubes of soft braised tofu, was the only dish I could name, and hence, order. The experience gave me a taste for this subtle food, which I immediately loved. This was when tofu was made fresh daily, delivered, and consumed within twenty-four hours, unlike today when a box of water-packed tofu can last for many weeks, boxed tofu can be shelf stable for months if not years.

When I was asked if I knew someone who could write a book about tofu, I nominated myself for the job. I wanted to show that tofu was something to enjoy in its own right rather than as a substitute for other ingredients. After all, there's no need to pretend that tofu is ricotta or meat when it can be delicious infused with ginger, chiles, miso, garlic, or surrounded with curry pastes and conconut milk. It can also be paired with shrimp and fish so it needn’t be viewed as only a vegetarian substitute for protein foods. Although I‘m drawn mostly to Asian flavors with tofu, I also include Western style recipes when they work, such as the meaty Tofu Bachelor Sandwich with steak sauce.

My husband inadvertently named this book when I'd bring him recipe samples for lunch. “This can’t be tofu!” he’d say, but it was. And it is.

This Can’t Be Tofu was nominated for a James Beard Award.

What people are saying

“What a delight to find a book of tofu recipes that’s packed with good basic information and recipe that don’t try to disguise tofu as something that it is not! Instead Deborah Madison demonstrates how delicious tofu can be when it stands on its own in sophisticated, savory, recipes.” - Fran Moody, The Austin Statesman

  The Vegetarian Table America

The Vegetarian Table America was one in a series produced by Chronicle Books. Others' vegetarian tables were Italian, French, and Moroccan, and given our love affair with ethnic foods it was quite a challenge to come up with truly American-based recipes. After deciding to take a historical approach, I combed through old American community cookbooks at Harvard's Schlesinger Library, chose dishes that looked promising, then made them for today's palates and expectations.

Our heritage recipes were closely connected to the waxing and waning of seasons, which determined not only the high and low moments for produce, but for milk from the family cow and eggs from barnyard chickens. This meant that sometimes dishes were lean but at other times they were excessive. Situated more in the middle, these recipes possess the comfort of familiarity as well as the capacity to nourish and provide pleasure. Informed by, if not rooted in our ethnic pasts, they provide a sort of through-line that carrires us to the present. The Vegetarian Table America is now out of print, but can be found on the Internet.

What people are saying

“In The Vegetarian Table America, Deborah Madison has given us an exciting, sorely needed, well-researched, and very delicious chronicle of plant-based eating in our country. Deborah is the doyenne of American vegetarian cooking.” - Michael Romano, Chef of the Union Square Café restaurant and cookbook author

  Mastering Vegetables (Williams-Sonoma ®)

This is a step-by-step cook book with a multitude of instructive photographs that shows the beginning cook, how to slice, dice and actually cook fifty classic vegetable recipes. It’s a great introductory book for the person who is truly unfamiliar with cooking vegetables, but wants to learn.

What people are saying

“These recipes will give out he skills and confidence that are the hallmarks of every good cook.” - Chuck Williams, founder of Williams-Sonoma ®

all rights reserved. copyright 2009 Deborah Madison