This book is useful not just for the recipes, but for the illustrations and instructions on how to chose, prepare and cook various types of vegetables. He addresses various staples of the vegetarian diet with brief introductions followed by recipes and tips.

Non-vegetarians could find this book very useful, in expanding their fruit and vegetable repertoire as well as just adding to their stock recipes for common ingredients. Plus, not every recipe here is for a main dish, so many of his ideas would be useful in filling out a meatier menu.

I enjoyed reading some of it straight through, skipping over ingredients I don't like and then used the handy and well-organized index to identify recipes I would cook from. Bittman shares some of personal preferences and suggestions along with page references, so when he suggests a variation on one recipe, he leads you conveniently to further instructions.

I don't usually buy cookbooks, I just browse them and save the recipes I like. But this is a great blend of kitchen reference and menu-planning and I want it on my shelf permanently. It's going on my Christmas list, and it ought to go on the "Worth A Try" list of anyone who loves to, or is learning to cook.