Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without
I'll bet there's a graphic designer out there patting him or herself on the back with the choice of this font for Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without. Unfortunately, the pseudo-script font used throughout the entire book is distracting from the recipes and the message.
The font does lend itself to the slightly down home feel of the book and the recipes, but after reading two pages worth for one recipe, I get eye strain. In my professional life, I have been designing, typesetting, and laying out pages for nearly 10 years now. There is a reason that serif fonts are the way they are. The serifs help the eye read the text better. Scripty fonts like the one used in this book are better for headlines than full pages of text. It's just common design sense.
It may seem petty and nit-picky, but the success of a cookbook has a lot to do with its readability. Mollie's vegetarian dishes are scrumptious. But the book is unreadable to me.
Admittedly, I am stickler about those issues, and I realize that I'm probably in the minority there. Mollie Katzen has complied a list of vegetarian dishes that she cannot live without. This author of the Mosewood Cookbook and Eat, Drink and Weigh Less wants the world to eat more vegetables, and she presents these recipes as delicious, complex flavors that can get any veggie-hater to at least try something different.
The great thing about this recipe book is that it covers the gamut of vegetables. Greens, legumes, tubers, grains, starches all have a place here and they are mixed together with familiar flavors like curries, marinades, and glazes.
Some of my favorites are Feta-Walnut Stuffed Cucumbers, Southwest Summer Corn Hash, and Portabello Parmesan.
The book is short and sweet with plenty of recipes for the home cook. Even though I hate the font and the design, I do understand the point. The point is to give the feel of a homemade cookbook that is accessible to anyone. Unfortunately, I find the book hard to read, and the recipes leave me wanting full-color photographs of the food.