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The Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook

Best Seller
The Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook by Fania Lewando
May 26, 2015 | ISBN 9780805243277
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  • Hardcover $30.00

    May 26, 2015 | ISBN 9780805243277

  • Ebook $7.99

    May 26, 2015 | ISBN 9780805243284

Product Details


An NPR Best Book of 2015

“Lewando’s goal was to make vegetarian food celebratory; the recipes were to be cooked regardless of whether meat was available—radical thinking for the time. The result is an astonishing range of dishes that make our modern day ‘farm-to-table’ assertions seem silly. Its 400 recipes span the hyper-seasonal to hyper-economical, a mixture of making due and relishing every inch of the produce. These recipes are unique, thrifty, and curious in all the right ways, ready for modern hands to make good use of them.” —
“Restaurant owner, cookbook author, and culinary instructor—all the while remaining a vegetarian—Lewando is the picture of today’s involved and dedicated foodie. . . . Flipping through the book is informative, education, and amusing. Cooking from it would be the greatest honor to Lewando’s work.” —Jerusalem Post Magazine
“This book gives a second life to the work of a woman who could be considered the Mollie Katzen of her time.” —Forward

“Like a Yiddish Alice Waters, Fania Lewando ran a popular dining destination, taught cooking techniques, and published a cookbook that advocates for the health and ethical advantages of a meatless diet. The recipes are at once modern and historic; some are vegetarian variations of traditional dishes, others seem decades ahead of their time. Lewando’s instructions remind me of Mark Bittman’s straightforward, improvisational method.” —New York Observer
“Lewando’s book has historical value, of course, evoking a time between the World Wars when Vilna was called the ‘Jerusalem of Lithuania’ for its thriving Jewish community and culture. But this English-language edition is also meant to be used by modern home cooks. It evokes a bygone era with appealing recipes.” —Chicago Tribune
“This old-school Jewish vegetarian cookbook is totally on trend. It is a fascinating, rather forward-thinking approach to cooking vegetables. Lewando’s legacy lives on as she elevates roots, fruit, and leafy greens from lowly ingredients of hardship and mourning to refreshing, innovative building blocks to more nutritional cooking. It’s all so whimsical and modern. [The recipes] read like the vegetable main courses that are gracing many a restaurant menu today.” —Tasting Table
“Gives the reader a sense of the life that was, the life  that was lost, and the life we should all live. . . . Fascinating. . . . Beautifully translated by Eve Jochnowitz.” —Jewlicious
“Lewando’s approach to cookery was innovative and pioneering, and is quite suited to our day.” —Haaretz
“A milchig Bible for a new generation. . . . The book is lively, and in reading it one comes to learn about not just the dishes but also about Lewando herself. The guestbook offers a glimpse into Vilna’s vibrant, cosmopolitan cultural life—and how Lewando’s restaurant was at the center of it.” —Tablet
“Lewando’s time was short, but she was ahead of it. . . . The book’s scope evokes Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone [and] heralds the earnest vegetarianism of The Moosewood Cookbook.” —The Jewish Week
“Lewando’s recipes could tempt even the heartiest of meat eaters to taste and, perhaps, to convert to a partial vegetarian diet. Excerpts from a treatise on why fruits and vegetables are so important, as well as the translator’s preface, underscore the health benefits of vegetables decades ahead of today’s movements. Compliments from celebrities such as Marc Chagall tell us of a talent lost way too soon.” —Booklist

“I was very moved by The Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook, both by the simplicity and goodness of its recipes and the warm, generous heart of Fania Lewando, who opened her vegetarian restaurant in Lithuania just prior to World War II. What a courageous woman, such truly lovely dishes, and what a gift to have this book brought back to life.” —Deborah Madison, author of The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Vegetable Literacy

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