A catholic assortment of vegetarian recipes, mostly European. Unlike the deservedly reigning aristocrat of the field, Anna Thomas' The Vegetarian Epicure, this collection eschews sugar (though sugar-containing products like Italian amaretti do creep in, sometimes in rather odd contexts). Eggs and dairy products are freely used, but there are menu suggestions for complete vegetarians. The selection of dishes is original and charming, though mostly free of conversation-piece exotica for exotica's sake. Soups, salads, and farinaceous dishes are especially well represented, and there are some fine main-dish pies and casseroles. It is very nice to find such classics as polenta pasticciata (a Piedmontese cornmeal-mush casserole) and Venetian risi e bisi (rice and peas) being tactfully urged upon the sprouts-and-wheat-germ clientele, or to be introduced to things like English black bean pie, ""pizza"" made with a potato dough, and Greek trahana soup (thickened with a dried mixture of wheat and sour milk). Rank this among the most civilized and delightful explorations of vegetable cookery.