Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant: Ethnic and Regional Recipes from the Cooks at the Legendary Restaurant

Sundays at Moosewood Inspires Exotic, Elegant Dinners

For as long as I’ve had my own house — some 25 years now — Sundays at Moosewood has been my go-to book for entertaining. Based on the special Sunday menus (“ethnic night”) at the collective Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York, this collection features hundreds of recipes from 18 different parts of the world. It’s mostly vegetarian, but contains a few fish recipes, and most of the recipes are easily adaptable to meat if you want to include it.

The 18 regional cuisines span the globe from Finland to Chile, and from China to the Middle East, arranged alphabetically from Africa to the Southern USA. Included, predictably, are the cuisines of Provence (France), the Middle East, Italy, and Japan, but there are also a few surprises like the traditional foods of the British Isles, Jewish cookery, and New England fare.

Personal Knowledge from Different Cooks

Each of the sections of Sundays at Moosewood is compiled and commented on by one of 18 different Moosewood cooks. Many of the contributing cooks have ancestors in, or have lived in, the region they write about, and all are familiar with the recipes, ingredients, customs and background of their chosen region.

As many reviewers note, the book makes good bedside reading as well as being highly practical in the kitchen. Every opening essay features an overview of the area’s specialties, quirks and strengths, and the account helps the reader understand, prepare, and enjoy the various foods, including, for instance, descriptions of common spices used in the cuisine and notes on substitutions.

Because the Sundays at Moosewood has so many solid, knowledgeable contributors, I have confidence in the recipes, knowing they’ve been developed over generations, not just whipped up in an American test kitchen somewhere. Also, I enjoy the personal stories about the history of the foods, for instance in the reminiscences about an Ashkenazi Jewish great-grandmother, or how Balkan music and dance reflect the various cultures of the Eastern Europeans.

An especially helpful section is the 37-page “Guide to Ingredients, Techniques, and Equipment” which explains things like how long you can keep wonton wrappers, how to freeze and thaw tofu cakes (and why!); what the difference is between sweet potato and yam, and how to make/where to buy chick-pea flour. It’s useful, too, that the writers included a short explanatory table on amounts and measures, called “What We Mean When We Say, ‘One Medium Onion.'”

My own Sundays at Moosewood book falls open to the Mexican section because of the many dinner parties I’ve based on several of these recipes used together. I like writing in my cookbooks, so the recipes that I’ve repeatedly used have my own comments in the margins. Next to Chiles en Nogada (Stuffed Green Pepper with a Creamy Walnut Sauce) my note says “Colorful. I used beef not tofu – a heavy dish. Walnut sauce a bit bland.), Mexican Rice (“Pretty & easy”), Cinnamon Cookies (“Great! Make a lot!”) and Hot Chocolate (“Wonderful! A lot of trouble though.”) These notes remind me of past pleasant meals and encourage me to repeat and improve them. (In a few places, I’ve found the recipes needed tweaking, usually in the direction of additional flavors. That might be because my own herbs or spices weren’t fresh, or it might just be that I like my food spicier than these recipes call for.)

Home Cooks Review Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

A few other reviewers, I’ve noticed, have customized the recipes, but the vast majority of readers love reading and using this Sundays at Moosewood cookbook as much as I do. Here are a few examples:

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cooking for the storyteller, March 13, 2000
By Sarah Wetzel (Jacksonville, Florida) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant: Ethnic and Regional Recipes from the Cooks at the Legendary Restaurant (Cookery) (Paperback)
I am what you might call a fair-weather-cook. I only find myself heading to the kitchen when I am swept up by some romantic or ecstatic urge to create. Sundays at Moosewood is my one and only cookbook because it’s the only one that whips up my creativity enough to drive me into the kitchen to make some magic. As a professional writer, I am inspired by the storytelling that accompanies the recipes. Often I find myself enjoying picturing the images that led up to the finding of the recipe as much as I am enjoying the food itself. p.s. meat-eaters will love it too!
5.0 out of 5 stars A very useful crowd pleaser, December 31, 2002
Wendy C. Darling (Atlanta, GA United States) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant: Ethnic and Regional Recipes from the Cooks at the Legendary Restaurant (Cookery) (Paperback)
I found this in a used bookstore a few years ago. Recognizing Moosewood as something my mom and oldest sister used, plus loving all kinds of ethnic food, I figured I’d love it. I was right. This book totally changed how and what I cook. While many people focus on one type of cuisine (Italian, Indian, fast food…) I use this book and cook EVERYTHING — Italian, Indian, Chinese, Jewish, Bulgarian, North African. My favorite and most often used recipes are Shepherd’s Pie (British Isles), Moroccan Stew (North Africa), and Vegetable Biryani (India) but I’ve made a lot of these recipes. I made Chinese last night and it turned out tasting restaurant quality. The recipes are very tasty and the directions are great. It’s also wonderful how the book has base ingredients (sauces), appetizers, soups, entrees and desserts for each type of cuisine so you can make complete meals (often there are suggestions in the recipes saying what goes with what). The ingredient guide is very descriptive and helps you learn a lot about the herbs, vegetables, different tofu preparations. I highly recommend this to anyone who doesn’t eat a lots of (or any) meat and wants to be able to cook ethnic food w/o having to worry about meat.

You can see more reviews of Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant at:

To read the 41 reviews of the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant: Ethnic and Regional Recipes from the Cooks at the Legendary Restaurant (Cookery) click the link

Get Your Copy of Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

Many of my dinner guests have asked for these recipes. Some people already know of Mollie Katzen’s cooking from the other Moosewood cookbooks, but for those who don’t, it’s a great revelation. And this Sundays at Moosewood book makes a lovely gift for my friends who enjoy creative, unusual recipes – and it’s so easy to order and ship directly to them from
You can take a sneak peek inside the book at the little “Look Inside” feature on the upper right, near the picture of the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cover. I dare you to open the book to any recipe and try it out – and then get the book and try out the rest! After 25 years I’m still finding new recipes to try from this book, even as I keep enjoying the ones I already know. Pass the Cinnamon Cookies, again.

Check out All the Sundays At Moosewood Cookbooks

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
About Gillian Kendall

20+ years of professional commercial, academic and technical writing. With a Ph.D (Ohio University) and two MAs (Stanford and U.C. Davis) I'm a former Chair in Writing at Birmingham-Southern College and Cisco technical writer, currently a fulltime freelance writer / editor with three books to my name, a NEW YORK TIMES notable book award, and hundreds of freelance articles, essays, and features.

Subscribe without commenting