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Hi there,

In the 1970s a cookbook was born that captured the world’s flavors in a new way. It was called the Moosewood Cookbook, revolutionizing how people cooked.

The Moosewood Cookbook was written in 1977 by an artist and self-taught cook Mollie Katzen. This book drew on her experience cooking in her beloved Moosewood natural foods restaurant in Ithaca, New York, and featured recipes inspired by her travels. This cookbook was a major influence on the vegetarian food movement and helped to expand our horizons in the kitchen. 

Mollie presented her readers with a wide variety of vegetarian dishes which are both accessible and flavorful. Further, readers were also introduced to ingredients and techniques from around the world. The book helped to make cooking and exploring new ingredients accessible to cooks of all levels.

Creative, flavorful, and inspiring, the Moosewood Cookbook has won many awards and honors and helped raise the vegetarian food profile. Of Mollie’s many books, the Moosewood Cookbook remains her best-known and beloved, inspiring a new generation of cooks to be Gutsy Gourmets and to explore the global table.

In the next few days, I will be posting reviews done by the members of the Cookbook Confidential Cookbook Club. Contained in those reviews will be pictures and recipes from the Moosewood Cookbook that they prepared for their reviews. I know you will enjoy reading these reviews and creating some of these recipes.

I chose to make Mollie’s Ratatouille to showcase the simplicity of her genius.

““Women of my generation were keen – rightly – not to be tied to the stove, but the ramifications of this were that they felt a sense of dread in the kitchen. How can this be good for anyone? I also feel that to denigrate any activity because it has traditionally been associated with the female sphere is in itself anti-feminist.” 

Nigella Lawson


Recipe by Mollie Katzen Course: AppetizersCuisine: MediterraneanDifficulty: Easy


Cooking time





  • Heat olive oil in a large, heavy, cooking pot. Crush the garlic into the oil. Add bay leaf and onion, salt lightly. Saute over medium heat until onion begins to turn transparent. Add eggplant, wine, and tomato juice. Add herbs. Stir to mix well, then cover and simmer 10-15 minutes over low heat. When eggplant is tender enough to be easily pricked by a fork, add zucchini and peppers. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper, tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix well. Continue to stew until all vegetables are tender. (How tender is tender? Do a taste test and decide what seems right to you.).
  • Just before serving, mix in the fresh parsley.


  • Serving Suggestions/Options: Serve on a bed of rice, or in a bowl, accompanied by some good french bread. Top with grated cheese and chopped black olives.

I hope you have enjoyed meeting Mollie and learning about her groundbreaking cookbook. Our COOKBOOK CONFIDENTIAL COOKBOOK CLUB will be reviewing the Moosewood Cookbooks in April and will be giving you lots of other recipes to try.


  1. V.M.Sang – UK – I was born and educated in the north west of England. I trained as a teacher in Manchester and taught in Salford, Lancashire, Hampshire and Croydon. I write fantasy novels currently. I also make cards, knit, crochet, tat, do cross stitch and paint. I enjoy walking on the Downs, cycling and kayaking. I do not enjoy housework, but like cooking.
    V.M.Sang says:

    I often make ratatouille. It’s a super summer dish, either on its own with crusty bread or as an accompaniment.

  2. Darlene – British Columbia, Canada – Writer of children's stories, short stories and travel articles.!/supermegawoman!/pages/Darlene-Foster-Writer/362236842733
    Darlene says:

    The perfect recipe to kick off this challenge. This is probably the recipe I use the most from this cookbook, which has been my main cookbook for most of my adult life. I look forward to what others pick from the books.

  3. ajeanneinthekitchen – I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.
    ajeanneinthekitchen says:

    Love it! 🙂

      • ajeanneinthekitchen – I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.
        ajeanneinthekitchen says:

        You are very welcome. 🙂

  4. I used to eat lots of ratatouille…now my tummy can’t handle many vegetables, so I slow down LOL…I don’t know about the cookbook and look forward to reading more recipes from it.

  5. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, chocolate, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. I cook from scratch, and try not to use anything that has ingredients I cannot pronounce! After many years of daily serving up local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most full-fat dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies, and I try to educated myself about our food sources! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

    I love that you chose this dish to start us off, it’s perfect. I’ve made it for decades, and never tire of it!

  6. johnrieber – I love great food, interesting books, fascinating travel, outrageous movies, and bacon, especially when it sits on top of a great cheeseburger! I work in entertainment – and I have been lucky enough to interview some really talented Artists – that guides my posts: interesting and provocative movies, music, social media and of course, food, since I believe strongly in the maxim, "everyone eats!"
    johnrieber says:

    Looks delicious! sharing now!

  7. This is such tasty classic dish! 🙂

  8. Awakening Wonders – Everyday life is filled with wondrous things and embraceable moments, but only if we allow ourselves to be fully awakened. I invite you to join me as I share passionate life adventures and ramblings that awaken my spirit. I look forward to awakening your senses to the simple, joyous wonders that are all around us. I feel that we are destined to become soulful adventurers!
    Awakening Wonders says:

    This recipe makes me so very , very hungry!

  9. CarolCooks2 – Udon Thani – Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them. I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling. Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing. This is now taking me into other areas like deforestation, chemicals and preservatives in the food chain. Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
    CarolCooks2 says:

    One of my favourite vegetable dishes…Love it! 🙂

  10. HI Bernadette, this looks like a lovely ratatouille recipe. It is one of my favourite vegetable dishes.

    • Thanks Robbie, I always like to have ratatouille on hand. It is delicious right out of the bowl but also makes a great garnish for a simple fish or chicken recipe.

  11. the perfect dish to begin with. Thanks for coordinating this.

  12. cgarrett08tx – TX – Christy has three children. She has over 25 years of parenting experience, including parenting as a young mom and a single parent. When she isn't writing, you can find her coloring, playing Candy Crush, and listening to Taylor Swift.
    Christy Garrett says:

    I’ve never had ratatouille before. I’ll have to give it a try. But I’ll have to leave the eggplant out. I’m not a fan of it.

    • Christy if you make it without eggplant, can you report back with the recipe and your thoughts. Eggplant isn’t for everyone and I am sure others would like to share in your recipe.

  13. Debbie – Tumbarumba, NSW, Australia – Travelling is in my family's blood and since being forced into an early retirement (due to a redundancy) I'm making the most of my 'spare time'. Along with travel, Rotary, running, cycling, reading, photography and social media, I love to blog. The community network, continually learning new skills, and sharing ideas is a source of great joy. Other things that make me happy are my husband, our three grown up daughters and family. I now have two new granddaughters, and two grandsons. Taking pleasure in the everyday beauty around us is essential to a happy life – take time to smell the roses! It costs nothing to smile 🙂
    Debbie says:

    Thanks for sharing this useful and delicious sounding recipe from the book Bernadette. Also it’s great to have you join us for the WBOYC linkup 🙂

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