Red, White, and Greens: The Italian Way with Vegetablesby Faith Heller Willinger
Arranged alphabetically, from
Italians do the most wonderful things with vegetables. The ingenuity that yielded some of the world's greatest art, architecture, design. literature, and fashion is also demonstrated in the Italian kitchen. In their cooking as well as their arts, the Italians take simple elements and make them into something transcendent.
Arranged alphabetically, from artichokes to zucchini, Red, White & Greens celebrates a rich cuisine born of both sunshine and poverty and offers a worthy primer to cooking vegetables the Italian way. Faith Willinger's simple, healthy, and intelligent recipes are certain to become new additions to the classical tradition and the daily repertoire of cooks everywhere.
- Morrow Cookbooks
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.81(w) x 9.49(h) x 1.30(d)
Read an Excerpt
Wild or Tame Greens Frittata
For 4-6 Servings
Main Course, Appetizer
Wild or tame greens make a fantastic frittata. They're used alone or combined, often simply the results of whatever a hunt in the fields turns up.There are different ways to cook a frittata. Liliana, the cook at Castello di Ama in the heart of Chianti, is a traditionalist, and cooks one side, flips it over onto a plate, slips it back into the pan to cook the other side. Others cover the frittata to set the top, flipping onto a serving dish to expose the browned side. Marcella Hazan recommends cooking eggs until set, then broiling the upper surface. And flamboyant cooks flip, flapjack-style. A nonstick omelet pan makes the entire process easier.
1 1/2 pounds wild greens, swiss chard, or spinach
4 quarts water
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Toss the greens in a sinkful of warm water to clean. Rinse the greens until all grit and sand are removed. Dirty spinach may need more than one change of water. Lift the greens from the water and drain in a colander. Remove any bruised leaves and thick stems. Chop the greens.
2 Bring 4 quarts of water to boil. Salt the water, immerse the greens in the boiling water, and cook, 3-5 minutes, or longer for some wild greens, until tender. Remove the greens with a slotted spoon. Place the greens in a colander and run them under cold water to cool. Divide the cooked greens in three parts and squeeze between both hands to form balls and remove all excess water. Squeeze hard! Chop the greens.
3 Mix the eggs and salt and pepper to taste with a forkand combine with the greens.
4 Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a medium-sized nonstick skillet. Add the eggs and greens and cook over low heat until eggs are well set on the bottom but still slightly runny on the surface. Shake the pan to loosen the frittata, running a spatula under the frittata if it sticks.
5 Put a plate over the frittata and invert the skillet to reverse the frittata onto the plate. Slide the frittata back into pan to cook the other side.
6 Slide onto a platter and serve hot or at room temperature. Leftovers make a good sandwich.
Tomato and Mozzarella Salad from Capri
For 4-6 ServingsAppetizer, Main Course
Insalata caprese, the salad from Capri, is the perfect summertime dish for lazy cooks in a hurry. Slicing is the hardest part. Bright red tomato slices are interspersed with juicy white mozzarella and whole green basil leaves, drizzled with a little extra virgin, sea salt, and a twist of pepper. The salad was created in the 1950s, a substitute for the sumptuous cooking at the Trattoria da Vincenzo for summertime regulars out for a light lunch. They'd order a ripe, just-picked tomato and a fresh, locally made fior di latte, cow's milk mozzarellano buffalo on the island of Capri. The salad has evolved on Capri to include a few leaves of rughetta, wild arugula, and a pinch of dried wild oregano, both island products; everywhere else in Italy the salad is limited to tomato, mozzarella, and basil. The dressing is always a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Vinegar would destroy the delicate flavor of fresh mozzarella and is never used. Because the Capri salad is so simple, first-rate ingredients are imperative. Mozzarella should be fresh, white, locally made or imported. Both yellow, rubbery, processed mozzarella wrapped in plastic and hothouse tomatoes are unacceptable. If fresh mozzarella isn't available locally, it can be ordered from Mozzarella Company, 2944 Elm Street, Dallas, Texas 75226, Telephone: 800-798-2954.
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed arugula (optional)
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 pinch first-rate dried oregano (optional)
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Tear basil (and optional arugula) into bite-pieced pieces. Alternate slices of tomato, mozzarella, and basil leaves on a serving platter. Scatter the arugula and oregano on top (if you choose to use them). Drizzle the salad with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Meet the Author
Faith Willinger who lives in Florence. is a contributing editor of Gourmet magazine and Epicurious, the CondÉ Nast food web site. She is the author of Eating in Italy.
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