Gift Guide

The Tra Vigne Cookbook


People the world over come to California's wine country for a taste of the good life. They find it in abundance at Napa Valley's celebrated Tra Vigne restaurant (the name is Italian for "among the vines"), where an enchanting vineyard setting and chef Michael Chiarello's robust Italian dishes make for an unforgettable dining experience. Now, Chiarello takes readers behind the scenes at the restaurant, sharing recipes and reminiscences inspired by his years at Tra Vigne and the good Italian cooking of his family. ...
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People the world over come to California's wine country for a taste of the good life. They find it in abundance at Napa Valley's celebrated Tra Vigne restaurant (the name is Italian for "among the vines"), where an enchanting vineyard setting and chef Michael Chiarello's robust Italian dishes make for an unforgettable dining experience. Now, Chiarello takes readers behind the scenes at the restaurant, sharing recipes and reminiscences inspired by his years at Tra Vigne and the good Italian cooking of his family. The Tra Vigne Cookbook celebrates the natural beauty and abundance of the Napa Valley with a passionate gastronomic journey through the changing seasons. In addition to seasonal delights like roasted asparagus, lemon-braised artichokes, and pumpkin polenta, home cooks will discover the secrets for Tra Vigne classics such as herb gnocchi with braised lamb shanks and wild mushrooms, crunchy fritto misto with tomato vinegar, rich and crumbly Italian holiday cookies, and a decadent chocolate tiramis. With lush photographs and a strikingly contemporary design, The Tra Vigne Cookbook is a must-have cookbook this fall.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Luxurious Recipes from the Wine Country

Though it's true that these days, home cooks just about everywhere have access to wonderful ingredients even in their neighborhood supermarkets, there are still a few places in the United States where the local products are on another level altogether. California's Napa Valley is one of those places, and even beyond its central importance as a wine-producing region, it's become legendary for the culinary innovation of its restaurants and the abundance of outstanding ingredients to be found in its markets. Chef Michael Chiarello's restaurant, Tra Vigne, has for years been among the very top echelon of Napa Valley dining establishments setting the standard for American cooking today. Now for the first time, Chiarello has brought readers into the world of the restaurant with a lavish new cookbook, The Tra Vigne Cookbook: Seasons in the California Wine Country. Organized by season and highlighting favorite ingredients like garlic and asparagus in spring or citrus and squashes in winter, The Tra Vigne Cookbook offers simple recipes for luxurious food, special chef's notes, gorgeous color photos, and a window into Chiarello's philosophy of cooking with the seasons. A great gift for cooks and wine lovers, this one is too beautiful to get spattered in the kitchen but too irresistible to leave on the coffee table.

From the Publisher
Soulful, vibrant cuisine. The New York Times Magazine

[Chiarello] is the epitome of the new chef....He makes his own fresh Italian cheeses and sausages, cures meats such as salami and prosciutto, and has gone to Italy to buy an olive press to make his own oils. The Palm Beach Post

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811819862
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 9/1/1999
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 635,521
  • Product dimensions: 9.75 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Chiarello -- chef and owner of the acclaimed Tra Vigne restaurant in the Napa Valley -- is the creator of Consorzio, a popular line of flavored oils and vinegars.

Penelope Wisner is the co-author, with Michael Chiarello of Chronicle's Flavored Oils (over 40,000 copies sold).

Karl Petzke is the co-author, with Sara Slavin, of the award-winning book Espresso and is the photographer for Pears (both from Chronicle Books).

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Table of Contents

Fresh Peas & Shelling Beans
Pietro Rabbit
Bell Peppers
Summer Squashes
Food Hugs
Storytelling Time
Winter Squashes
Tra Vigne Classics
Desserts & Cookies
Complete Recipe List
Table of Equivalents
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Recipes from The Tra Vigne Cookbook

Autumn Fruit and Frisée Salad with Panettone Croutons

Serve this festive-looking salad for a Thanksgiving starter or to accompany a roast chicken on a Sunday. If you have a whole loaf of panettone, you could make bruschetta to serve with the salad and omit the croutons. To give the salad more substance to serve as a light lunch, you might want to add crumbled feta or finely grated goat cheese.

Serves 4 1 cup diced Panettone (1/2-inch dice)
2 tablespoons dried cherries
2 tablespoons dried apricots (1/4-inch dice)
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
4 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large pear, about 1/2 pound, peeled, cored, and cut into slivers about 1/4 inch by 1-1/2 inches
1/4 large fennel bulb, about 3 ounces, cut into slivers the same size as the pear
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups roughly torn frisée or curly endive

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Scatter the panettone cubes on a baking sheet and bake, tossing occasionally, until crisp and brown, about 1 hour. Be careful that they do not burn. Set aside.

Put the cherries, apricots, and raisins in a medium bowl. Measure the honey and vinegar into a small pan or microwave-safe bowl. Heat together just until warm. Whisk in 4 tablespoons olive oil and taste for balance. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, if necessary. Pour over the dried fruits. Add the pear, fennel, and salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the fruits and dressing over the greens in a salad bowl and toss well. Add the croutons and toss again. Serve immediately.

Chef's Note: Add croutons only when ready to serve so they stay crisp.

Chicken with Roasted Lemon and Rosemary Sauce

In 1997, my Tra Vigne crew and I cooked for a week at the Mandarin-Oriental in Bangkok, Thailand. Norbert A. Kostner, the hotel's head chef, would not let me leave without giving him this recipe. It's a dish that will look familiar to everyone—chicken and potatoes—but just wait until you taste it.

Serves 4

1-1/2 pounds small new potatoes such as Red Bliss
2 large lemons
Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing on lemons, plus 1/4 cup
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 boneless chicken breast halves, skin on
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup double-strength chicken stock or 2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth boiled until reduced by half
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)

Put the potatoes in a pot of salted cold water and bring to a boil. Cook until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool, but do not peel. Cut in half and set aside.

Preheat the broiler. Cut a small slice off both ends of each lemon, then cut in half crosswise. Arrange the lemons, flesh side up, in a flameproof nonreactive baking dish, brush with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Broil 6 inches or more from the heat until browned and soft, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Squeeze the lemon halves over a sieve suspended over a bowl. Push and stir the pulp through the sieve with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Discard the lemon shells.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the chicken, lower the heat to medium, and cook, turning once, until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove to a platter.

Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring and tossing, until brown all over, about 5 minutes. Drain off the excess oil. Arrange the chicken breasts on top of the potatoes and place in the oven to reheat and cook through, about 10 minutes. When done, remove the chicken to a platter and put the pan with the potatoes over medium-high heat. Toss well so the pan juices are absorbed into the potatoes. Scrape the potatoes out of the pan onto the platter around the chicken.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the garlic. Sauté briefly until light brown. Immediately add the reserved roasted lemon juice (this final flash of heat will cook off any residual acid flavor), stock, rosemary, and parsley. Stir and scrape up all the browned bits that cling to the bottom and sides of the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the sauce tastes too lemony, stir in optional butter. Pour the sauce over the chicken and potatoes and serve immediately.


Hot, cold, sweet, bitter. For such a simple dessert, there is a lot going on here. We had semifreddo on the Tra Vigne menu for our first four years. I think people loved it because it combines adult flavors with childhood pleasures—the strong taste of good espresso and the wonderful texture of melting ice cream. It is also a "small" dessert, served in small portions, so it fits the bill when you want to indulge in "just a little something." All you need to do to make it is to fire up your espresso machine.

Serves 1

1 small scoop hazelnut gelato
1 small scoop vanilla gelato
1 shot fresh hot espresso
Spoonful steamed milk froth
Equal parts unsweetened cocoa powder and powdered sugar, sifted together

Scoop the gelato into a coffee cup or tempered glass tumbler. Pour the hot espresso over the gelato and spoon a little milk froth on top. Dust with the cocoa-sugar mix.

Recipes from The Tra Vigne Cookbook, copyright © 1999 by Michael Chiarello. All rights reserved.

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