Verdure: Simple Recipes In The Italian Style


Celebrating the simple cooking of Northern Italy, Verdure presents 100 healthful recipes for tempting dishes that make the best of fresh seasonal produce.

In Verdure, her long-awaited follow-up to Riso, Gioietta Vitale gives just-picked spinach, perfect baby artichokes, crisp green beans, and other delicacies of the garden the thoughtful treatment they deserve. These recipes, every bit as appealing as they are healthful, are delicious ...
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Celebrating the simple cooking of Northern Italy, Verdure presents 100 healthful recipes for tempting dishes that make the best of fresh seasonal produce.

In Verdure, her long-awaited follow-up to Riso, Gioietta Vitale gives just-picked spinach, perfect baby artichokes, crisp green beans, and other delicacies of the garden the thoughtful treatment they deserve. These recipes, every bit as appealing as they are healthful, are delicious reminders of the tenets of Italian cooking: use fresh ingredients, respect those ingredients, and never add more to a dish than it needs.

This philosophy, which Gioietta has embraced since she first learned about food as a child in Northern Italy, results in such wonderfully simple dishes as Asparagus Salad with Potato-Anchovy Dressing, Sautéed Radicchio in Olive Oil, and Spinach Frittata. Each chapter features information on how to choose, store, and cook a single vegetable, from artichokes to zucchini, as well as a listing of flavors that will complement the vegetable in your own repertoire of dishes.

Each dish is prepared in the low-saturated-fat Italian tradition — a cooking style that's increasingly recognized as not only the most healthful but also one that takes best advantage of vegetables' own natural flavors.

The perfect cookbook for everyone whose culinary ambitions are awakened by overflowing produce stands and bountiful gardens,Verdure will appeal to anyone who understands that the best dishes are often the simplest ones.
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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
Italians, and northern Italians in particular, are justly famous for knowing how to get the most out of vegetables by doing the least to them. For everyone who has overplanted the garden at home or been tempted by the produce at a farm market and brought way too much home, this elegant little book with its 100 recipes, from artichokes to zucchini, provides plenty of inspiration.

Thoughtfully organized by vegetable, each chapter in Verdure offers a handful of tasty recipes plus basic advice about selection and cooking times for steaming, sautéing, boiling, microwaving, or roasting. Vitale also points out compatible flavors for each vegetable, which is highly useful for devising impromptu menus. (Spinach, for example, has great affinities with butter, olive oil, mild and sharp cheeses, pastry, garlic, smoked meats, walnuts, pine nuts, nutmeg, and more.) From Artichoke Fritatta and Baked Fennel with Béchamel Sauce to Raw Zucchini Salad with Parmigiano-Reggiano, the recipes all look simple and delicious. (Ginger Curwen)

Publishers Weekly
The recipes in this slim, very pleasant book "dedicated entirely to vegetables" take the familiar concept of Italian simplicity to a refreshing extreme. Most of them, like Saut ed Cucumbers which has four ingredients, including salt and pepper and Fresh Tomatoes with Mozzarella and Basil are impeccably brief and uncomplicated. Chapters, which are arranged by vegetable, open with amiable introductions and list cooking times for basic preparations like boiling, microwaving and roasting. Interestingly, there are more salads (Fennel Salad) and saut ed side dishes (Saut ed Radicchio in Olive Oil) than pastas. In the occasional headers, Milan native Vitale (Riso) provides personal anecdotes she used to make English Muffin Pizzette for her children as an after-school snack and likes to take Spinach Frittata when she goes sailing on Long Island Sound. In the recipe for Potatoes with Pesto, for example, Vitale recommends including parsley, and, in the introduction to zucchini, she notes that Italian cooks consider zucchini to be past its prime unless the blossom is still attached. With clear, simple instructions, Vitale offers enticing fare, much of it of particular interest in these hot summer days. (July) Forecast: With a pretty cover design and at an excellent price, this cookbook will appeal to the many who want to grace their tables with vegetables Italian style. A rave blurb from Diana Shaw (Almost Vegetarian) will lure buyers. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609604359
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/19/2001
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 6.95 (w) x 6.95 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Gioietta Vitale, a native of Milan, is the author of Riso (1996). A recent chairwoman of The American Italian Cancer Foundation, she continues to be active in fund-raising for cancer research. She is married to Alberto Vitale, former CEO of Random House, Inc., and lives in New York City.

Robin Vitetta-Miller has a master's degree in food and nutrition and is a contributing editor for Cooking Light and Health magazines. She writes columns for Shape, Natural Health, Men's Fitness, and Jump, has written articles on food and health for Family Circle, Mademoiselle, Woman's Day, and First for Women, and is a spokesperson for several food companies. She is the author of The Newlywed Cookbook (Sourcebook, 1999) and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Read an Excerpt

Raw Baby Artichoke Salad Insalata di Carciofi Crudi

Serves 4

12 baby artichokes 4 lemons 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 12 teaspoons salt

The baby artichokes in this salad are eaten raw, and they are so delicate and tasty—like the petals on a rose. Serve this delightful salad as a first course or as a side dish with veal scaloppini or sauteed chicken.

Slice off the top 14 to 12 inch from one artichoke to remove the thornlike tips, if necessary. Slice the stem end so it's even with the base and pull away any dry or tough outer leaves. Transfer to a large bowl of cold water and add the juice from 1 lemon. Repeat with remaining artichokes.

Drain the artichokes and cut each in half lengthwise. Place halves cut side down on a cutting board and thinly slice lengthwise.

Place the artichoke slices in a large bowl and add the juice from the remaining 3 lemons, olive oil, and salt. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.


Asparagus Salad with Potato-Anchovy Dressing Insalata di Aspˆragi con Patate Condite con Salsa di Acciughe

Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds thin asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed 1 large potato, peeled and diced 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 8 whole anchovies, chopped 12 cup chopped fresh parsley 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Salt and freshly ground black pepper

An interesting blend of salty anchovies, starchy potato, and fresh sweet asparagus. This side dish pairs perfectly with sauteed or grilled chicken and steak. If desired, you can make the dressing in advance and refrigerate. Reheat in a small saucepan over low heat until warm.

Blanch theasparagus in a large pot of rapidly boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain and immerse in a large bowl of ice water to prevent further cooking. Drain and set aside.

Cook the potato in a small pot of rapidly boiling water for 10 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the anchovies and potato and, using the back of a spoon, mash the two together until blended. Saute 2 minutes, until hot. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, transfer the asparagus to a serving plate and spoon anchovy dressing over top.

Copyright 2001 by Gioietta Vitale with Robin Vitetta-Miller
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