Ciao Italia: Plant, Harvest, Cook!

Ciao Italia: Plant, Harvest, Cook!

by Mary Ann Esposito
Ciao Italia: Plant, Harvest, Cook!

Ciao Italia: Plant, Harvest, Cook!

by Mary Ann Esposito


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CIAO ITALIA: PLANT, HARVEST, COOK! takes the reader on a seasonal home garden vegetable journey focusing on simple growing tips for anyone interested in growing their own vegetables and how to cook them Italian style. In simple language, anyone interested in growing their own vegetables whether on a grand or small scale will find this book filled with helpful gardening advice. No former green thumb necessary.

Over 30 years of trial and error and getting down and dirty, have been the foundation for this book, as well as a love for fresh homegrown food. The book highlights what’s growing in the early spring garden, featuring such cool weather crops as lettuce, radishes and peas and as the pages turn, progresses to what’s growing during the hot summer months with crops like tomatoes, eggplant and peppers.

Over 100 healthy and delicious recipes from soup to dessert are featured. Accompanied by beautiful food photography and photos from the author’s personal collection, this book will make you want to plant, harvest and cook!  

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942155485
Publisher: Randall, Peter E. Publisher
Publication date: 11/15/2022
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 179,766
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Chef, author, and TV personality Mary Ann Esposito is the creator and host of the nationally televised PBS series Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito™ ( The author of fourteen cookbooks, most recently, Ciao Italia: Plant, Harvest, Cook ! Mary has worked beside world-renowned chefs Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Martin Yan, Jasper White, and countless others. Through Ciao Italia and appearances on other television programs—including The Today Show, Regis and Kelly, QVC, the Food Network, Hallmark Channel, Discovery Channel, Fox, Martha Stewart Radio, RAI International, The Victory Garden and many others—she has shared traditional Italian cooking with audiences around the world through personal appearances and social media platforms.

Many organizations have recognized Mary Ann for her efforts to preserve the traditions surrounding Italian food and culture. In 2013 she received the Order of the Star of Italy Cavaliere from the President of the Italian Republic, as well as the Premio Artusi award for her work promoting Italian food. Johnson and Wales University presented her with the Distinguished Author Award. St. Anselm College conferred an honorary doctorate, and the Italian Trade Commission named her a 2010 Hall of Fame honoree.

The Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) honored Mary Ann with the 2009 Lifetime Achievement in the Culinary & Cultural Arts of Italy, as did the National Italian American Foundation. As part of the focus of Ciao Italia, Mary Ann established the Mary Ann Esposito Foundation (, whose goal is to continue fostering the traditions of Italian regional cooking in the United States by providing scholarships for the next generation of chefs.

When not filming Ciao Italia, Mary Ann can be found in Italian kitchens giving hands-on cooking classes all over the “boot.”

Table of Contents

Foreword xv

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Where, Oh Where Should My Garden Grow? 5

Chapter 2 Preparation Is Everything 9

Under Cover 10

Compost: The Gift That Keeps on Giving 10

Guy's Essential Garden Tools 12

Chapter 3 The Early Spring Garden 13

First Up: Lettuce 14

Is It True? 17

Wilt-Free 18

Caesar Salad 19

Guy's Simple Tossed Green Salad 21

Italian-Style Chopped Salad 23

Little Gem Salad 25

An Incredible Edible Flower Bud 26

Roman-Style Artichokes 27

Stuffed Artichokes with Farro 28

Cheesy Artichoke Crostini 29

Artichoke and Leek Tart 30

Artichoke and Potato Casserole 33

Drowned Artichokes 34

For the Love of Beets 35

Beet and Fruit "Waldorf" Salad 36

Beet, Tomato, and Dried Cherry Salad 37

Marinated Yellow Beet Salad 39

Beet Pasta with Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Sauce 40

Beet and Citrus Salad 42

Broccoli Rabe: Bitter Is Better 43

Broccoli Rabe and Chicken Cutlet Sandwich 44

Little Caves with Broccoli Rabe 46

Broccoli Rabe with Olives 49

Broccoli Rabe with Eggs ("Eggs in a Shirt") 50

Cauliflower: The Goldilocks Plant 52

Spaghetti with Cauliflower 53

Roasted Cauliflower 54

Cauliflower Pizza 57

Fried Cauliflower 58

Mashed Cauliflower and Potato Casserole 59

Cool Cucumbers 60

Cucumber and Avocado Bites 61

Stuffed Cucumber Boats 62

Summer Cucumber Salad 64

Cucumber and Radish Salad 66

Where's the Garlic? 67

Roasted Garlic 68

Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Walnuts 70

Hot Anchovy Garlic Sauce 71

Potato and Garlic Soup 72

Leeks: Onion's Mild Sister 73

Grilled Bread with Leeks and Parsley 75

Pureed Leek, Carrot, and Potato Soup 77

Fettucine with Mixed Mushrooms 78

Peas Please 79

Lemony Linguine with Shrimp and Peas 81

Patches and Peas 82

Snap Salad 84

Peas and Lobster, Please! 86

Cream of Pea Soup with Potatoes and Pancetta 88

The Mighty Onion 89

Batter-Fried Onion Fritters 91

Creamy Onion Tart 92

Onion, Potato, and Pumpkin Seed Focaccia 94

Lucca-Style Spring Soup 97

Radish Revelations 98

Grated Radish and Carrot Salad 101

Balsamic-Glazed Roasted Radishes 103

Shallots: Onion's Gourmet Cousin 104

Sea Bass with Shallot Sauce 105

Risotto with Shrimp, Lemon, and Shallots 106

Spring Spinach 107

Spinach and Potato Gnocchi with Mascarpone Cheese Sauce 108

Spinach and Egg Casserole 111

Spinach and Arugula Salad with Strawberries and Honey 112

Spinach-Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Tart 115

Crusty Chicken and Spinach Casserole 116

Swiss Chard: What's in a Name? 117

Swiss Chard Cheese Balls 118

Swiss Chard, Leek, Potato, and Sausage Soup 119

Chapter 4 The Summer Garden 121

Basil: Liguria's Royal Herb 122

Basil Basics 124

Pesto Sauce 126

Basil-Infused Grilled Fruit Salad 129

Trenette with Green Beans, Potatoes, and Pesto 130

Full of Beans 131

Nonna's Beans 132

Green Beans in Tomato Sauce 133

Nonna's Minty Green Bean Salad 135

Eggplant 136

The Kingdom of Eggplant According to Nonna 137

Candle Pasta with Eggplant 139

Eggplant Parmesan 141

Caponata 142

Grilled and Marinated Eggplant 143

Eggplant Stuffed with Sausage and Couscous 144

Peperoni: Peppers with Two P's 146

Sicilian Sweet Peppers with Garlic and Mint 149

Mom's Upside-Down Stuffed Peppers 150

Stuffed Peppers with Rice and Cheese 153

Tomatoes: Apples of Gold 154

Cherry Tomatoes, Bay Scallops and Fusilli 158

Summer Tomato Bread Salad 159

PLT Italian-Style 161

Tomato-Spinach Squares 163

Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce 165

Nonna Galasso's Neapolitan Tomato Sauce 166

Cherry Tomato Marmalade 169

Pasta and Bean Soup 170

Tomato Tips 171

Mixed Garden Vegetable Casserole 172

Stuffed Tomatoes with Wild Rice 175

Bucatini Amatriciana 176

Rigatoni Capri-Style 177

Crazy Water 178

Ryan's Succulent Roast Leg of Lamb 180

Quick Cacciatore-Style Chicken 183

Tomato Rice Soup with Mozzarella Pearls 185

Ziti with Vegetable Salad 186

Zucchini: Be Careful What You Wish For 187

Grated Zucchini Pie 188

Fried Zucchini Balls 189

Three-Squash Soup with Orzo 191

Zucchini Cake-ettes 192

Pasta Twists with Zucchini 194

Grated Zucchini Soup 195

Crunchy Fried Zucchini Sandwiches 197

Creamy Risotto with Leeks and Squash 198

A Handful of Herbs 199

Farro Tart with Mixed Herbs 201

Pronto Herb Pesto Pizza 202

Giardiniera (Pickled Summer Vegetables) 204

Pick of the Garden 206

Arugula: An Herb of Biblical Importance 208

Shrimp with Arugula Sauce 209

Turkey, Arugula and Avocado Boats 210

Season in the Cellar 212

Sicilian Potato Salad 215

Poached Summer Salmon Salad 217

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Herbs 219

Chicken with Lemon and Herbs 221

Rigatoni with Quick Herb Sauce 222

Vinegar Chicken with Aromatic Herbs 223

Little Damsel Sage Crackers 225

Focaccia Barese 226

Non Toccare! 229

Herb-Marinated Mozzarella Balls 231

Mushroom and Cheese Crostini with Thyme 233

Scented Geranium Cake 234

Fruit Salad with Sorrel 237

Tuscan Rosemary Raisin Rolls 238

Gelato with Apricots, Raspberries, and Mint 241

Raspberry and Thyme Tartlets 242

Herb Butter 244

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