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Verdura: Vegetables Italian Style [Hardcover]

Viana La Place
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2008
Since its first publication in 1991, Viana La Place's "Verdura" has become a much loved classic. And with good reason: Its 300 irresistible recipes represent the best of the Italian approach to vegetable preparation, an earthy yet spirited technique that celebrates fresh ingredients simply treated. Many readers have made the book their vegetable cooking bible; those who have not yet added it to their kitchen libraries will want to do so. Contending that eating well-prepared vegetables helps us to appreciate life's natural cycles, La Place presents recipes for antipastos, salads, soups, sandwiches, pasta, risottos, pizzas, and much more. The vegetables she explores run from the familiar - artichokes, aubergines, radicchio - to the more exotic, such as chayote, cardoons, and brocciflower. (La Place sautes this cauliflower-broccoli hybrid in garlic and oil, then tops it with pungent provolone.). Other recipes, such as Soup of Dried Fava Beans with Fresh Fennel, Fettucine with Peas, Green Onions, and Mint, Grilled Bread with Mushrooms and Herbs, and Baked Red Pepper Fritatta, give further evidence of La Place's original yet thoughtful way with the earth's bounty. Desserts are also included, among them Watermelon with Bittersweet Chocolate Shavings, Grilled Figs with Honey and Walnuts, and Lemon Granita and Brioche. With a vegetable and herb guide and an ingredient glossary, "Verdura" provides comprehensive information while exciting the palate.

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From Amazon

Since its 1991 publication, Viana La Place's Verdura has become a classic. And with good reason: Its 300 accessible recipes represent the best of the Italian approach to vegetable preparation, an earthy yet spirited technique that celebrates fresh ingredients simply treated. Many readers have made the book their vegetable cooking bible; those who have not yet added it to their kitchen libraries will want to do so. Contending that eating well-prepared vegetables helps us to appreciate life's natural cycles, La Place presents recipes for antipastos, salads, soups, sandwiches, pasta, risottos, pizzas, and more. The vegetables she explores run the gamut from the familiar--artichokes, eggplant, radicchio--to the more exotic, such as chayote, cardoons, and brocciflower. (La Place sautés this cauliflower-broccoli hybrid in garlic and oil, then strews it with pungent provolone.) Other recipes, such as Soup of Dried Fava Beans with Fresh Fennel, Fettucine with Peas, Green Onions, and Mint, Grilled Bread with Mushrooms and Herbs, and Baked Red Pepper Fritatta, give further evidence of La Place's original yet thoughtful way with the earth's bounty. Desserts are also included, among them Watermelon with Bittersweet Chocolate Shavings, Grilled Figs with Honey and Walnuts, and Lemon Granita and Brioche. With a vegetable and herb guide and an ingredient glossary, Verdura provides comprehensive information while exciting the mind's palate. --Arthur Boehm --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

" Verdura means vegetables," writes cooking teacher and food columnist La Place ( Cucina Fresca ). It "represents a style of cooking directly related to nature." By scouring the homes and restaurants of Italy, here she proves her case with 250 recipes and 50 menus featuring "vegetables in all their remarkable variety"--antipasti, salads, sandwiches, soups, pastas, risotti, tarts and stews. As in her previous books, ingredients fall into unexpected combinations--carrots with porcini mushrooms, fried yellow peppers with mint. Whimsy is also revealed in recipes for "olive oil from hell" and "angry rice." Mainly, however, common sense and creativity combine forces. The roster of Italian vegetables is well represented, from olives to peppers to artichokes, and now-familiar foods like pasta are given new life (e.g., tubetti with diced tomato and avocado sauce). La Place tells us that "it is through vegetables that I have found my greatest expression." Verdura is the proof. Illustrations not seen by PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just the two "sides" or a salad Dec 10 2001
Format:Hardcover
The nice thing about Verdura is that it has everything-- Antipasti, Salads, Grilled Breads/Sandwiches, Soups, Pasta, Rice/Polenta, Main Dishes, Sides, and Desserts--featuring vegetables cooked the Italian way.
Other than the Chinese, I think the Italians have the best feel for how to bring out what's wonderful in a vegetable. I love the cauliflower with lemon dressing in particular, and the squash recipes as well.
The pizza basic recipe is really great. We made it last night and it came out so well. (We did use a pizza stone, which really makes a difference.) Next time we will try the Arugula version of the pizza. Arugula is a pungent green, looking a bit like dandelion leaves and it not only tastes great, it is really good for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes but not all vegetarian Nov. 23 2003
Format:Hardcover
There's some of everything in this cookbook but if you're vegetarian or vegan be prepared to alter the recipes here and there. There's a recipe for chicken broth and another for beef broth and they're used in a bunch of the recipes -not a big deal - I just substitite a nice vegetable broth and all is well. Anchovies are used here and there too. For the vegan - you'll need to do your own substititues where cheeses are called for and there are a few egg recipes.
Anyway, that said, there are lots of great recipes in here. Here's a quick view of the table of contents and a few of my favorites:
- Antipasti (vegetables, fruits, cheeses, marinated vegetables, hot antipasti) - Artichokes Griti Style is really tasty - it has olive oil and parm. cheese; also some really easy recipes for things like raw vegetables with olive oil, marinated eggplant, spicy carrots, etc
- Salads (leafy, little, and salads as main courses) -lots of nice, mostly simple salads. I made the one called Warm Cannellini Bean and Herb Salad and served it at our Christmas dinner alongside raviolis etc and it was a hit
- Grilled bread and sandwiches - haven't tried any of these but they look tasty
- Soups for every season (minnestrone soup with rice was excellent - I did it in the slow cooker - yum! There's also an escarole soup similar to what my grandmother used to make - it was good but not as good as hers :)
- Pasta Sauces (excellent, fresh ideas straight from the garden. pasta with 10 herbs was great. I haven't tried it yet but there's a recipe that uses tomoatoes and avocados that sounds really good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource March 20 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This was purchased as a bridal shower gift for our future grandniece who is a vegetarian of sorts. The grandnephew likes Italian cooking and this is providing them with a wealth of recipes which will satisfy them both. The report I get is that the soups are excellent. In looking through the book, I found that I would like a copy myself in spite of my 50 feet of cookbooks.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not just the two "sides" or a salad Dec 10 2001
Format:Hardcover
The nice thing about Verdura is that it has everything-- Antipasti, Salads, Grilled Breads/Sandwiches, Soups, Pasta, Rice/Polenta, Main Dishes, Sides, and Desserts--featuring vegetables cooked the Italian way.
Other than the Chinese, I think the Italians have the best feel for how to bring out what's wonderful in a vegetable. I love the cauliflower with lemon dressing in particular, and the squash recipes as well.
The pizza basic recipe is really great. We made it last night and it came out so well. (We did use a pizza stone, which really makes a difference.) Next time we will try the Arugula version of the pizza. Arugula is a pungent green, looking a bit like dandelion leaves and it not only tastes great, it is really good for you.
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