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Saturday, December 29, 2007

BOOK REVIEW: My Italian Garden (La PLace)

MY ITALIAN GARDEN; more than 125 seasonal recipes from a garden
inspired by Italy (Broadway Books, 2007, 258 pages, ISBN 978-0-7679-
1825-1, $24.95 paper covers) is by the well-known Italian cookbook
author, Viana La Place. She's a personal fave of mine, with her other
books (Cucina Rustica, Verdura, Pasta Fresca, Cucina Fresca, Panini)
sitting on my shelves. The 125 recipes are based on her seven-tiered
garden in her backyard in San Francisco, which is modeled after Italian
gardens. She's planted three dozen varieties, such as lacinato kale,
fig trees, treviso radicchio, wild fennel, lemon trees, and jasmine.
The book is arranged by season, summer through spring, as the garden
itself changes. There are no complex recipes here, just veggies and
herbs with pasta (or panini, pizza, risotto) forms for the most part.
US volume measurements are used for the ingredients. She lists eight
sources for Italian seed varietals, including one direct from Italy
(the rest are all USA). Full courses are given, from apps through
condiments and desserts.
Audience and level of use: Italian food lovers.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: Sicilian zucchini al picchi
pacchi; orecchiette with little yellow tomatoes and parsley; chioggia
beet and radicchio salad; whole sage leaves in pastella; risotto with
orange and lemon; herb and parmesan custards with truffle oil.
The downside to this book: no metric conversion tables.
The upside to this book: well-developed index.
Quality/Price Rating: 92.

1 comment:

Karl Goldfield said...

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Karl Goldfield