Book Review: Verdue: Simple Recipes in the Italian Style by Gioietta Vitale

Verdure: Simple Recipes in the Italian StyleVerdure: Simple Recipes in the Italian Style by Gioietta Vitale

From artichoke frittata to zucchini soup, Vitale offers simple and nutritious recipes dedicated entirely to vegetables. Providing tips on selecting fresh ingredients and bringing out each dish’s unique flavor, Verdure represents the best of northern Italian cuisine, and is a must-have for anyone seeking no-frills meals using the best that any local produce market has to offer.

Given to me in ebook format by

The book translates well into an ebook format, and there are chapter links at the beginning that allows the user to jump to that section, which is a useful addition. The book is split into chapters covering various vegetables (e.g. Artichoke and Peas), and there is a brief description of each vegetable before the recipes are presented, detailing when they are best in season, and giving approximate cooking times.

There are few images in the book, which is a good thing when presented in a black and white format of an ebook. However the image clarity is excellent where they do exist. Font size is good, making the book easy to read, and is easily adjustable for those that require it.

Each recipe is short and to the point, requiring very few ingredients – this allows the cook to work with a small budget and also build up a set of smaller plates of vegetables (westerners would class them as side dishes). The recipes make sure to show vegetables at their best without drenching them in heavy sauces. The brevity of the recipe does assume a certain knowledge of basic preparation and cooking techniques, so this is not a book for an absolute beginner just starting out (for that, go look at Delia!)

Where possible, the book also provides suggestions to lift the dishes into a “main” dish such as using the dish as a sauce for pasta. Most of the dishes are immediately suitable for vegetarians, or can be after a small amount of modification (e.g. by replacing the cheese with a vegetarian equivalent).

In summary: a useful and interesting addition to the cookbook range especially for those who wish to add new and interesting vegetable recipes to their repertoire!


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