Revised and updated with full color photographs, the recently published e-book of From An Italian Garden offers fast easy recipes for fresh vegetables prepared alla cucina Italiana.
True to the Italian tradition of preparing vegetables and fruits by the simplest means in order to preserve their natural flavor, From an Italian Garden includes more than two hundred delicious vegetable and fruit recipes, each of which is versatile enough to be served as an appetizer or a main course.
Starting with antipasti, the recipes range from the light but savory Sautéed Mushrooms with Garlic and Parsley to zesty Leeks with a Green Caper Sauce. The creamy Fennel and Broccoli Soup is just one of many soups that can be served either hot in the winter or cool, topped with Parmesan and olive oil, in the summer. The Tuscan tradition of serving bread at every meal is brought to life with spreads like Eggplant Caviar and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and uncommon variations on traditional themes like Pizza with Roasted Onions, Rosemary, and Taleggio Cheese.
Since the days of the ancient Romans, pasta has been an integral part of Italian life. Barrett explains the secrets of mixing, rolling, and cutting fresh pastas and how to prepare delicious dishes like Green Ravioli with Basil and Goat Cheese Filling, and Baked Ziti with Fontina Cheese and Three Squashes. Recipes for grains and beans, two other mainstays of Italian cooking, range from delicate and subtle to hearty, including the rich-tasting Risotto with Artichokes and Lemon, crispy Fried Polenta with Mushrooms, the dumpling-like Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola and Cream, or the robust White Beans with Escarole and Garlic.
There are savory pies and omelettes, torte and frittate, served with an assortment of vegetables, all baked with Parmesan and fresh herbs. The salads are just as varied, from the classic Sicilian recipe for Salad of Sliced Red Onion and Oranges to Potato and String Bean Salad. For dessert, there's a warm, wintertime Baked Apples Stuffed with Raisins and Pine Nuts or a cool, berry-lover's treat of Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blackberries with Raspberry Sauce and Mascarpone.
Barrett prefaces the recipes by discussing the ingredients themselves, from the basics of the Italian diet—olive oil in its various grades, stocks, cheeses, vinegars—to vegetables and fruits and how to select, store, prepare, and cook them, in addition to a brief history of each vegetable and the part it plays in Italian cooking.
From an Italian Garden draws on the richness of Italian culture and tradition for a selection of recipes that is equally varied and tempting, and best of all, healthful.