It's NOT just about vegetables!
Reviewed in the United States on 25 July 2015
I found Michele Scicolone by a lucky accident, scanning my local newspaper yrs ago, there was a recipe printed from one of her earlier books to make Zeppole. It is the real deal, I have never seen this recipe in any cookbook anywhere, nor on the many TV cooking shows, EVER. It's my go to zeppole recipe, easy, fast, and is just like those you get at the pizza places that sell them. The recipe was so stellar, I bought that book on that one recipe alone; then in that book, I found a Spumoni ice cream, just like the ones of yesteryear I remember as a little girl eating when going out with my parents to Italian restaurants for special occasions. It is spot on. You can't get Spumoni today at some of the most authentic Italian restaurants. Based on that discovery, I bought this book too, bc the first book was so good, even if it is about vegetables more than holiday recipes. My only real objection to this cookbook is the TITLE. It is ALL wrong. It is not just about vegetables, it has chapters on soups, sides, pastas, risottos, etc., SOME of which use veggies, but not all. I am fearful that most people will never have the pleasure of ever opening this book bc of the misleading title alone. Why this title was chosen is truly a mystery.
My first recipe was the Swiss Chard with Tomato and Garlic, straightforward and simple. I made a baked slice butternut squash, but it was bland. I had to add a bit of sugar to brighten the taste. I have a similar recipe that is stellar that comes from a Lidia Bastianch cookbook that have, so this one didn't measure up. Then I went into the Dessert Section... the Polenta Berry Cake (no veggies!). I love polenta and I always have it in my pantry. It was easy, fast, and a great moist cake to even bring to someone's house. I know 2 or 3 ways to make polenta, the usual way stirring in a pot, or a slow cooker, or even an oven. But she had a shortcut version of stovetop that saved some time stirring, it worked out very nicely! I like learning new tricks. I have other pages tagged, and will report back when I try them, but I had to give a preliminary shout out about this book to hopefully put it on your 'radar,' lest you dismiss it entirely; bc if the title is taken literally, and you like rice, grains, beans, fruits, etc., you might pass it up never knowing it is not 'just vegetables.'
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