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My Italian Garden: More than 125 Seasonal Recipes from a Garden Inspired by Italy Paperback – May 8, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Even home cooks who are unable to keep the hardiest of plants alive or who live in tiny, dark apartments will be enchanted by La Place's description of her bountiful garden. La Place (coauthor of Cucina Fresca) begins with a lyrical account of how she created the garden in her San Francisco home after observing some in Italy, and each seasonal section and recipe is accompanied by an inspiring meditation on the ingredients. The dishes are relatively simple: a Passato of Cannellini Beans and Cima di Rapa bursts with a heady flavor unusual for winter, while a fall pasta celebrates the flavor of just-picked artichokes highlighted with parsley and white wine. La Place's insistence on relying on her garden's bounty alone to supply dishes for each course and every season spurs her to great creativity, as exemplified by the "Caprese" salad that morphs through the year from the summer classic to a winter version with radicchio, orange zest and hazelnuts. Though cooks without a garden will not have quite the experience that La Place describes, just the idea of concentrating on a few fresh ingredients will remind them of just how extraordinary vegetables can be. Color illus. not seen by PW. (May 8)
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Review

“My Italian Garden makes my mouth water and my fingers itch to be in the kitchen. The remarkable ease of the recipes, the ingenious combination of familiar ingredients, the dazzling colors, the bright enticing fresh flavors: Viana’s understanding of Italian tastes shines from every page. As for me, I’m dashing to make bread lasagna, hard-cooked eggs wrapped in basil leaves, a remarkably simple and creamy zucchini risotto, and fig and almond pesto."
--Carol Field, author of The Italian Baker, Italy in Small Bites, and Celebrating Italy

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (May 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767918258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767918251
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,365,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. Obrecht on July 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
The author's skillful writing and unabashed passion for Italy, Italian cooking, and her stateside Italian garden make this book a fun and insightful read from start to finish. At its outset, you journey to rural Italy, past and present, to experience the sights, scents, and flavors of true Italian cuisine. The author, who grew up in an Italian family, spent six summers researching in the seacoast area of Salento, working the olive groves, gathering herbs, and drawing culinary inspiration from townspeople. Another section, on creating an Italian garden in the U.S., is a must-read for gardeners! The attractive layout, easy-to-read print, and budget price are reader-friendly too. The recipes, 125 in all, are beautifully introduced, easy to follow, and arranged seasonally, to allow maximum usage of fresh produce. Best of all, every one we've made has tasted fabulous. Five stars for this book!
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I had forgotten it was a used book I purchased. Thus I now have to somewhat amend my review. I bought it mostly as art book because of the fine watercolor illustrations. Thus I placed much (negative) import on the sad fact that the back cover had several deep slashes as if from a clumsy wielded box-cutter / knife. One doesn't expect that but cannot expect a perfect book either.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Laura J. Flowers on May 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is glorious! The recipes are simple, clean, and stunningly beautiful.

The only thing that might not work for some is the complete lack of pictures. If you can get past that, this is truly a wonderful cookbook.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steely Dan on February 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am so impressed by Cindy Rosenheim's illustrations -- whimsical, evocative, utterly charming. They are a perfect complement to the text.
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