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The Duke's Table: The Complete Book of Vegetarian Italian Cooking Hardcover – March 26, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In 1930, a Sicilian nobleman published a book of Italian vegetarian cooking. Although vegetarianism had not attained the status it enjoys today, Alliata recognized that his fellow Sicilians could scarcely afford to eat red meat on a regular basis. The abundance of fruits and vegetables on the Mediterranean island made vegetarianism a logical and viable alternative, and Alliata set out to document this cuisine. Contemporary cooks may be inspired by his pizzas and mozzarella pies, which make for ideal first courses or cocktail nibbles. He exhibits a puckish sense of humor in presenting a dessert—“fried egg surprise”—concocted in a frying pan from apricot halves atop rounds of whipped cream. Recipes have been updated to reflect modern measurements, but Alliata’s instructions still need some interpretation, even by a reasonably adept and experienced cook. A novel system of serially numbering recipes makes cross-referencing a breeze and deserves to set a new model for cookbook organization. --Mark Knoblauch

Review

“Italians are masters of vegetarian cuisine, as this compendium attests. […] The book is impressive in its variety and breadth.” La Cucina Italiana
 
"[Alliata] exhibits a puckish sense of humor... A novel system of serially numbering recipes makes cross-referencing a breeze and deserves to set a new model for cookbook organization." Booklist

"A fascinating and fresh spin on Italian food."—Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House; 1 edition (March 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612191398
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612191393
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.3 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,310,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While this is an interesting book from a historical perspective, I did not find the recipes to be that appealing. Also, the book was poorly edited with many errors, especially in the numbering of various basic elements used in different recipes.
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Format: Hardcover
What an interesting cookbook! All very easy recipes, and some very unusual ones, but everything I've cooked so far is delicious. The non-vegs in the family have liked it too. It's also such a pretty book - fun to leaf through if you like reading cookbooks, which I do!
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Format: Hardcover
This book was a bit of a surprise for me. I'm NOT a vegetarian, but we are trying to eat healthy so I'm always on the hunt for good, tasty vegetable dishes that my family will enjoy. I absolutely LOVE cooking Italian, and I was expecting exactly what the title said--vegetarian ITALIAN cooking. I was a little surprised when I started seeing all of these recipes like "British Rice", "English Style Vegetarian Meatballs" and "German Cake", but I actually laughed out loud when I kept finding dishes from Australia, Holland, Chili, Russia and more! There are lots of Italian recipes, and they're very good--at least the ones I've cooked so far. There are classics intermixed with recipes I've never heard of. This book is so much fun just to read through!

There is one caveat for this book. If you are not at least somewhat comfortable with cooking, this would not be the book for you. For example, Bocconcini di Sostanza (Tasty Tidbits) has an ingredient list of 3 ingredients (though you'll find at least one more in the directions), but NO measurements. This is very common throughout the book. Some have amounts, some do not. The directions can be as bad. The Milk and Egg Soufflé simply tells you to "pour into a greased mold and steam cook."

Everything I have cooked out of it so far has turned out great, and I love the funny little gems I keep stumbling across. If you're a comfortable to expert cook, you might really enjoy this book. I know I did!

I was sent a copy of this book by Melville House Publishing for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's interesting to have a cookbook that you should read, instead of just being interested in the recipes. It's excellent in regard to the history of vegetarianism. It shows a way that people dealt with being vegetarian back in the day.
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Format: Hardcover
The Duke's Table is an interesting cookbook. It features a number of similar recipes which meditatively explore certain culinary ideas. It's actually very good at explaining how the author thinks about composing dishes.

This is really a sort of outline of his cooking philosophy. It gives you excellent insight in this regard. You could learn a lot from this book. It has something it's trying to teach, but also acts as an inexhaustible recipe book.

This isn't a fancy book with a handful of recipes for a quick inspiration and pretty pictures to excite you. If that's what you want, this is not the book for you. This is an excellent translation of a historical text with a wonderful layout and a very decent index. Keep in mind this book has over 1000 recipes.

The duke who wrote this book had decedent tastes, so don't expect much in the way of "healthful" recipes. He loves his dairy products.

If you're looking for interesting approaches to hearty Italian/Mediterranean dishes for vegetarians, this is an excellent point of reference! I haven't read a book that's anything like it.

It's not perfect, but I'm giving it 5 stars for what it is.
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