Antonio Carluccio is, of course, an Italian cook, and so the subjects in Antonio Carluccio's Vegetables
are approached from a properly Italian point of view. Names, recipes and a respect for their seasonal qualities are all Italian: so too the frugal ability to conjure great depths of flavour from the careful treatment of simple raw materials. Some of the vegetables are very Italian indeed, and you would be lucky to find them outside their native country--the true Radicchio di Treviso, for example, or the strange but delicious, chive-like Barba di Frate--but for most the difficulty will simply lie in matching Carluccio's stipulations of the utmost freshness and quality (organic, if possible).
He works his way through the vegetables from Aglio (garlic: where better to start?) to Zucchino (courgette), setting them in the context of Italian life and culture, often with charming reminiscences from his childhood, explaining their characteristics and how to choose them well. The recipes are a mixture of traditional dishes from all over Italy with inventions or contemporary versions of his own. Traditional might mean familiar, like a particularly good version of Pasta and Bean Soup, but there are many old dishes that will be unfamiliar and enticing--the delicious Culurgiones al Sugo, a papoose-shaped pasta stuffed with potato, cheese and mint is a good example. Carluccio's own offerings, appropriately for a modern restaurateur, are often simple and light.
Italian vegetable cooking is perhaps the most creative and resourceful in Europe, as this stylish and inspiring book makes abundantly clear. Photographs that for once illuminate the food and recipes rather than functioning as mood-enhancers, and that includes delightful shots of Carluccio pottering round his vegetable garden, adorn it. --Robin Davidson
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'A marvellous book...provides an encyclopaedic insight into lesser-known aspects of Italian cooking' -- Independent on Sunday
'Antonio Carluccio has scored yet another hit with this classic guide to vegetables' -- Nine to Five
'Antonio lovingly describes each vegetable...An invaluable reference for all home cooks' -- Ideal Home