I took a lot of pictures of vegetables in 2012. This is partly because I was working on The Glorious Vegetables of Italy, which will be published in the fall, so I was paying extra attention to my subject. But mostly it’s because vegetables are beautiful and deserve to be photographed. (BTW I am no professional photographer and did not photograph the book; I just like taking pictures and find it a valuable form of research and inspiration.)
While a few of the pictures I snapped appeared here on the blog, most of them were in my Instagram feed, and others have been residing in my iPhone. Rather than share yet another last-minute holiday dessert recipe or party dish, I thought you might enjoy this gallery of my favorite vegetable shots of the year:
Fava beans are a pain in the neck to prepare, but their season is short and they are delicious in soups and also mashed with olive oil for a crostini topping.
You already know how much I adore fennel.
Bundles of peperoncini, finger-sized hot peppers, are displayed at a farmers’ market in Cisternino, Puglia, along with green beans and cetriolo melone, a vegetable that is a cross between cucumber and melon.
Ripe cherry tomatoes, dressed with olive oil and basil, make a great topping for friselle, crunchy bread rings that are a staple in Puglia.
Before tomato season ends, I make sure I make at least one batch of slow-roasted tomatoes.
Bietola, or Swiss chard, ranks as one of my top 10 vegetables. I toss it into soups and tomato sauces and saute it with lots of garlic.
Romanesco cauliflower (aka Romanesco broccoli), lime green in color and patterned in a series of logarithmic spirals known as a Fibonacci sequence, is one of Mother Nature’s finest examples.
An abundance of dried legumes is on display at the farmers’ market in Cisternino, Puglia. If you look closely you’ll see a sack of red lentils among them. As you may already know, lentils are considered a good-luck food in Italy, and Italians eat them on New Year’s, often with sausages, in hopes of ushering in a year of good fortune and prosperity.
I’d like to wish all of you a healthy and prosperous New Year. Buon anno a tutti!