2012: The Year in Glorious Vegetables

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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:

favas 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.

fennel You already know how much I adore fennel.

chioggia beets Chioggia beets, from Italy’s Veneto region, have a bullseye pattern that is visible in cross-section.

carrots color Where would Italian cooking be without carrots? Finely diced carrots, celery and onions comprise the flavor base of most Italian sauces, soups and stews.

cauliflower trio Baby cauliflower in creamy white, bright green and purple, appears at farmers’ markets in spring.

baby squash Baby squashes follow soon after the cauliflower. Some are so tiny that they can be roasted or sauteed whole. Slightly larger ones are perfect for stuffing.

Puglia market 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.

tomatoes and taralli

Ripe cherry tomatoes, dressed with olive oil and basil, make a great topping for friselle, crunchy bread rings that are a staple in Puglia.

bean and tomato salad  A salad of green beans, wax beans and ripe tomatoes is one of my favorite summer side dishes.


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.

legumi puglia

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!


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32 Responses to 2012: The Year in Glorious Vegetables

  1. Laura (Tutti Dolci) December 31, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    Beautiful photos, I look forward to your book! Buon anno!

    • Domenica January 1, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      Thank you Laura. I know you’ve already seen most of these photos on Instagram! But it is nice to see all the colors blown up large, isn’t it. Wishing you a wonderful 2013.

  2. janie January 1, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    Wow-your photos are gorgeous and I can’t wait to see your new book!

    • Domenica January 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

      Thanks Janie. Happy New Year to you!

  3. Carol Sacks January 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    What a lovely post, Domenica! Happy New Year to you and yours. Look forward to seeing you in 2013!

    • Domenica January 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

      Thank you Carol. Happy New Year to you and your family as well. Yes, let’s try to see each other in ’13. Cheers!

  4. Suzanne Sidman January 1, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Wonderful photos – and I am especially intrigued by the “Romanesco Cauliflower / Broccoli”! Wonder if we can find these in our local markets? I think I need to look closer next time. Is the taste as unique as its appearance? Looking forward to your book. Wishing you a memorable 2013!

    • Domenica January 1, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by Suzanne. I’ve been seeing more Romanesco lately ~ usually in fall, though. I’m not sure where you are but if there is a Whole Foods nearby, they often carry it when it’s in season.It tastes a lot like cauliflower, but it is slightly sweeter and more tender. It’s delicious roasted. Happy New Year!

  5. Diane Morgan January 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    Gorgeous images. Can’t wait for the book!
    Happy New year! Many resolutions this year!!!

    • Domenica January 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

      Thanks my friend! I’m still working on my resolution list. Perhaps not a good sign…

  6. Barbara | Creative Culinary January 1, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Lovely, gorgeous and more. I’m heading towards more veggies this year…soon there will be only bites of meat!

    • Domenica January 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

      Thank you Barb. I’m heading the same way. There is endless inspiration in vegetables. Happy New Year to you!

  7. Betty Ann @Mango_Queen January 1, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    What gorgeous photos and such helpful info on vegetables. Thanks for sharing, Domenica ! Happy New Year!

    • Domenica January 1, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

      Many thanks Betty Ann ~ Cheers and Happy New Year!

  8. elisa January 2, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Beautiful photos!! I love vegetables, all vegetable!!Well…not okra..If anyone is close to a Trader Joe’s you can find romanesco broccoli in the frozen aisle..with butter sauce..if you don’t mind. I am looking forward to the new book. Buon Anno a tutti!!

    • Domenica January 2, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

      Thanks for sharing the Traders Joe romanesco tip, Elisa. There are TJs all over the country, so this is helpful. As for okra, I don’t think I’ve every actually cooked it and I don’t eat it often. There’s a casual restaurant near my house that I go to from time to time with my family. They recently added gumbo to their menu and I have to say it is really, really good. Even the okra. Buon anno!

  9. gail magnani January 2, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    Love your photos, Domenica. I can’t wait for the book to come out. I’m with elisa. I love, love, love all vegetables…except for okra. Beautiful colors. I am just completely baffled by those who don’t like vegetables. My husband works with a highly-educated woman who will only eat corn and potatoes for vegetables. She’s missing out on great stuff! (and we’re not at all surprised that she is substantially overweight.) Happy New Year!

    • Domenica January 2, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

      Thanks Gail! Another okra dissenter. Ah well. My guess is that many people who don’t like vegetables didn’t grow up eating them. I’m optimistic, though. All the farmers’ markets have helped put vegetables front and center and I see a lot more people singing the praises of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and more. How can you not love such beautiful food? Cheers and Happy New Year to you.

  10. Karen January 2, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    We could live on nothing but these beautiful plants – like a rainbow. Lovely images!

    • Domenica January 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Thank you Karen. They are such easy subjects to photograph ~ they never complain! Cheers, D

  11. ciaochowlinda January 2, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    Oh this makes me really yearn for the publication of your new book. That broccoli romanesco is a real favorite of mine, but difficult to find here in NJ. I’ll try the TJ’s brand that another commenter noted, but frozen veggies generally don’t do it for me, unless it’s peas.

    • Domenica January 3, 2013 at 9:09 am #

      Linda ~ I agree on the frozen veggies, with the exception of peas, as you say, and maybe corn and spinach. On the other hand, Elisa has passed along many valuable tips and she has never steered me wrong. I’m going to check out the frozen veg section of TJs on my next trip there. Cheers, D

  12. mary January 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    I am CRAZY excited for this book. How wonderful.

    • Domenica January 3, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

      Thank you Mary. Happy New Year to you and to your beautiful Josie.

  13. Mairi @ Toast January 3, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Beautiful photos! And I very much look forward to the new book as I love vegetables!

    • Domenica January 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      Many thanks, Mairi. I hope it will be available in your beautiful part of the world. Cheers and Happy New Year!

  14. nancy baggett January 4, 2013 at 12:00 am #

    Going to be redundant and say how gorgeous your pics are. Sometime you will have to tell me how you gained your expertise–they are really lovely! Wishing you a wonderful new year.

    • Domenica January 4, 2013 at 9:33 am #

      Nancy, thank you. I am far from an expert, believe me. In most cases it’s the magic of iPhone + Instagram. And the natural beauty of vegetables. Now when it comes to food styling and composition I am completely lost. But that’s a goal to work towards in 2013. Speaking of which, I love your most recent post on 2012 achievements. Wishing you all the best in the New Year.

  15. AdriBarr January 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    Let the mezzo chime in – glory be to the vegetables, long may they reign. My, but what simply lovely shots.

    I read your reply above, and although the iPhone and Instagram played a part in those shots, you saw what you wanted, you made sure the light was right, and you pressed the shutter button. Credit where credit is due – you are a better photographer than think. I could go on, but the truth is you have a very fine eye for this.

    My only regret is that I must wait until Fall for your book.

    • Domenica January 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

      Adri, thanks so much. I do wish I had more time to explore photography. I used to have an old manual Canon that I used to take landscape shots (in Italy). But it was stolen years ago. And with the digital age things have changed so much. Never enough time, is there?! Buon anno!

  16. Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) January 6, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    Looking forward to your vegetable book–I love the pasta one. 🙂 Happy New Year!

    • Domenica January 7, 2013 at 7:26 am #

      Many thanks Jean! Happy New Year to you as well. I will keep you posted on the pub date. Cheers, D

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