2012: The Year in Glorious Vegetables

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 […]

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A Love Child at the Thanksgiving Table

I recently posted this Instagram photo of something new (to me) called Kaleidoscope sprouts. I discovered that lots of others had never heard of them either. My friend Colleen commented, “My two favorite veggies had a love child?” That is exactly what happened. Kaleidoscope sprouts, also known as flower sprouts, are a clever cross between […]

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Nose-to-Tail Fennel

Fennel is a generous vegetable. It graces the table in spring and early summer, where it keeps company with asparagus and baby onions, and then again in fall, when it cozies up to eggplant and peppers, then apples and winter squash. In supermarkets I often see bulbs of fennel tightly wrapped in plastic, their stalks […]

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Q & A with Giuliano Hazan and a Recipe for Cold Minestrone with Rice

I feel a certain kinship with Giuliano Hazan. I do not have a famous cookbook author for a mother. But Marcella Hazan and my mom are contemporaries, both born and raised in pre-World War II Italy. And while Marcella Hazan is from Emilia-Romagna and my mother from Abruzzo, both grew up in communities along the […]

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Strawberry-Apricot Pie

I hope they have health food in Dublin and strawberry apricot pie If they don’t have those things in Dublin we’ll probably die  For years—decades—I have wanted to make this pie. Strawberry-apricot pie. Ever since I first heard those three words strung together in the song “The Troubles” by The Roches. This was back in 1979 or […]

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Sage Advice

The other day I received a large, lovely bouquet, not of flowers but of sage, which is much nicer in my opinion. The gift was from my good friend (and—lucky me—next-door neighbor) Anne, who happened to be thinning out her herb garden and had more sage than she knew what to do with. I was […]

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Strawberry Granita: The Sweet Taste of Summer

There was a small gelateria around the corner from my aunts’ apartment in Rome. It was nothing fancy, no gilt mirrors or polished marble bar top. If it had a name, I never knew it. It was not the kind of place that would have made any Best Gelaterias in Rome list. The chairs were […]

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Easter Break: Savory Cheese Biscotti

It is time to come to grips with the fact that I will never run my household the way my mother ran hers. How do I know? Because when I was growing up, by this time Easter week my mom would have: * Made and frozen her pizza rustica, a classic savory Easter torte, so that it […]

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Spring in Tuscany: Giulia Scarpaleggia

Giulia Scarpaleggia of Juls’ Kitchen I had such a lovely time visiting with Frances Mayes, that I have decided to extend my virtual soggiorno in Tuscany for another week. Today I am dropping in on Giulia Scarpaleggia, author of Le Ricette di Mia Nonna (My Grandma’s Recipes) and of the Italian food blog Juls’ Kitchen. Although […]

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Frances Mayes’s Tuscan Table

Virtually everyone who has traveled to Italy can describe a moment in which they were transported by food—whether a platter of plump, cheese-filled ravioli bathed in butter and sage; a silky, paper-thin slice of prosciutto draped over a warm puff of fried dough; a glossy cone of hand-dipped gelato. For Frances Mayes, author of the […]

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