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Vegetables and Side Dishes

Italy is one great vegetable patch from the Alps on down. Anything that can be grown is grown, and turned into delightful side dishes of one sort or another, many of which can also double as a main course in a light meal.
  1. Artichokes (25)
  2. Asparagus (20)
  3. Beans, etc. & Green Beans (57)
  4. Bell Peppers (29)
  5. Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale... (39)
  6. Cardoons (7)
  7. Chestnuts (3)
  8. Eggplant (32)
  9. Farro, An Ancient Grain (6)
  10. Finocchio, Bulb Fennel (10)
  11. Mushrooms (13)
  12. Potatoes (27)
  13. Radicchio Rosso (10)
  14. Salads & Greens (73)
  15. Sundry Vegetables (39)
  16. Tomatoes (21)
  17. Vegetable Pies and More (40)
  18. Zucchini & Squash (56)

Frutta e Verdura
Frutta e Verdura: Photos of Italian fruit and vegetables, from local produce markets.

Cavolo Cappuccio: Red and Green Cabbage
Cavolo cappuccio is the firm, round, smooth-leaved head cabbage that can be either purplish red or pale green, and most of my Italian cookbooks take it for granted: After devoting considerable space to describing the other varieties, in particular Savoy Cabbage and Kale, they simply mention it. There is more to cavolo cappuccio, however. Quite a bit more....

Preparing Artichokes the Italian Way
Italians prepare artichokes by stripping away the outer leaves to reveal the tender inner leaves surrounding the artichoke's heart. It's an easy preparation that opens the doors to many dishes.

Cavolo Verza, or Savoy Cabbage
Cabbage is the quintessential Italian winter vegetable, and in the north the king of cabbages is Savoy Cabbage, or Cavolo Verza. It's good in soups, with rice or polenta, and is also an excellent side dish.

Fiori di Zucca or Zucchina:
Zucchini and squash blossoms are an extraordinarily delicate summer treat. Zucchini blossoms are wonderful fried and delightful stuffed. How to select and cook zucchini blossoms.

Selecting and cooking a quintessential summer vegetable.

Farro, Grain of the Legions
Grano Farro has a long and glorious history: it is the original grain from which all others derive, and fed the Mediterranean and Near Eastern populations for thousands of years; somewhat more recently it was the standard ration of the Roman Legions, and now, after a long period of eclipse, it is making a roaring comeback.

Bulb fennel is one of the treats of winter.

Le Bruciate
How to select and roast a chestnut, one of the unsung heros of Italian cuisine.

The Marvelous Mushroom
Porcini are one of God's great gifts to Humanity, a mushroom delicate enough to flavor a sauce, yet vigorous enough to stand up to a grilled steak with Barolo.

A few words on selecting eggplant and their place in the Italian diet.

Summer brings to mind many things, especially peaches.

That's bell peppers, not sausage. A few words on buying and preparing them.

Some unusual ways to use hot peppers.

Radicchio Rosso di Treviso
It really is bright red, and is one of the most glorious of all winter vegetables.

Announce the arrival of spring.

Tempo di Mele!
Apples, the classic fall fruit, have many uses.

What could be more refreshing in summer?

Close cousins of the artichoke, and a classic winter vegetable in Northern Italy.

Basil: On Making Pesto
Pesto sauce, the Ligurian variety made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, and cheese, is one of the most refreshing summer pasta sauces going. And versatile too; you can do much more than put it over trenette.

Cavolo Nero:
Cavolo nero, black leaf kale, is a leafy cabbage that doesn't form heads, but rather resembles palm fronds, with deep greenish black leaves that can be up to a yard (a meter) long, have pronounced ribs, and whose surfaces have a distinctive bubbly appearance. It's quite tasty and perfect in hearty soups or over (or in) polenta.

Cipolle, or Onions:
Onions are both herb and vegetable, and are fit for all seasons. About, purchasing, storage, and usage.

Asparagus: That's Asparagi
Asparagus is the quintessential spring vegetable: Background, preaparation and lots of recipes

Arance! (That's Oranges)
Oranges are one of the great bounties of winter: You can enjoy them as is, squeeze them, or cook with them, perparing everything from antipasti through sumptuous desserts.

Fresh Figs, Anyone?
Fresh figs have been a South Italian staple for thousands of years. They're wonderful as is, make excellent jams, are superb in cakes, and that's just the beginning.

Broccoli Raab, a wilder relative of broccoli
Broccoli raab (Brassica rapa var. cymosa), which are also known as cime di rapa in Italy, are a wilder member of the broccoli family with small, fairly loose florets... Information on purchasing and using it.

Cavolfiore: That's Cauliflower, A Winter Gift
Cauliflower: One of the most classic winter vegetables, which is both tasty and healthful, and quite capable of taking center stage.

Oranges are one of the great bounties of winter.

Buying and preparing this amazingly versatile winter vegetable.

Asparagus is the quintessence of spring.

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzos, may be native to the Orient, but have been a staple in the Mediterranean Basin for hundreds of years, and are quite common throughout Italy.

Mention beans and many people think of winter dishes such as fagiuoli all'uccelletto (white beans cooked with garlic, sage, olive oil, tomato sauce, and, quite often, link sausages), which will stick to the ribs and keep the cold at bay. However they're harvested in summer and can be extraordinarily refreshing in hot weather too.

Lentils are extremely versatile and quite tasty. They're also a requirement on New Year's Eve in Italy, and delicious at any time.

Piero's Stuffed Eggplants

Sauteed Spinach with Toasted Pine Nuts and Parmesan-Breadcrumb Topping
A quick and easy Italian recipe for sauteed spinach with pine nuts and Parmesan-breadcrumb topping.

Pugliese-Style Potato and Tomato Casserole (Pitta di patate)
Traditional recipe for a potato-tomato casserole from the Salento region in Puglia, Italy.

Stewed Lentils (Lenticchie in umido)

Tuscan-Style White Beans with Sausage (Fagioli all'uccelletto)
Recipe for Tuscan-Style White Beans with Sausage (Fagioli all'uccelletto).

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