cloth, 160 pp., $35.00
With photography by Mike Newton, author Lorenza De’Medici’s A Passion for Vegetables is a book to scan before — and after — a trip to the farmer’s market. It discusses vegetables, both familiar and unfamiliar, with background and recipes for each one. The vegetables are divided up by plant parts: Leaves, Stalks and Sprouts; Legumes; Vegetable Fruits; and Roots and Bulbs.
The description of each vegetable includes a bit of history and language (what each is called in several languages), as well as botanic and culinary information. The excellent photographs will help to identify those vegetables you don’t recognize, and recipes will give you preparation tips. Most of the recipes have an Italian flare, since the author is from an Italian wine-growing family. Measurements are in both metric and English.
— Joyce Weinberg, volunteer, Plant Information Office, Chicago Botanic Garden