by Sybil PrattJuly, 2007
Il giardino italiano
How does your garden grow? Viana La Place, author of eight previous cookbooks, answers that question with a charmingly illustrated, instructional offering, aptly titled My Italian Garden. Viana grew up in California savoring her mother's memories of her garden outside Palermo; then she spent time in Italy herself, living an Italian life and learning to love and cook from the Italian garden. She created her own Italian garden in San Francisco and now shares it and more than 125 uncomplicated, seasonally arranged recipes the garden has inspired. Since we're heading for high summer, sample the marmalade-like, candy-sweet chopped fresh tomatoes and the orecchiette with little yellow tomatoes and parsley. When fall befalls us, try the risotto with pink radicchio and golden beets. This winter, opt for broccoli rabe in lemon cream or fettuccine with wild mushrooms and winter herbs. At the first signs of spring, celebrate with leek soup with basil topping (from your year-round herb pots) and a frittata with tender radish leaves. No meat, chicken or fish, so vegetarians can eat it all and omnivores can augment with a non-veg of their choosing.