May/June selection: The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook

With the first book under my belt, it’s time to turn my attention to the next – Jack Bishop’s The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook: 350 Recipes for Inspired Everyday Eating.

I have eaten a lot of Italian food over the past four years and – having essentially joined an Italian family – learned what that really meant. And, surprise, surprise, It’s not just pasta! Italians are also masters with vegetables.

I originally bought this book because I wanted us to eat less meat, but wanted to figure out how to cook Italian vegetarian meals that were hearty enough to satisfy my partner. I think in that respect, the book doesn’t really deliver. It’s all the basic types of dishes – risotto, polenta, gnocchi, pasta, salads etc. All of which I could eat as a meal, but he would have thought was just the first course. But now that’s it’s just me, I can eat them however I like !

There are lots of recipes in here that I’d like to try. They are…


  • Chard and Spinach
  • Porcini mushroom and barley
  • Rice and pea
  • Classic minestrone with pesto
  • Pasta with white bean , garlic and rosemary
  • Chickpea soup with fennel and orange zest


  • Spaghetti with asparagus, tomato and lemon
  • Rigatoni with stewed eggplant sauce
  • Farfalle with sautéed fennel and fresh tomato


  • Risotto with spinach and herb
  • Golden risotto with carrots and peas


  • Polenta with cauliflower and onion
  • Polenta with garlicky greens


  • Fresh tomato tart
  • Asparagus frittata with basil, shallots, garlic
  • Cauliflower frittata with parsley and pecorino
  • Parsley and shallot frittata
  • Swiss chard and parmesan tart


  • Basic chickpeas
  • Sicilian chickpeas with escarole and caramelized onions
  • Basic cannellini beans
  • Cannellini beans with spicy broccoli rabe
  • Cannellini beans with tomato, sage and garlic
  • Spicy lentils with tomatoes
  • Bruschetta with mashed white beans and spinach


  • Spinach and Mushroom fritters with salsa verde
  • Zucchini and ricotta fritters with lemon
  • Stuffed eggplant with breadcrumbs, olives, lemon and herbs
  • Mixed roasted vegetables with rosemary and garlic
  • Spring vegetable stew with fennel, carrots, asparagus and peas
  • Asparagus with lemon shallot vinaigrette
  • Spicy broccoli with garlic
  • Carrots with two vinegars and oregano
  • Spicy cauliflower with red wine
  • Oven roasted endive
  • Braised fennel
  • Green beans and potatoes with pesto
  • Sautéed mushroom with garlic and herbs
  • Mixed bell peppers
  • Sautéed zucchini with lemon and mint
  • Yellow beans and tomato salad
  • Broccoli and tomato salad with lemon basil dressing
  • Fennel and orange salad
  • Marinated zucchini salad with lemon and thyme
  • Slow cooked tomato sauce

And finally, crespelle, which are essentially crepes.

That…looks like a lot! But, I’m excited to work my way through at least some of it over the next month or two.


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