My alma mater is Duke University, hence the play on words. But, as noted in the title, this entry has absolutely nothing to do with Duke in that sense. Instead, it is a review of a cookbook received in the mail entitled The Duke's Kitchen. The subtitle: "The Complete Book of Vegetarian Italian Cooking."
Why the "duke's" table? Because the author, as listed on the cover is Enrico Alliata, the Duke of Salapurata a chap who lived from 1879-1946. According to the back of the book, it is a "major rediscovery" from a "utopian gourmand and winemaker" who believed vegetarianism was the way to go. The Duke is famous, turns out -- of various of these dukes are -- for various reasons having to do with wine and food. (Click here for some information.)
The recipes contained here range from the very simple -- e.g., cooking two kinds of beans, adding olive oil and salt, and serving on greens -- voila (yes, wrong lingo) -- bean salad -- to more complex possibilities. I look forward to reading about the risottos - and may try some of the recipes! (I seem to be back to really wanting to cook. Hmmm.) Most crucially, I think, not all recipes require pasta, so there is much to offer someone not eating wheat here. (All too often, pasta is the veg option in restaurants, and so if you are a gluten or wheat free vegetarian, you are in trouble.)
Plus, the recipes are numbered. Odd, but useful.
So: thanks to Melville House for this lovely book -- both personally, and for veg italians everywhere.