Sometimes if you cut a vegetable in a different fashion it will make it seem entirely new.
Country women in Romagna used to bake these potatoes each week along with their homemade bread. Cloaked in olive oil and flavored with bits of cured pork, rosemary, garlic and tomatoes, the potatoes roasted near the opening of the big bread ovens, where the women could easily turn and baste them with the pan juices. The feast of the day was the crusty potatoes, fresh-baked bread, and homemade wine. Not a bad idea today, but these roasted potatoes are good with nearly everything from a green salad to chicken to seafood.
From Learning to Cook with Marion Cunningham, by Marion Cunningham.
This vegetable ragu is one of those sublime one-dish meals that for me captures all the nurturing goodness of the Italian food I was raised with. What Ciambotta is to southern Italians, Stufato is to northerners—the concepts are the same. Vegetables, from greens and beans and zucchini to tomatoes and peppers, all cook together, making their own sauce and becoming a lavish vegetable stew. Merely heat a little olive oil in a big shallow pan, stir in whatever is fresh and good at the moment, sear everything, then cover. When vegetables cook in their own juices, their flavors open up and their textures go from crisp to silken.
When country women find big, meaty-tasting mushrooms, they grill the caps whole until they're browned and crusty, just like steak. Adelina Norcia, who farms in Sicily, brushes her mushrooms with her "holy oil" before she places them on the wood-fired grill that stands outside the kitchen door of her farmhouse. Crisped and spicy, the mushrooms are infused with Adelina's holy trinity of garlic, oregano, and chile, all pureed in olive oil from the trees on her property. She serves them like meat, with a salad and bread. Try them the same way, and cook them on top of the stove when outdoor grilling isn't possible.
From Invitation to Dinner: Elegant Entertaining and Delicious Dinners at Home, by Abigail Kirsch with David Nussbaum.
Eat these like candy; they are that good.
Cara De Silva, food historian and ethnic food authority, shared this very different way of eating corn on the cob. Hot chile, cool tart lime, and hot sweet corn -- a wonderful combination on a hot summer night. Have the corn hot and pass a bowl of this mixture for spooning over it. Some folks then salt the corn. Use organic ingredients, if at all possible.