In 1891, in 'La Scienza in Cucina e l'Arte di Mangiare Bene', Pellegrino Artusi wrote (concerning the traditional recipe for Risotto Nero Colle Seppie Alla Fiorentina'):
" .....Tuscans, Florentines in particular, are so fond of vegetables that they would like to stick them in everything. Thus, in this dish they put Swiss Chard, which, in my opinion, goes with it like the bread soup with the Credo[i.e. not at all]. I fear that this excessive use of vegetables may be one of the causes, and perhaps not the least one, of the weak constitution of certain groups of people who, when struck with some illness, are unable to fight it off, and so drop to the ground in droves like leaves in late autumn..."
So stick that in your 'five a day'!
We must surely be about due for a shock-horror discovery that in fact Fast Food, in industrial quantities, is the healthiest choice of all!
Steak in Diavolo Sauce; potatoes roast with garlic, sage and rosemary (Gian Carlo, who is currently building for us the new pergola which will ultimately go round three sides of the North Lawn, yesterday produced a crate of potatoes and tomatoes from his own garden, with a gruff injunction to try them, and see if they weren't better than the water-filled stuff you buy in the market)
Phyllo Tarts of Raspberries and Blackberries, on a vanilla-flavoured Crème Patissière