When it comes to summertime, nothing beats a picnic in the sunshine with good food and good friends. Whether it be a huge family reunion or a small gathering with some of your closest friends, try something new this season with some Italian summer classics from Italy Magazine. Not only is Italian food delicious, but as part of the Mediterranean diet, which focuses on healthy, fresh, and natural ingredients, it can provide some health benefits.
An Italian Insalata
Stay healthy and start your meal off right with an asparagus, zucchini, and cherry tomato salad. For this recipe, you’ll need:
- Asparagus (½ cup)
- Lamb’s Lettuce
- Cherry tomatoes (8)
- Zucchini (2)
- Extra virgin olive oil
Start off by boiling water, adding a pinch of salt and sugar. Add the asparagus and let boil for 5 minutes. While the asparagus is boiling, halve the cherry tomatoes and cut the zucchini into circles. Remove the asparagus from the boiling water and immediately put it into ice water. Sauté the zucchini in olive oil, sprinkling with salt when finished. In a bowl, add the zucchini, asparagus, lamb’s lettuce, and cherry tomatoes, garnishing with salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
An Italian Aperitivo
Next up, an appetizer! Fried zucchini blossoms are the fried snack you never knew you needed. To make the perfect blossoms, you’ll need the following:
- Zucchini flowers (12)
- Flour (½ cup)
- Ice-cold sparkling water or beer (1 cup)
- Anchovies (3)
- Mozzarella (3 slices)
- Canola or Peanut Oil (4 & ¼ cups)
Begin by cleaning the zucchini blossoms, cutting the stem off where it meets the bud and removing the hard stem and thorn-like filaments within the flower. Chop the mozzarella and anchovies and stuff into each blossom. Mix the flour and sparkling water or beer to create the batter. Dip each blossom in the batter before frying in the hot canola or peanut oil. Remove the blossoms when they are golden brown and season lightly with salt.
Italian Fusilli with Lemon
You can’t have an Italian meal without pasta! Fusilli with lemon is the perfect pasta for a refreshing summer day. Along with lots of lemons, you’ll need some other ingredients, such as:
- Lemons (3 untreated and 1 sliced for decoration)
- Walnuts (4.5 oz, shelled)
- Small bunch of parsley
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fusilli (around 12.35oz, from Gragnano)
- Provolone del Monaco cheese (3.5 oz, grated)
*can be substituted with normal provolone
Once you have all the ingredients, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While that is heating up, finely chop lemons, walnuts, and parsley and mix. Add fFusilli to the boiling water and heat olive oil in a saucepan for the lemon mixture. Sauté for a few minutes and lightly season with salt and pepper. Once the pasta is al dente, drain and combine with the sauteed lemon mixture. Toss and mix in grated provolone. Garnish with lemon and serve!
From Our Kitchen to Yours
Bringing any of these dishes to your get-together is sure to leave everyone happy and full. For more recipes and food news, visit Grico’s!