The summer diet in Italy, with temperatures now regularly reaching 40 degrees, is enriched with numerous dishes to be enjoyed cold. Most of these dishes are based on fruit and vegetables accompanied by pasta and rice, but there are also fish and meat dishes to be enjoyed cold and very tasty.
- Seafood salad: made with boiled octopus, mussels and squid, dressed with oil, lemon, salt and chopped parsley. Some people put a drizzle of vinegar in place of lemon.
- Caprese salad: prepared with sliced mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, high quality extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Vitello tonnato: it is one of the tastiest dishes among cold recipes because it is accompanied by a sauce based on tuna, eggs and capers. The veal is boiled with carrots, onion, celery and bay leaf. Then cooled and cut into thin slices on which the tuna sauce is sprinkled.
- Ham and melon. It is one of the dishes you find in all restaurants in Italy. To enjoy it at its best, you need to savor it in the summer when the melons are ripe. The salty of the ham in contrast to the sweetness of the melon causes a very pleasant sensation.
- Rice salad. The rice salad is a cold first course made with boiled rice to which is added with canned tuna, mozzarella or cubes of fontina, olives, pickled peppers, all seasoned with oil, lemon and salt. In addition to these ingredients you can add capers, artichokes in oil and sometimes you can also add sausages cut into slices.
- Russian salad. Very tasty dish to eat cold based on potatoes, carrots, peas, eggs, mayonnaise, dressed with extra virgin olive oil.
- Melanzane alla parmigiana o parmigiana di melanzane. This is a summer dish because it’s made with fried aubergines and tomato sauce. It’s one of the most famous Italian dishes but it’s quite lengthy to prepare, so it’s better to order in a restaurant or to buy it from one of the many gastronomie shops available in practically every Italian city. Sometimes even butchers, fruit and vegetables shops, bakeries and alimentari make these type of dishes to sell.
- Insalatona “Big Salad”. You can find it in every bar in Italy. The insalatona it’s healthy, fresh and tasty and you can personalise it. It’s similar to a “salade Niçoise”. It’s made with lettuce or other green salad, some cherry tomatoes, tuna, mozzarella and eggs. It’s garnished with the classic Italian salad dressing:
- Carpaccio rucola e grana: if you like the idea of eating marinated raw meat, this plate it’s a fine reward for your palate. It’s made by cutting thin slices of beef and dress them with a mixture of lemon, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. To prepare it, you place the slices of meat on a plate, you dress them with the EVO-oil and lemon, you cover them and you let them rest for at least an hour in the fridge, the emulsion gently cooks the meat. Right before serving you add parmesan flakes and rocket leaves.
- Peperonata – pepper stew. This one of my favourite summer dishes. It’s easy enough to make and it takes a reasonable time: 1 hour. To prepare it you need 3 peppers red, green and yellow, a can of tomato salsa, garlic, onion, extra-virgin olive oil and a bay leaf.
There are also plenty of regional variations of the summer dishes:
Regional Italian summer dishes
- Crostini Toscani – Tuscany
- Piadina Romagnola – Emilia Romagna
- Pane cunzato -Sicily
Try to open google maps and search gastronomia near me or just click here to search for “gastronomia near me” on Google maps