WHEN OUTSIDE IS HOT, STAY COOL AT THE TABLE!
When Summer comes, Italy start to burn. Like the change of the wardrobe, as soon as the winter time is over, Italians change most of the dishes on the table. We have many cold recipes that over the years became a summer time go-to. In this article we suggest three iconic dishes.
INSALATA DI RISO
This is, without a doubt, the most popular Italian dish during the summer months. We love to make it for lunch al fresco, for a picnic, for a dinner with friends and family. It’s very simple to make and it doesn´t take much time, but it´s perfect for every occasion and moment of the day. Insalata di riso can be very light, as it is basically boiled rice with chopped vegetables. Of course, you can easily make it during the other seasons of the year, but in our tradition it is the meal that you eat only when the sun starts to burn. For us, the first insalata di riso you eat means the beginning of summer. There are many variations of this beloved recipe. Everyone chooses the condiment according to his taste and preference. You can add meat, like würstel, fish or keep things simple with just vegetables. You can even add a hint of mayo. Most important, however, is the rice (we suggest the Carnaroli rice produced by Tenuta Margherita) and the extra virgin olive oil you use. Here, the best quality is highly recommended. Some traditional ingredients Italians use for their insalata di riso, are: olives, tuna, tomatoes, prosciutto cotto, fontina cheese or mozzarella, zucchini, roasted red peppers, artichokes in oil and mushrooms. Be sure to wash the rice after cooked and do not hesitate to bring the salad to the table the day after it is prepared because this dish makes delicious left overs!
The concept is similar to the insalata di riso. You add fresh ingredients (mostly vegetables) after the pasta is cooked. It´s a very traditional summer dish in every region of Italy. Like for the rice salad, you have to be careful in selecting the pasta and the extra virgin olive oil (we recommend the magnificent selection of Pasta Cuomo). Choose short pasta, penne or rigatoni, and make it al dente. The most common ingredients are: mozzarella, olives, cherry tomatoes, tuna, prosciutto cotto, and a lot of fresh basil.
This recipe traditionally comes from the Piedmont region in northern Italy. But it is so delicious and fresh that today you can eat it during the summer time in every Italian house. It is an antipasto, served cold before the main dish. Vitello Tonnato is boiled sliced veal in a creamy tuna sauce. It´s better when the veal is marinated for several hours. The tuna sauce also features cappers and anchovies, lemon dressing, extra virgin olive oil and vinegar. You could use the delicate balsamic vinegar produced by Carandini. It is simply the best!
- Alessio Gambino