Tomatoes, olives, and red onions—these are some of the major flavors of Sicily. This salad brings all these ingredients together nicely in an easy summer salad that delivers a strong, robust flavor. Originating from the island of Pantelleria, a renowned area for producing capers, this salad sometimes contains tuna packed in olive oil, mackerel and anchovies.
2 or 3 medium potatoes
4 medium vine-ripened plum tomatoes
1 small red onion
¼ cup black olives
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt, as desired
½ teaspoon dry oregano
1. Add the unpeeled potatoes to a medium saucepan with enough water to cover them, and boil until fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, dice the tomatoes into 1-inch cubes and add them to a salad bowl. Add the olives, capers, basil, oil, salt, and oregano and mix well.
3. Drain the cooked potatoes and quickly rinse under cold water to cool slightly. Peel and dice or slice the potatoes to your preference. Add the potatoes to the bowl with the tomatoes. Mix well so all flavors are developed. Serve as a salad or light first course.
Kissed by the sun year-round, Sicily is famous for its oranges and other citrus fruits; in fact, it’s the region where most Italian citrus fruits are grown. As such, it’s not too surprising to learn that this salad originates from this region. While at first, these ingredients might not seem to go very well together, put your doubts aside and see that together, they actually offer a refreshing alternative to everyday salads.
3 or 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
4 large oranges
1 large fennel bud, thinly sliced
¼ cup black olives, pitted
1. Prepare the vinaigrette by adding the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a small bowl, and mix well with a fork. Set aside.
2. Thoroughly peel the orange and remove all the white pith. Slice the oranges to about ⅛-inch-thick slices and decoratively arrange the fruit on a platter.
3. Top the oranges with thin slices of fennel and top with the olives.
4. Dress the salad with the prepared vinaigrette. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
A classic Tuscan recipe, this salad is the perfect summer lunch or dinner, when tomatoes are at their peak. Light, refreshing, and genuine, it was once considered poor man’s cooking as it utilizes older bread.
4 medium slices day-old Italian bread, cubed
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 medium vine-ripe tomatoes
1 small red onion, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped basil
½ cup black olives, pitted and halved
Sea salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
Summer is around the corner, which means BBQs, lighter foods and cool desserts. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with anything lemon! And summer is the perfect time for lemon desserts and frosty drinks. Que in the lemon sgroppino!
This is another specialty from the Veneto region, (think tiramisu). In 2018, I conducted a food and wine tour of the Veneto region. We stayed in a beautiful villa and cooked and prepared many of our meals and drinks and this drink soon became a gropu favorite. What’s not to love about this? It’s perfect any time! Believe it or not, this lemony drink is the perfect cocktail to start a meal, to end it, or even serve in between courses to cleanse the palate during heavy meals! It also makes a great dessert drink, almost like an adult shake! Pair this drink with some crunchy biscotti or Amaretti cookies and you have yourself the perfect treat to end those summer BBQs!
1 cup chilled Prosecco
2 tablespoons chilled vodka
½ cup lemon sherbet
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
Mint leaves (optional)
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