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)
Is there anything more delicious than a ricotta cannoli? A classic Sicilian dessert, cannoli are tubular fried dough, filled with a smooth and creamy filling of ricotta. Purchasing pre-made shells saves hours of time in the kitchen, not to mention that by not having to fry the shells, the clean-up is a snap. There’s no shame in getting a little help in the kitchen once in a while. Let’s call it semi-homemade, shall we? Amazon has several options for different size shells; you can also check your local grocery store’s bakery department too, as they will likely have them, and sell you some empty shells to fill at home. Because the filling is only a few key ingredients, purchase the best ricotta you can find, made from whole milk only. Bel Gioioso is my preferred brand when I made them at home.
Cannoli are best filled immediately upon serving, so prepare the cream when you’re done with dinner and ready to serve dessert. Or you can prepare the cream beforehand, refrigerate it, and just hold off on filling the shells until you’re ready to serve. You can refrigerate them for up to 1 day, but expect the shell to get a bit soggy.
½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting
4 cups whole milk ricotta
8 large cannoli shells
16 maraschino cherries (optional)
½ cup miniature chocolate chips (optional)
Crushed pistachios (optional)
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