Monday, August 10, 2009

Light (Italian food) in August

A mini-collection of my summer recipes from the past two years. Many are vegetarian or even vegan. I promise that all of them are easier and more digestible than a Faulkner novel.

First, a drinkie. You should try the spritz, a slightly bitter wine and liqueur drink that is quite popular in Italy now. Even too popular sometimes.

Tramezzini. Are you positively repelled by the idea of going near a stove? Is even a microwave too much right now? Make a platter of these yummy finger sandwiches. Imbibe the above as an accompaniment.

Pasta salad with tuna, tomatoes and olives. Good, nutritious, inexpensive. Make pasta early in morning when it's cooler.

Pasta with zucchini and shrimp. A classic Italian combination which is cruelly neglected in our country. Serve warm or cold.

Pasta with zucchini, fresh tomato and mint. Do not leave out fresh mint.

Rice salad. Even more refreshing than pasta salad. Make rice in microwave to avoid horrid heat-producing stove.

Another drinkie, but more of a dessert. Peaches in wine. An old Italian standby which is also absurdly ignored elsewhere.

Caprese (cah-PREH-zeh). Often botched outside of Italy. Keep it simple. Keep it real.

Russian salad. A potato salad with other veggies added. Bring to your next potluck or cookout for a change. Love it.

Pinzimonio. Like French crudites. Easy, healthy, cheap.

Prosciutto e melone (in the photo). Again, a classic which often goes astray outside Italian borders.

Italian shrimp cocktail. A variant with a salsa rosa.

Microwave fennel. Fennel is also tragically underused.

Easy piadine romagnole. Extremely well-liked street food for summer vacationers on Italy's Adriatic coast. Oddly similar to a fajita.

Bread with tomatoes. Yes I know I just posted it again last week. It bears repeating.

Microwave polenta. People in northern Italy eat polenta in the summer, too. Allow it to cool, cut into slices, grill as a side for barbecue.