Summer is the season of fresh foods, with many people opting to cool down with fresh fruit and salads rather than heavy, hearty meals. So it makes sense that June is National Fruits and Vegetables Month. This June, embrace the season and try these fun Italian summer foods.
This mozzarella and tomato combination is an Italian classic, one that has made its way onto many menus as both a salad and a sandwich and it is enjoyed all year long. Summer is arguably the best time to eat it though, as the tomatoes are ripe and juicy. Mix mozzarella and fresh tomatoes then top with fresh basil and drizzle with olive oil. This is a great side dish, or it could be a light meal on its own.
Caponata is a delicious side dish that highlights some favorite seasonal vegetables. The most prominent of these is the aubergine or the eggplant. Stir fry eggplant, tomatoes, and celery together with some vinegar and a dash of sugar to achieve this sweet and sour vegetable treat. Some people also add capers or olives for a salty bite, especially if the tomatoes are sweet.
Panzanella, or bread salad, is a delicious dish that combines vegetables and stale bread. While that may sound odd at first, it really is not that far removed from croutons. Combine chunks of stale bread with tomatoes, onions, and basil and coat with olive oil and vinegar. There should be enough dressing to soften the bread and let the flavors mingle. This makes a great, easy lunch, especially at the height of summer heat.
Insalata Di Riso
This dish, which translates as Rice Salad, is less of a salad and more of a grain side dish. It is, however, delicious and a cool meal on a hot day. The dish is a mix of rice and any combination of chopped vegetables, eggs, cheese, and even deli meats. The salad is dressed with olive oil and salt so the flavor of your chosen ingredients is strong.
Summer can’t be all about salads, so neither is this list. Gelato is the ultimate warm-weather Italian dessert. Gelatos are often dairy free and fruit based, but there are also creamy chocolate flavors.
Prosciutto and Melon
This is a classic sweet and salty combination that is perfect for the summer. Prosciutto is sliced very thin, and the salty meat is then draped over or occasionally wrapped around, sweet melon. The melon used for this dish is usually cantaloupe, and it is served at the beginning of the meal as a cool appetizer.
VISIT BASTA PASTA
For more than 12 years, Basta Pasta has given Maryland diners delicious Italian food made from local and fresh ingredients. Enjoy delicious pasta dishes, unlimited salad and breadsticks, and fine wine at one of our locations in Timonium, Fallston, or Eldersburg. Contact us online or give us a call at the location-specific phone number listed here. Read our menu and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter! You can also order our signature crab cakes online and enjoy delicious Basta Pasta from home!