Here are four quick and fresh dishes that Italians love in summer

If you think that Italian cuisine is all about fried food, lasagne, elaborate dishes, you definitely need to read this article. And if you are looking for some basic yet tasty ideas, you’re in the right place! In summertime it’s quite hard to spend long hours in the kitchen – even for the bravest Italian nonna. But seasonal fruit and vegetables are here to help. Are you ready to discover some quick Italian dishes for the hottest season?


Ingredients for a Caprese salad

A colourful dish that combines the basic ingredients of Italian cuisine

A good Caprese salad is the perfect solution when you’re short on time or it’s too hot to turn on the stove. To prepare a traditional Caprese, you need very few ingredients: tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, oregano and olive oil. Cut tomatoes and mozzarella into slices, arrange them alternately on the plate, season with olive oil, oregano and basil leaves. A very simple recipe where the quality of the ingredients is all that matters to make it a success.

Tasty tip: you can accompany it with some crostini

Prosciutto e melone

Parma ham with melon

The traditional “recipe” includes only melon and Parma ham, but you can add some olives if you like

Another time-saving idea for a light dinner: prosciutto e melone. In this case, as well, all you really need are good ingredients: choose a ripe melon and match it with prosciutto di Parma ham – you can’t go wrong! With its lively colours and sweet smell, you’ll surely eat this dish with your eyes and your nose even before the first bite reaches your taste buds.

Insalata di pasta/riso

Pasta salad

A suggestion for a pasta salad

You don’t need lettuce to prepare an insalata; Italian pasta and rice salads (one or the other, please – don’t mix rice and pasta!) are cool dishes with no sauce, just some olive oil, and fresh ingredients. Neither of the two has an official recipe, but, if you choose pasta, you could serve it with some mozzarella and tomatoes (just like a Caprese salad), for example. Rice is more versatile and the most popular ingredients for an Insalata di riso are corn, sottaceti (pickled vegetables), tuna, diced baked ham, Vienna sausages, cheese, olives and hard-boiled eggs. 

Warning: don’t add the other ingredients until the pasta or rice is completely cool


Trays of gelato

Do you prefer cono or coppetta?

Finally, you can top off your summer meal with a delicious artisanal gelato or affogato. If you need caffeine but can’t stand the idea of a hot drink in this season, the affogato is a perfect compromise: a scoop of gelato topped with a simple espresso. Nowadays, we tend to enjoy gelato at any time of the year, but, in summer it becomes almost a ritual in the afternoon, and it can occasionally replace a full meal. With a wide range of fruity and creamy flavours as well as dairy-free versions, we’re spoiled for choice.

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