Recipes from an Italian Summer

recipes italian
Excerpt from Recipes from an Italian Summer by The Silver Spoon Kitchen, a collection of 400 never-before-published recipes that capture the essence, ease and freshness of Italian cooking. With beautiful photographs of the Italian countryside and many of the dishes, this book will inspire you to create your own perfect summer event.

Cooking outdoors is the perfect way to entertain during the summer months, and the scents and sounds of cooking on the barbecue create a wonderful appetite for a feast. Another advantage is that cooking on a barbecue means that nobody has to spend their time in the kitchen. A good barbecue should be very simple, and only requires good-quality ingredients to be grilled over hot embers, seasoned with salt and pepper, and perhaps drizzled with a little extra-virgin olive oil.

In Italy, the ancient Chianina breed of cattle produces steaks so highly prized that strict rules accompany the technique for grilling them, such as never pricking the meat with a fork so that tasty juices cannot escape. There are also many fish and vegetables that can be grilled very successfully, such as radicchio, eggplants, shrimp, and sardines. These are often cooked with fresh herbs and dressed simple with lemon and extra-virgin olive oil.

The recipes here can also be cooked indoors in a broiler, if a barbecue is not available. All they need to accompany them is a sald and some good bread.


Gorgonzola Butter
Burro al gorgonzola

7 tablespoons butter, softened
2 3/4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 sprig flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Beat together the butter and Gorgonzola in a bowl until smooth and even. Beat in the parsley. Serve with grilled red meat.


bbqsalad.jpgWatercress and Eggplant Salad
Insalata di crescione e melanzane<

4 eggplants
Generous 1/3 cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing
7 ounces watercress
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 sprig flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3-4 mint leaves

Preheat the broiler. Peel the eggplants, cut into slices, and brush with oil. Broil for 8-10 minutes, turning once, then set aside to cool.

Chop the eggplant slices and put them into a salad bowl with the watercress, red pepper and whole garlic clove.

Whisk together the vinegar, oil, chopped parsley and mint in a bowl, season with salt and pour the dressing over the salad. Toss lightly and remove the garlic clove before serving.


bbqitaly.jpgGrilled Treviso Radicchio
Radicchio de Treviso alla griglia

1 pound 5 ounces Treviso radicchio
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
Salt and pepper to taste

Light the barbecue. Remove the coarse outer leaves from the radicchio, trim the stalks to 1¼ inches and rinse. Toss with olive oil, place on the barbecue and grill, turning occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Transfer to a serving dish, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Serve immediately.


Langoustines with Sage
Scampi alla salvia

20 langoustines (Norwegian lobsters) or crayfish, peeled
Juice of 2 lemons, strained
20 smoked pancetta slices
20 small sage leaves
Olive oil, for brushing
Salt and pepper

Put the langoustines in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, pour in the lemon juice and let marinate for about 1 hour. Light the barbecue. Drain the langoustines, reserving the marinade, wrap each in a slice of pancetta together with a sage leaf and secure with a toothpick. Brush lightly with olive oil, arrange on the barcecue, and cook, turning twice and occasionally drizzling with the reserved marinade, for 10-12 minutes.




Steak with Herbs
Bistecche alla erbe

4 sirloin steaks, 7 ounces each
4 sage leaves
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
4 seeded rolls

Light the barbecue. Rub the steaks all over with the sage leaves and rosemary. Pour the oil into a shallow dish, stir in the peppercorns, and dip the steaks into the mixture, turning to coat. Drain, place on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, or until steak is cooked to your liking. Season with salt and serve immediately in seeded rolls. Add a teaspoon of Gorgonzola butter is desired.



Excerpted from Recipes from an Italian Summer © Copyright 2010 by Silver Spoon Kitchen. Reprinted with permission by Phaidon Press. All rights reserved