Our Favorite Antipasto for the Summer

With the warmer and sunny days during this summer season, a fresh antipasto is a no-brainer. Delightful and cold antipasti are sought by many people to beat the summer heat. Antipasti, meaning “before the meal”, often consist of olives, anchovies, mushrooms, peppers, cured or pickled meats, cheeses, and artichoke hearts. Serving an antipasto is the official starter of a traditional Italian meal. There are several antipasti recipes that are equally tasty and suitable for different seasons. Here are some of the easy to prepare antipasti that are perfect for summer:

Pantelleria Potato Salad
This is a cold dish from the island of Pantelleria, specially made with the island’s locally-grown product, capers. Capers are combined with boiled potatoes, onions, oregano, tomatoes, and black olives. This easy to prepare and tasty dish is most suitable for a summer dinner.

Robiola Cheese
This no-cook meal is perfect for the summer’s hot weather. The main ingredient for this antipasti, Robiola, is produced from Northern Italy specifically in Aosta Valley, Lombardy and Piedmont. This originated from a long history dating back to the time of the Celto-Ligurian farmers of Alta Langa.

Mainly consists of Sicilian ingredients, this delicious cuisine is made with fried vegetables (usually eggplant or celery) and capers seasoned with sweet and sour sauce. This can be served cold, making it as a perfect antipasto or a side dish for summer. It has already been used as a side dish for fish dishes in earlier centuries but has been used as a main course only from the 17th century.

Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes
This classic and simple recipe is a mixture of Parmigiano-Reggiano, bread crumbs, parsley and sauteed garlic and onion. This recipe is believed to be discovered for over 100 years ago and originated in the small city of Valguarnera in Enna, Palermo, Sicily. This is also a desirable recipe for the summer season.

This typically oval-shaped muffin is a traditional desert that has originated from Apulia in the southern region of Italy. It is made by combining butter, eggs, cream, lard and can be garnished with hazelnuts and cherries.

Panna Cotta
This is an Italian pudding dessert that has originated from the region of Piedmont and was included in the region’s list of traditional foods in 2001. This quick and easy to prepare dish is made with milk, rum, cream, sugar, and gelatin. This dessert is fit for all seasons especially during summer because of its comforting (milky and creamy) taste.

Iced Coffee (Granita al Caffè)
The granita al caffè of the Messina area is a semi-frozen and sweet Sicilian breakfast made with coffee, water, and sugar. It has originated from the time of the Arab domination and was originally prepared by using winter snow from the mountains in Sicily and then stored in special caves throughout the year. The preparation for this has now been modernized using an ice cream maker. This is perfect for a hot afternoon and evening meals.

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