Get some cooking inspo from the Chef of Mezzatorre, Hotel Il Pellicano and La Posta Vecchia
Summer calls for light dishes, a diet consisting mostly of gelato, and lots of lunches and dinners alfresco. Want to entertain but can’t be bothered to spend hours sweating in the kitchen? We hear you. This isn’t the time to engage in laborious meals or try making a seven-page long recipe from your favourite cookbook. No sir. August cooking (and eating) should be easy, quick and delicious.
That’s why we’ve asked our Chefs Giuseppe D’Abundo of Mezzatorre, Michelino Gioia of Hotel Il Pellicano and Antonio Magliulo of La Posta Vecchia to share their go-to for a simple but oh-so good summer meal. Read on, get shopping, and we’ll see you at the table.
Giuseppe D’Abundo’s caponata with tomatoes, oregano, bufala mozzarella and anchovies
Caponata is a simple and tasty summer dish. Thinking back to my childhood, I fondly remember my grandparents and parents preparing it with love and dedication. The selection of ingredients is its particularity – every family has its own recipe. I propose my favourite with a few other variations.
250gr ox heart tomatoes
200gr yellow date tomatoes
200gr cherry tomatoes
200gr red tomatoes
A handful of sun-dried tomatoes
4 friselle or 250 gr homemade crostini
1 bundle of basil
2-3 fillets salted anchovies per serving
250 gr buffalo mozzarella bites
For a vegetarian version, remove the anchovies and add artichoke pickles, eggplant, and olives.
For a lactose-free version, switch the mozzarella for ventresca tuna or seafood.
First up, have all the ingredients ready.
Clean and wash the fresh tomatoes, dry them with kitchen paper and cut them however you like. This will give a play of textures to the dish.
Wet the 4 friselle lightly with water, keeping in mind that the tomato seasoning and water will also work on flavouring them.
Lay them on the plate and dress them with the caponata, mixing the tomatoes and making a nice play of colours with oregano, basil, salt and oil.
Season a few minutes before serving so that everything is well flavoured.
Complete the dish by adding buffalo mozzarella, anchovies and basil leaves.
Michelino Gioia’s Tuscan vegetables panzanella
This dish is summer on a plate. It comes together in minutes, showcases the bounty of the Tuscan vegetable garden, and works as starter or main whatever the occasion. A real crowd-pleaser.
360 gr stale Tuscan bread
220 ml water (approx.)
50 ml white wine vinegar
250 gr cherry tomatoes
220 gr cucumber
250 gr celery heart
80 gr red onion
40 gr basil
110 ml Tuscan EVO olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the stale bread into cubes and place them into a deep dish.
Separately, clean all the vegetables, wash them and cut them into thin lozenges, while the cherry tomatoes should be cut into 4.
Place everything into a container and season with EVO olive oil, vinegar, water, salt and pepper.
Let it macerate for about 30 minutes, so that everything takes on flavour.
Take the stale bread cubes, soak them with the excess liquid from the vegetables and then pour over the seasoned vegetables.
Finish the dish with a few fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of EVO olive oil to taste.
Antonio Magliulo’s crunchy parmigiana
Eggplants are the stars of my kitchen in the summer. This parmigiana is packed full of them, and is beautifully balanced with the crunch of the panko breadcrumbs. Make it as a main and everyone will ask you the recipe for it.
1 kg eggplant
500 gr tomato puree
200 gr grated Pparmesan
250 gr Fior di latte or mozzarella
300 gr milk
500 gr Panko bread breadcrumbs
Break the eggs and whisk them with milk, salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
Wash and slice the eggplants lengthwise to a thickness of 1 cm, lay them in a baking dish lined with baking paper, and pour the milk and cheese mixture on top.
Make another layer of eggplants and pour more mixture.
Bake at 180 degree Celsius for 20 minutes.
Let it cool. At this point, get started on the parmigiana: Put some sliced fior di latte, grated Parmesan, basil and raw tomato on the eggplants, as well as the pureed tomato seasoned with salt oil and dried oregano.
Place in the freezer for 3 hours.
With the help of a round pasta cup cut the parmigiana and pass it in a liquid batter prepared simply with water, flour and a pinch of salt.
Bread the parmigiana in panko bread, let it rest in the refrigerator and pass it again in bread, then fry it in seed oil until golden brown. Let it rest for 15 minutes.