Holiday Villas and Small Hotels in Tuscany

3 light and simple Tuscan recipes for summer

When summer arrives it can be a chore spending too much time in the kitchen when you want to be outside making the most of the sunshine. These Italian dishes are quick, easy, tasty....and healthy too!

Caprese Salad
The classic Caprese, this delicious salad always looks stylish on a lunch table
3 vine-ripe tomatoes,1/4-inch thick slices
1 pound fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick slices
20 to 30 leaves (about 1 bunch) fresh basil
Extra-virgin olive oil and Balsamic vinegar for drizzling
Salt and pepper
Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each, on a large, shallow platter. Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Grilled Zucchini & Summer Squash
(By Stefano Coppola)
A simple enough recipe, this grilled zucchini is positively bursting with flavour from the marinade and a quick char from the grill. This makes a fabulous side dish, hot, at room temperature, or the following day cold. You´ll have leftover marinade too which you can re-use to grill more vegetables or drizzle over salad.
2 zucchini, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 summer squash, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 garlic cloves, minced Ask a question about this ingredient.
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped Ask a question about this ingredient.
1/2 tablespoon crushed red chile flakes Ask a question about this ingredient.
1 sprig oregano, chopped Ask a question about this ingredient.
1/2 cup red wine vinegar Ask a question about this ingredient.
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil Ask a question about this ingredient.
Make Marinade: combine garlic, herbs, chile flakes, lemon juice and zest, and vinegar in a mixing bowl. Whisk in oil. Ask a question about this step. Place zucchini and squash into a large re-sealable plastic bag, pour marinade over and seal. Allow to marinate at least 30 min, preferably for a few hours.
Preheat grill to high. Ask a question about this step. Remove zucchini and squash from marinade. Cut unpeeled onions in half and place on grill, turning occasionally. Remove and place into a bowl, covered with plastic wrap to steam. Meanwhile grill the zucchini and squash until slightly charred. Ask a question about this step. Ask a question about this step. Peel and slice onions. Toss all vegetables together and season with salt and pepper.

White Bean Dip
Dips always go down well with adults and children alike and this one is tasty and healthy, especially if you serve it with crudités.
1 can 450 g Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or other white beans, but cannellini are traditionally used)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp basil, fresh, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp rosemary or sage, fresh, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Good pinch of salt
Ground black pepper
In a large bowl, mash the beans with the back of a fork or a hand-held potato masher. Stir in the vinegar, olive oil, chopped herbs, garlic, and pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with ciabatta or focaccia bread and crudités.

Hope you enjoy these summer recipes wherever you are in the world. Don´t forget to leave a comment if you try any of them.

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