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Summer’s Fashionable Produce

Posted in Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Chianti, Cooking School in Tuscany, Country House Living, cucina, cucina povere, entertaining, La Dolce Vita, the Mediterranean diet, Tuscan, Uncategorized, and upcoming books

Editor: Lisa Zatulovsky

copyright 2011, Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati

Saturated hues and bold color blocking are a dominant fashion trend for summer 2011. Fashion is celebrating the vibrancy that the season has to offer in their clothing and accessories. From a tangerine colored blouse paired with white denim cropped pants, to gold bangles and lapis colored earrings, the last few echoes of winter’s reign are nowhere to be found in the latest summer trends.

Take a nod from fashion and incorporate fun exotic colors into your cuisine this summer. A surplus of seasonal Italian vegetables such as peppers, squash, eggplants, tomatoes and zucchini should be readily available. Vibrant reds, greens, yellows and purples will transform your cooking into visual and delicious delights. Loaded with flavor and nutrients, Italian summer vegetables are wonderful for lighter yet flavorful options that allow you to feel guilt-free and satisfied.

Take advantage of the variety of summer vegetables by incorporating them into a simple Panzanella Salad. An Italian chopped vegetable salad is an easy and fresh alternative to a traditional greens salad. Basic Panzanella salad uses chopped tomatoes and any vegetables you may have at hand like peppers, olives or zucchini, lightly tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. You can add your favorite day-old crusty bread and add mozzarella for more heartiness, season with basil for added flavor.

For an appealing appetizer, bake stuffed Italian peppers or tomatoes with breadcrumbs, mozzarella, and oregano. For more ideas, replace hearty meat dishes by making eggplant parmigiano with fresh tomato sauce. Or make your own pizza with fresh sauce and top with ripe peppers and zucchini. Experiment with these summer vegetables by grilling, baking or frying and experience their unique flavors for yourself. Whether you go out and buy yourself a chic colorful blouse, or make a bright Italian dish, allow yourself to be inspired by the beauty of the warm summer months to come.

Excerpted from the upcoming book release-The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: DaVinci Style

copyright 2011, art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc

Maria Liberati


(this is a traditional Tuscan salad that is  a clever way to use day or 2 day old bread).

12 slices day old crusty bread

4 tblsps (60 gr) white wine vinegar

1 cup (100 gr)extra virgin olive oil

1/2 lb (250 gr) red ripe tomatoes

1 red onion

1 cucumber

1 handful basil leaves

pinch of salt

freshly ground black pepper

Slice bread into 12 slices. Place bread in bowl with ¼ cup water and 1 tblsp (15 gr) vinegar. Leave for 3 minutes. Remove and squeeze water out from bread. Place wet slices on bottom of salad bowl. Place in tomato slices, sliced cucumber, sliced red onion. Drizzle in olive oil, 2 tblsps (60 gr) vinegar.Pinch of slat, freshly ground black pepper. Toss gently.

For more authentic Tuscan recipes get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: DaVinci Style Book Cover final-smaller

June 11 & 12-see you at the Great Grapes festival in Cockeysville, MD

July 21-24 see you at the largest Italian Festival in the USA-Festa Italiana in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I will be onstage thorughout the entire event. Hope to see you there.

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Designed by Brian Hanshaw

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