Summer salads – Italian style

 

Following on from my recent chat about Trentino and with summer literally knocking at the door, it is isn’t it? I thought I’d give you a couple of the best Italian salads you can find on the penisular.

The two mentioned below take minutes to prepare, they are incredibly wholesome, nutritious and low calorie too. Both of these recipes can also be used as starters which is worth keeping in mind if you need something swanky that only takes minutes.

Prosciutto e Melone

1/4 melon cut into two pieces
8 slices of Parma ham placed over the melon
wild rocket to decorate
prosciutto melone
 

Quite simply prosciutto crudo or Parma Ham is a dry-cured ham which is eaten thinly sliced.

There is an art to slicing the crudo as I discovered today at my local Morrisons. I asked for 100g of thinly sliced, any photo you search for will show wafer thin slices sometimes twirled into beautiful roses. The lady working on the Deli took the leg of ham over to the slicer and proceeded to slice thinly as I had requested imagining she knew how to serve it. This photo is enough to send the toughest Italian Stallion to his knees

parma ham badly cut

I got her to stop at 30g which was just enough to show you in the photo above how it is most likely to be found served in Italy. The salty ham against the fresh melon is scrumptious. This is how it should be sliced …

prosciutto crudo parma ham

Insalata Caprese – Mozzarella and tomato salad

1 mozzarella
sliced tomatoes – I used a beef tomato, some baby plum tomatoes and a salad tomato
fresh basil leaves
salt
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
 

insalata capreseAnother really easy salad to prepare and again low calorie too, the Italians also call this one tri-colore as it has the colours of their national flag.

Roughly chop the mozzarella into bite sized pieces, chop your tomatoes up and place both main ingredients on serving plate. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over, drizzle with a little olive oil and a dash of balsamic vinegar. It’s ready! Can be served with fresh bread

In Italy you will most likely find it served like this

caprese insalata

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