Monday, May 30, 2011
Guest Blogger: Lisa Zatulovsky
Copyright 2011, Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc.
Nestled amongst four seas, the grandiose beaches of Italy look like storybook paintings come to life with water infused sapphires and emeralds, amidst imposing mountains and sherbet colored sunsets. Artfully sprinkled with natural rock formations and crashing waves, Italy’s breathtaking beaches look as though a hypnotic mermaid might sit atop a rock at any moment, waiting for her next sailor to enchant.
Aside from having some of the most popular historical sights in Europe, Italy presents some of the worlds most incredible beaches, frequently populated during peak summer season. Visiting one of Italy’s beaches not only has unreal picturesque sights, but light, appetizing and healthy Mediterranean cuisine. Fresh fish, colorful salads and delectable fruits and vegetables are everywhere you turn. The idyllic serenity of Italy’s coastlines is perfectly reflected in the Mediterranean cuisine. Take notes from the healthful Mediterranean diet and let it play a starring role in your cooking this summer.
Visit the Island of Capri and you may feel like an extra on the set of the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. Located off of Southern Italy’s Amalfi Coast, tourists flood Capri every summer taking in all that this magical Island has to offer. From white sand beaches to mild 70-degree temperatures, the Island of Capri has remained one of Italy’s most popular beach destinations. Seaside restaurants line the edges of the island, with locals and tourists enjoying the island’s delicacies, while swirls of salt-kissed breezes gracefully dance through the air. Order from one of Capri’s many restaurants and try authentic stuffed Calamari with a Caprese salad. Taking advantage of the bountiful amounts of fish, chefs will often times serve you fish caught a few hours beforehand. The pairing of Calamari stuffed with mushrooms, garlic and creamy cheese with a light Caprese salad made with whole slices of tomato, mozzarella, and basil, drizzled with olive oil completely embody the flavors of Capri.
Even further south, the island of Sicily has an overwhelming selection of beaches to choose from. From fine white sand to black sand volcanic beaches, small fishing towns to glamorous resorts, this large island rich in tradition has a personality all its own. Like Capri, Sicily uses many of the islands amazing fruits, vegetables and fish into their diet. However, Sicilian cuisine also merge’s hints of neighboring countries and Middle Eastern spices, nuts and fruits into a cuisine all their own. To soak up the special flavors of Sicily, try pasta with prawns and pistachio pesto. This dish incorporates Arabic influences with rich pistachios, a hint of Spanish spice and the heartiness of prawns. Cooked with penne and a garlic tomato sauce with white whine and olive oil, this Sicilian pasta dish represents the variety of flavors and distinct tastes of the island.
Whether you bask in the sun at your neighborhood pool, float down a lazy river in an innertube, or have a chance to experience Italy’s many beaches for yourself, incorporating a Mediterranean diet into your summer meals is a healthful and fresh way to celebrate a season full of life, warmth and sun. From a Caprese salad to Sicilian pasta, dishes inspired by the plentiful resources off of Italy’s coasts can be easily transported from the Mediterranean Sea to your kitchen.
Get your copy of the Gourmand World Cookbook Award Winning Book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions