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Panzanella
Photo © Sunset
Photo © Sunset

3 recipes for the summer from Tuscany

Panzanella, fried zucchini blossoms and spelt salad for a mouthwatering lunch

When people talk about Tuscan cuisine, they immediately think of ribollita (Tuscan soup) or Florentine style beefsteak: definitely tasty dishes but perhaps better suited to the cold season.
Although a nice portion of tripe or tortelli is never refused, for something fresher and lighter, suitable for the boiling temperatures of July and August, here are three traditional dishes to enjoy in summer!

Contents
  • 1.
    Panzanella
  • 2.
    Zucchini blossoms
  • 3.
    Spelt salad
1.

Panzanella

Panzanella
Panzanella - Credit: Giulia Scarpaleggia

A tasty throwback dish, panzanella is a summer classic: stale bread, pulpy and ripe tomatoes, fresh onion and basil galore.
An easy, quick and fragrant recipe that can also be prepared in advance by keeping the wet, squeezed bread in the refrigerator until it is time to add the other ingredients. If you like it, you can add cucumber as well.

1.

Zucchini blossoms

Fried zucchini blossoms
Fried zucchini blossoms - Credit: Ivonne Zanzucchi

A truly delicious recipe, perfect for a summer aperitif or a main course to pair with something fresher: fried zucchini blossoms are a delicacy that cannot be missed on Tuscan tables!
It is important to wash them carefully without breaking them - possibly when they are open and fresh - remove the pistil and stems and dip them in the batter.
For a really crispy result, the batter can be made only with flour and ice water; after that they should be fried in boiling oil until golden brown.

1.

Spelt salad

Garfagnana spelt
Garfagnana spelt - Credit: Thomas Williams and Meagen Collins

A versatile ingredient that lends itself to be the protagonist of many recipes: spelt is a precious grain that boasts ancient origins, a one-pot dish perfect for those seeking taste without sacrificing shape.
In Tuscany, Garfagnana IGP spelt is one of the territory's excellences and is the ideal base for a fresh summer salad: just follow the instructions for cooking the grain and add seasonal ingredients.
Don't miss the classic version with cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, but also the gourmet version with the addition of sun-dried tomatoes, pesto and arugula.

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