Summer seafood salad, crudo and melone and stracciatella with tomatoes

So summer has finally arrived here in the north of Italy and for the last week we’ve enjoyed temperatures in the mid 30’s leading to much excited al fresco dining in the Sambolino household. We’ve managed breakfast, lunch and dinner outdoors most days and when the humidity has become too much we’ve had the luxury of an old house with big walls (meaning it’s fresh) to take refuge in.

I, rather misguidedly, chose this of all weeks to start sanding and painting shutters on our house so my enjoyment of the balmy weather has been less than enthusiastic as I braved the balcony for various painting sessions but by days end, and with the promise of something delicious to eat, I’ve embraced the warmth .

Italy is great for simple summer dishes and most antipastas take just minutes to prepare, great after a long days labouring. As three is often heralded as the magic number I thought I’d share three of the dishes we’ve eaten this week, all of which are speedy and delicious.

Classic crudo & melone

Parma ham and melon is eaten the world over in Italian restaurants but here in Italy the term “Parma ham” can only be used for ham cured in the city of Parma so all other hams cured using the same technique are known simply as crudo, meaning “raw” (as opposed to a cooked ham). I’ve come to discover that every area has its variation of crudo with some more tasty and mature than others. You have to try lots to find the ones that you like most. This dish needs no other explanation. Simply chop the melon, drape with crudo and enjoy!

Melon & Parma Ham 2

Stracciatella, tomato and basil

Another revelation for me in Italy has been the variations on Mozzarella that you find up and down the country from the classic buffalo mozzarella (Bufala) to Burrata (a fresh mozzarella with creamy interior found most often in Murgia and Puglia)  to this soft cheese known as stracciatella. In comparison to the often rubbery and dry mozzarella we find on sale in many of the UK supermarkets, Stracciatella is a creamy cheese made of torn up pieces of mozzarella and accompanied with tomatoes and basil, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, is one of my favourite summer dishes.

straciatella & tomato


Summer seafood salad

Last but by no means least on my list is this whizzy little salad that takes 5 mins to knock together but looks quite impressive when served.

Sautee baby squid and king prawns in some sesame oil together with a generous helping of sesame seeds. Once cooked, combine with some freshly chopped fennel, mint leaves and coriander and squeeze over the juice of a fresh lime. Serve warm.

seafood salad (2)


seafood salad (1)

2 Responses to “Summer seafood salad, crudo and melone and stracciatella with tomatoes”
  1. chef mimi says:

    Oh my! Everything looks superb!

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