Summer is nearly over and here I am feeling nostalgic again. Every year is the same when I come back from Italy taking with me all those fond memories of sunshine and the time spent with my Italian relatives.
This year, summer was particularly good; first we visited Puglia and then we went up North on the Adriatic coast in Friuli. We also had a few days in the Alps but the best of it all was a reunion with our extended family.
We had a barbecue in my uncle’s garden with my cousins which was fabulous. It felt so good being altogether after such a long time. Our last midsummer barbecue was at Ferragosto some time ago.
The evening kicked off with a Mojito made by my cousin Daniela who, after working in Jamaica and in several restaurants in London, is an expert at cocktail making.
My other cousins, Marco and Michele were our chefs for the evening. I could tell they were very experienced at barbecues: they cooked ribs, sausages, veggie and fish to perfection. The meat was particularly good: juicy and tender without any burnt bits.. just so delicious. This is because they cooked it over hot coals over several hours and this is how a proper barbecue should be done.
First they made a fire with old wood
And then the smoke of the charcoals would cook the meat nice and slowly. Marco cooked some seabass for us as well.
He stuffed it with with rosemary and lemon slices which added a lot of flavour.
Veggies also get an intense flavour when cooked on an barby; if you don’t have a barbecue you can achieve a similar flavour by cooking them on a hot griddle pan.
Fish kebabs were made with peppers, eggplant, zucchini and swordfish.. yummy!
And polenta of course will never ever miss from a Northern Italian barbecue.. you first make it, slice it and then chargrill it… delicious!
These are my uncle’s homegrown tomatoes.. the look incredible!
We enjoyed them with a simple dressing made with olive oil, vinegar and a pinch of salt.
Pork ribs.. were just the best thing ever.. the highlight of the barbecue
And of course.. after ice cream there will always be watermelon with a summer barbecue. These watermelons are kept in cold water to make them nice and chilled. Watermelon tastes better when it is cold.
Cheers! There is nothing worth more than being close to your family. Yes, family comes first. Always.
See you next summer for another feast like this!