Memorial Day Weekend is here. And so is the corn on the cob, French fries, burgers, hotdogs, hot wings and brisket. In Italy the equivalent of our Memorial Day is April 25, la Festa della Liberazione which commemorates the end of WWII, followed by Festa dei Lavoratori (Labor Day) on May 1st. Many Italians combine the two and go on holiday to celebrate the beginning of spring, and like Americans, they love their BBQ, but typically over a wood fire. Many Italian-Americans are looking for ways to bring a little of Italy into their choices... here are some ideas.
From Giada's Giadzy:
Burrata and Kale Salsa Verde Bruschetta
The salsa verde for these decadent toasts can be made a day ahead, making assembly a breeze once the grill heats up.
Florence's signature dish doesn't need to be made with that famous Tuscan beef - a good-quality rib-eye marinated in this herb-garlic mixture will do the job perfectly.
Tomato, Avocado, and Escarole Salad
Bitter escarole is a perfect foil for the rich steak in this simple side salad, while tomatoes and Castelvetrano olives add bright acidity. And you can never have too much avocado!
Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches
Ice cream on the grill? It's true! Grilled bread topped with luscious chocolate-hazelnut spread encloses scoops of vanilla ice cream for a perfect ending.
A here are some tips on how to recreate an
Italian Mixed Grill from Honest Cooking, using a variety of meats grilled over a wood fire, as Italians do.
And of course, the ultimate Italian BBQ is the Tuscan classic, Bistecca alla Fiorentina, offered here from Memorie di Angelina. In Tuscany, the steaks used are from the Chianina, an Italian breed of cattle raised mainly for beef. It is the largest and one of the oldest cattle breeds in the world. In the U.S. 1-1/2 - 2"" thick porterhouse or T-bone steak are good substitutes. In Tuscany, these steaks are grilled over wood coals until dark and smoky outside and bloody toward the center. They are sliced thin and enjoyed by all with a salad of Italian greens (especially arugula) grilled potatoes or beans in olive oil and sage. There are always wedges of lemons, course sea salt, pats of butter or extra virgin olive oil to top it off. Chianti Classico or Brunello di Montalcino are good choices to add to the celebration.