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Vegetable Based Antipasti

Pinzimonio, salads, pickles, sottoli... There's tremendous variety to Italian vegetable based antipasti; some are excellent at the beginning of a meal or to nibble on during a party, while others will also work well as the centerpiece of a light meal. Much variety to enjoy!

Chicken Salad With Nectarines and Almonds Recipe
A rich, tasty chicken salad that will be nice if served in small portions as the beginning of an elegant meal, or, in somewhat larger portions as the centerpiece of a light luncheon.

Bruschetta is one of the simplest things in the world to make, and can be very satisfying if you have good extravirgin olive oil.

A Light Euro Dinner
A light, quick vegetable-based meal for two that's a perfect way to break the ice, from my review of Eat Dangerously!

An End of Summer Recipe: Mediterranean Cuscus, or Cuscus Mediterraneo
Cuscus may bring the southern shores of the Mediterranean to mind, but has long been eaten in Italy too, both by Sicilians, who tend to make theirs with fish, and by Italian Jews, who tend to make theirs with meat. But there are other things one can do with cuscus, and this salad is extremely refreshing. Easy to make, too, and quick as well.

Artichokes Packed in Oil -- Carciofi Sott'Olio
Artichokes Packed in Oil, or Carciofi Sott'Olio: Artichokes packed in oil are among the most classic of antipasti, and are also quite nice as garnishes, for example with boiled meats. Or atop pizza, especially with shredded ham.

Asparagus & Pea Flan: Sformato di Piselli e Asparagi
This asparagus and pea flan will be nice either as an antipasto or a main course, depending upon how big the portions are.

Asparagus Flan: Sformato di Asparagi
Light, elegant curry-laced flans that will work nicely as antipasti or a main course in a light lunch.

Asparagus with Eggs and Pecorino Romano
Very quick and quite simple: A perfect spring antipasto!

Baked Ricotta with Herbs and Sage
Depending upon what you serve this with, you'll have either an antipasto or a dessert.

Bell Pepper Bruschetta Recipe - Bruschetta Coi Peperoni
Bruschetta at its simplest is toasted bread (ideally toasted over the coals) rubbed with garlic, drizzled with extravirgin olive oil, and sprinkled with salt. But there are richer options, including tomato bruschetta and bruschetta with canellini (white) beans. This bell pepper bruschetta will make a welcome addition to a bruschetta platter on a hot summer day.

Bell Pepper Involtini -- Involtini di Peperone
Bell Pepper Involtini, or Involtini di Peperone: This is a classic Piemontese recipe that has been published several times; the authors of one collection of recipes credit Fontanafredda, which was home to La Bella Rosina, King Vittorio Emanuele's second wife.

Zucchini Involtini with Stewed Mushrooms Recipe - Zucchine e Funghi Trifolati
Stewed Mushrooms are an excellent ingredient, and are a fine filling in these zucchini involtini, or rollups. They'll be perfect as an appetizer or a light lunch!

Blanched Greens with Herb Sauce - Verdure Cotte con Salsa alle Erbe
Blached greens with an herb sauce: A refreshing summer dish

Blanched Vegetables with Mustard Sauce - Ortaggi Scottati con Salsa alla Senape
Vegetables with Mustard Sauce: Perfect light Italian cooking for summer.

Bread Pudding with Ham and Vegetables, Pasticcio di Pane
This is savory bread pudding is a modern Italian recipe, and will be quite nice as part of a quick luncheon. It calls for Porcini, and while they will add a special something extra, you could made do with larger cremini mushrooms or other wild mushrooms if you had to.

Breaded, Fried Peppers -- Peperoni Impanati e Fritti
Breaded, Fried Peppers, or Peperoni Impanati e Fritti: This is an unusual recipe that Caròla Francesconi was given by Monzù Gerardo Modugno; it brings to mind chips and will be a pleasant and unusual side dish, or a real treat in a fritto misto, and could also double as an antipasto.

Brine-Cured Olives -- Olive in Acqua
Olive in Acqua -- -- Brine-Cured Olives

Bruschetta with Garlic Cream -- Bruschetta con Crema di Aglio
Something for the garlic lovers among us to enjoy!

Cabbage Salad, Cappuccio in Insalata
This simple cabbage salad from Friuli Venezia Giulia will be equally tasty with red or green cabbage, though I might choose green because it will contrast with the red of the pancetta.

Calabrian Eggplant: Melanzane Calabre
Zesty Calabrian eggplant with garlic and hot pepper, a perfect summer antipasto.

Canned Hot Pepper Recipe - Peperoncini Sott'Olio
Hot peppers packed in oil are a wonderful way to jazz up bland foods, including the boiled meats that are a byproduct of making broth in the winter. They're also excellent for adding zest to picnic foods, especially frise, and also yield hot oil, which can be rather nice.

Caper Crostini -- Crostini di Capperi
This 19th century antipasto appears in a number of cookbooks; Artusi also suggests you serve these between the courses in a banquet to perk up flagging appetites.

Celery Boats with Cheese Foam -- Sedanini alla Spuma di Formaggio
Celery Boats with Cheese Foam will work nicely as an antipasto or party food, and will serve 6 (as an antipasto).

Cheesy Polenta Mushroom Casserole - Polenta Con Fontina e Funghi
Polenta and cheese are a wonderful combination, and if you work in wild mushrooms, the resulting polenta casserole becomes downright heavenly. I wouldn't do this with champignons, because they aren't flavorful enough. Rather a mixture of mushrooms, for example chanterelles, cremini, and portabella mushrooms.

Stuffed Peppers with Cheese and Olives - Peperoni Ripieni Con Formaggio e Olive
This cheesy stuffed pepper recipe will be nice either as an antipasto or as part of a light lunch.

Chicken Salad with Mint Tzaziki - Insalata di Pollo con Tzatziki alla Menta
A modern Italian recipe for chicken salad with a tasty exotic dressing. Italian chicken salad.

Chilled Eggplant: Melanzane Fredde
Chilled eggplant, which will work nicely as an antipasto or side dish.

Classic Italian Vegetable-Based Antipasti
Pinzimonio, salads, pickles, sottoli... There's tremendous variety to Italian vegetable based antipasti; some are excellent at the beginning of a meal or to nibble on during a party, while others will also work well as the centerpiece of a light meal. Here are some standards you will find throughout Italy.

Creamed Spinach Dip Recipe - Purea Di Spinaci - Pureed Spinach Dip
Spinach might seem like an unlikely base for a dip, or even less likely as a party food, but this creamy spinach dip will be quite nice either during a party or as an antipasto. Use several different kinds of bread to give your guests variety to choose from.

Creamed Spinach Dip, Purea Di Spinaci
Spinach might seem like an unlikely base for a dip, or even less likely as a party food, but this creamy spinach dip will be quite nice either during a party or as an antipasto. Use several different kinds of bread to give your guests variety to choose from.

Crostini with Artichoke Stems, Crostini Coi Gambi di Carciofi
If you buy artichokes you will have artichoke stems too. Sometimes you can use them in the recipe, say if you're making artichokes and potatoes, or an artichoke risotto, but sometimes you cannot -- say when you're making stuffed artichokes, or just want the pretty artichoke hearts. You can make a dandy antipasto of them, however: Crostini with Artichoke Stems.

Crostini with Black Olives -- Crostini alle Olive Nere
Aldo Santini calls these crostini "the poor man's caviar," and he's right.

Crostini with Black Olives Recipe - Crostini alle Olive Nere
Crostini are thin slices of toasted bread, spread with a paté of one sort or another, and are a standard Tuscan antipasto. The most common paté is made with chicken livers, but there are other options, and black olives are quite popular. And good too; Aldo Santini calls black olive paté "the poor man's caviar." Tasty, and easy to do.

Crostini with Black Olives Recipe - Crostini alle Olive Nere
Crostini are thin slices of toasted bread, spread with a paté of one sort or another, and are a standard Tuscan antipasto. The most common paté is made with chicken livers, but there are other options, and black olives are quite popular. And good too; Aldo Santini calls black olive paté "the poor man's caviar." Here they are combined with zucchini.

Cured Seasoned Olives
This is a quick, easy way to prepare cured olives as part of an antipasto misto, or as nibble food at parties. Make more than you expect to need, because they will go quickly!

Dried Fried Tomatoes, or Pomodori Secchi Fritti
Dried tomatoes are quite common in southern Italy, and are enjoyed both as antipasti or snacking foods, and as ingredients. Trapanesi give them a delightful added twist.

Dried Tomatoes: Pimmaduori Salati
How to preserve tomatoes if you lack refrigeration, but not less tasty for that.

Dried Tomatoes: Pimmaduori Siccati
Zesty sun-dried tomatoes, Calabrian style.

Eggplant Boats with Mushrooms and Sausages -- Barchette di Melanzane Con Funghi
Eggplant Boats with Mushrooms and Sausages, or Barchette di Melanzane Con Funghi e Salsiccia: A tasty fall antipasto.

Eggplant in a Carriage: Melanzane in Carrozza
Sandwiches made with eggplant and mozzarella, fried -- a Neapolitan classic.

Eggplant Parmesan: Melanzane alla Parmigiana
One of the finest dishes known to man! An excellent recipe, with several variations; cut into small squares it's an excellent appetizer.

Eggplant Scapece Style: Melanzane a Scapece
A refreshing summer eggplant dish that will also be a nice appetizer.

Elisabetta's Quick String Bean Salad
I have said before that Elisabetta and I cook quite differently; I tend to follow recipes, whereas she opens the fridge and improvises. Leftover string beans led to a very tasty salad with pears, cashew nuts, cheese and more.

Fave e Cicorie Selvatiche, Fava Bean Puree with Wild Chicory
Pugliesi are fanatical lovers of greens, and if you visit Puglia during the winter months you can be almost certain of being offered Puré di Fave, pureed fava beans, usually with some sort of green and a drizzle of olive oil. Peasant food of the finest kind.

Fig Tart With Gorgonzola, Tartino di Fichi e Gorgonzola
Figs are one of the sweetest and richest fruits imaginable, and more than charged enough to work very well with a pungent blue cheese along the lines of Gorgonzola. This tart will be nice as a slightly unusual antipasto, or as a dessert, in which the contrast of sweet and savory will be very nice.

Gorgonzola, Pear & Walnut Quiche Recipe - Quiche Al Gorgonzola Con Le Pere
Gorgonzola cheese and pears go together remarkably well in this quiche, which will be perfect as an antipasto, or at a brunch, or at a party.

Figs Broiled in Honey and Walnuts
The sweetness of the figs nicely balances the pungency of the Gorgonzola, and it all will work well as an antipasto, with an aperitif. Erica suggests a Fiano, from Campania.

Fried Radicchio: Radicchio Fritto
This will work well in a platter of mixed antipasti.

Fried Sage, Salvia Fritta
Salvia Fritta is fried sage, and to be frank, it doesn't look particularly exciting. However, when you pick up a leaf, blowing on it because it's still steaming hot, and bite into it... Oh My.

Fried String Beans: Fagiolini Fritti
Fried string beans are a tasty antipasto or side dish.

Giardiniera -- Pickled Vegetables
This is what most Italians think of when they hear the words Sotto Aceti, a collection of mixed pickled vegetables. The standard Italian antipasto misto wouldn't be quite right without these, and they also work very well with boiled meats in the winter months. This recipe will make about 2 1/2 pounds, and though you might be tempted to put it...

Gorgonzola Cream -- Gorgonzola in Crema
This is very simple, and in addition to serving it as a spread, you may want to consider using it to season red meats off the grill.

Gorgonzola Pie -- Tortino di Gorgonzola
Gorgonzola Pie: This is one of those sinfully rich things you see in good delis. However, though you can buy what's prowdly displayed in the store, there are advantages to making it home: you can use more walnuts than they do (assuming that they do), you can be certain of what else goes into it, and you can use the cheese you want, rather than what the manager selects. Ther perfect party food, and very good at the end of the meal too.

Goria-Style Marinated Grilled Peppers - Peperoni alla Goria
This recipe for marinated bell peppers was developed by Italian food writer and historian Giovanni Goria, and has been quoted in a number of cookbooks, as well as appearing on the web in several places. In other words, it's good!

Green Crostini Recipe - Crostini Verdi
Crostini are thin slices of toasted bread, spread with a paté of one sort or another, and are a standard Tuscan antipasto. The most common paté is made with chicken livers, but there are other options. This spinach paté will require a little more effort than some, but is quite tasty.

Green Salad with Cheese: Insalata di Verdure al Fromazdo
A tasty salad with lots of things including cheese, and an unusual (for Italy) cream-based dressing.

Greens Pie With Almond topping Recipe - Torta Verde con Crost…
Italy has many savory greens pies, most of which have crusts of one sort or another. This one doesn't, relying on breadcrumbs underneath and sliced almonds, which add pleasant flavor and texture, on top. In short, an easy, tasty spring vegetable pie.

Grilled Bell Peppers: Peperoni alla Griglia
One of the tastiest summer antipasti or side dishes known, and easy to make too!

Grilled Eggplant: Melanzane alla Griglia
Marinated eggplant grilled and returned to the marinade to be eaten cool -- very nice!

Herbal Salad With Pork & More - Insalata Ricca Con Erbe Aromatiche
This salad, with tasty herbs and shredded pork, will be a nice beginning to an elegant meal, and will also work well as the centerpiece of a luncheon.

Hot Peppers Stuffed with Tuna: Peperoncini al Tonno
Tiny round hot peppers stuffed with tuna fish: They're addictive!

Italian Pickled Hot Pepper Recipe - Peperoncini Sotto Aceto
Pickled hot peppers are extremely versatile: if you've a strong stomach they can be a nice snack, they're a wonderful addition to a mixed antipasto, and they also are excellent at jazzing up bland foods, especially the boiled meats that are a byproduct of making broth. It's easy to pickle hot peppers at home, and if you do you can make them just the way you want, with none of the additions commercial producers make.

Josephine Caravetta's Pickled Eggplant
Josephine Caravetta's Pickled Eggplant: Anne has very kindly replied to another person's request with her Grandmother's pickled eggplant.

Kale on Toasted Bread -- Cavolo con le Fette
These are not, strictly speaking, crostini. However, they are extremely good, and since you spread your kale over toasted bread they are leaning in that direction, though some might also call them bruschetta.

King Albert's Cardoons -- I Cardi di Re Alberto
This is a slightly more involved cardoon-based antipasto; it was, according to food historian Giovanni Goria, a great favorite of the King of Piemonte.

Marinated Bell Peppers - Peperoni in Brusco
Most marinated pepper recipes call for marinating in oil. This Piemontese marinated pepper recipe instead has you marinate the peppers in vinegar before serving them. A tasty antipasto!

Marinated Tomatoes, Pomodori Marinati
A quick, simple tomato salad that will be nice at a picnic or barbecue.

Meatless Stuffed Tomatoes: Pomodori Farciti di Magro
A rich stuffed tomato dish for days of Abstinence.

Mozzarella and Tomatoes: Insalata Caprese
In small portions this is a nice summer appetizer; in larger amounts it is refreshing summer meal or fine picnic food.

Mozzarella wrapped in Eggplant, Prosciutto and Cheese
Tasty morsels that will wow your guests.

Mushroom Crostini Recipe - Crostini Di Funghi - Porcini Crost…
Whenever it rains heavily, and especially in the fall, one can expect to find fresh porcini in Italian markets. I like to grill the caps, but that leaves the stems. They are perfect for making mushroom sauce for crostini, which is a fine way to start a meal. This recipe is also a perfect use for smaller porcini, caps and all.

Mushroomy Valdostan Bread Pudding - Tortino Di Pane Valdostano Ai Funghi
This savory bread pudding from the Valle D'Aosta is best with fresh porcini, though any flavorful wild mushroom will work.

Mushroom Crostini, Crostini Di Funghi Porcini
Whenever it rains heavily, and especially in the fall, one can expect to find fresh porcini in Italian markets. I like to grill the caps, but that leaves the stems. They are perfect for making mushroom sauce for crostini, which is a fine way to start a meal. This recipe is also a perfect use for smaller porcini, caps and all.

Mushroom Sauce: Sugo ai Funghi
A sauce that's equally good on Crostini or over pasta.

Neapolitan Pan-Sautéed Asparagus -- Asparagi in Cassuola
Neapolitan Pan-Sautéed Asparagus, or Asparagi in Cassuola: This is a Neapolitan recipe developed by Cavalcanti, the great 19th century Neapolitan gastronome.

Olive Salad: Olive in Insalata
An unusual olive salad from Lazio, which will work nicely as an antipasto.

Olives Cured in Lye -- Olive in Concia
Olives Cured in Lye, or Olive in Concia: Lise, who has an olive tree in her back yard, wants to know what to do with the olives. Fresh from the tree, they are tremendously bitter, to the point that the people who originally went to the trouble of learning how to treat them must have been extraordinarily hungry. To draw out the bitterness you'll have to soak them, either in brine or in a solution of lye, or a combination of the two.

Onions Stuffed with Tuna: Cipolle Ripiene col Tonno
Onions filled with tuna, a Ligurian treat that will be perfect in summer.

Open-Faced Sandwich with Mozzarella and Eggplant
Though some people primarily associate Italian food with pasta (with red sauce), minestrone, and veal Parmesan there's a lot more, and modern cooks are doing all sorts of interesting things. This will be a nice antipasto, or could work well at a quick, simple lunch if served with a crisp salad. The wine? A white, along the lines of a Greco di Tufo.

Panino Mediterraneo - Mediterranean Sandwich
A quick sandwich with greens and a little fish: Perfect for a quick, light lunch. The ingredients list makes it which sound a lot more involved than it is. You'll find just about all the ingredients in the deli section of the supermarket.

Parmesan Cheese Cones
Remember those cream cheese cones that were an invariable part of wine and cheese parties in college? Here's a recipe.

Parmigiano Potato Salad: Insalata di Grana Padano
An interesting salad made with potatos, apples and flakes of cheese. As well as whatever else you fancy.

Pepper Rollups: Involtini di Peperone
A wonderfully tasty use for bell peppers & cheese.

Peppers with Bagna Caoda Sauce: Peperoni con Bagna Caoda
Roast bell peppers cut into strips and served with this sauce are a fantastic appetizer!

Pickled Bell Peppers -- Peperoni Sotto Aceto
Pickled Bell Peppers, or Peperoni Sotto Aceto: Bell peppers are astonishingly versatile, and these will be quite nice either as part of a mixed antipasto, or with boiled meats during the winter months. They're also a nice addition to a picnic.

Pickled Button Onions -- Cipolline Sotto Aceto
Pickled Button Onions, or Cipolline Sotto Aceto: These are a mainstay of the mixed antipasto, and though you might not expect it, can vary considerably depending upon the type of button onion you choose to pickle. With sweeter onions they'll be more delicate, whereas more acrid onions will have a considerable bite that will be quite nice with boiled meats and vegetables.

A big bowl of fresh, tasty chopped raw vegetables served with oil and vinegar that your guests can mix and season to taste in their own little bowls makes for a perfect antipasto or side dish.

Pinzimonio with Bell Pepper Cream - Pinzimonio Con La Crema di Peperoni
Pinzimonio is the simplest Italian summer vegetable dish: A bowl of fresh veggies, which you pick and choose from. The most refreshing side dish or antipasto there is!

Primavera Bread Recipe - Pane Alla Primavera - Spring Bread Recipe
This is more -- considerably more -- than a bread, but does bring together the goodness of spring in a very tasty package.

Red Radicchio Salad with Turkey
Similar to the above but with turkey and truffles. Also mouthwatering.

Red Radicchio Salad: Insalata Di Radicchio Rosso di Treviso
In small portions this will be a mouthwatering beginning to a meal

Rice Pie
Perfect as part of a quick lunch.

Rich Potato Salad: Insalata Ricca di Patate
A tasty, cheesy potato salad.

Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
I think that the best use for a zucchino flower is frying, but this could work as an antipasto.

Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes: Pumarou a Gratte'
A Sicilian take on roasted stuffed tomatoes with bread crumbs.

Rustic Stewed Peppers: Peperonata Rustica
Tasty, simple stewed peppers.

Sarset and Celery Salad with Yogurt Sauce Recipe - Insalata V…
Valeriana, which is also called soncino in Italian, is known by a number of names in English, including sarset, mâche, corn salad, and lamb's lettuce. In this modern Italian recipe it gains grace from hazelnuts, substance from celery, and is seasoned with a tart yogurt sauce.

Sauteed Olives: Olive Soffritte
Dried olives sauteed with hot pepper, a Calabrian treat..

Savoy Cabbage Flan with Pecorino Romano and Cured Pork
A simple antipasto that will be quite nice in the winter months.

Sicilian Dried Tomatoes: Pomodori Secchi alla Siciliana
How to pack sundried tomatoes in oil to enjoy them throughout the year.

Simone Ciattini's Panzanella, Illustrated
Panzanella is a Tuscan summer bread salad: peasant food, and a way of making stale bread palatable when there was little else to go with it. Panzanella has become considerably richer since the end of the War, because people can now afford to add more of the other ingredients that support the bread, and it is an extremely popular summer dish.

Sott'oli are vegetables packed in oil, and are also one of the more common commercially prepared antipasti; my father-in-law loves them and they're a fixture on the Sunday table. If you have a vegetable garden, making them isn't that hard, though you may have to experiment with your herb mix to get the effect you want. How to proceed?

Spicy Plum Tomatoes: Perine Piccanti
Perine in this case are plum tomatoes, stuffed with a refreshingly zesty green-sauce based filling and a little cheese

Spring Onion and Cheese Quiche
A rich, satisfying quiche with scallions and cheese. Perfect in spring!

String Bean and Tuna Salad: Fagiolini e Tonno in Insalata
String beans and tuna, seasoned with lemon juice: Profoundly refreshing.

String Bean Salad: Fagiolini in Insalata
A quick, refreshing summer string bean salad from Friuli Venezia Giulia. Good for a picnic too!

Stuffed Fried Friarelli -- Friarelli Ripieni e Fritti
Friarelli are medium sized, slender, thin-walled, mild south Italian peppers that are perfect for frying. In their absence use something similarly shaped; bell peppers would be too meaty and also too large. As I said, friarelli are mild; if you want you could use something hotter, but if you do it will mask the flavors of the filling.

Stuffed Olives Ascolana Style -- Olive all'Ascolana
Stuffed Olives Ascolana Style, or Olive all'Ascolana: The recipe derives from the Ascoli region, and if at all possible you should use olives of the Ascolana strain, which are large, green and mild, and were already renowned in Roman times, when they were eagerly sought out. This recipe is however more recent, dating to the 17th century. Though they're generally classified as an antipasto, it will also work well as a first course, or as part of a platter of mixed fried foods.

Stuffed Onions: Cipolle Ripiene
Onions stuffed with leftover roast meat, or whatever was handy, traditional country fare food from the Canavese region in Piemonte, and nice at home too.

Stuffed Peppers Sicilian Style
A couple of variations, with different cheeses. The author prefers the Mozzarella version.

Stuffed Tomatoes: Pimmaduori Chjini
Stuffed tomatoes with a Calabrian twist: they're dried, and seasoned with anchovies and herbs.

Stuffed Tomatoes: Pomodori Ripieni
Simple Piemontese stuffed tomatoes with green sauce and mayonnaise.

Sun Dried Tomatoes with Tuna -- Pomodori Secchi al Tonno
This is a Puglian specialty, and according to Luigi Sada is "oft-imitated but never successfully." Not that we won't try; they'll work quite nicely as an antipasto.

Tomato Sandwiches - Pomodori Panini
Tomato sandwiches, or perhaps tomato cheese melts: a wonderful, quick, very refreshing antipasto.

Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice: Pomodori col Riso
Tomatoes stuffed with rice, and a Roman variation with pasta.

A Zesty, Cheesy Tomato Pepper Vegetable Medley
There aren't that many Greek ingredients in Italian cooking, but feta is popular, especially among those who are trying to eat healthily. This tomato pepper medley should in theory be baked briefly, but you could also lightly chill it after assembling it and enjoy it cool, especially at a picnic or cookout.

Torino-Style Cardoons -- Cardata alla Torinese
A recipe from Le Ricette di Cucina Del Piemonte, which notes that the recipe is typical of the middle class in Torino, and that we're dealing with a refined version of bagna caoda -- no garlic, and enriched with truffles.

Upside Down Eggplant and Cauliflower Tart, Torta Salata Rovesciata
Frozen puff pastry is a wonderful convenience food, and though most recipes that call for it are sweet, you can also use it to make delightful savory pies. This cauliflower and eggplant pie will be nice as an antipasto, and also, with a tossed salad and crusty bread, be a good centerpiece of a light lunch.

White Celery and Artichoke Salad - Inslata di Carciofi e Sedano Bianco
A tasty winter salad that will be perfect as an accompaniment to a roast, and will also be a nice way to start things off.

Yogurt Raita with Hot Pepper Grissini
Grissini are the classic bread sticks made in the region of Piemonte, which are always crunchy and are said to have saved the life of a young Prince of Savoy many years ago -- he was so sick he couldn't get anything else down, and lived on them until he recovered. Thus they also saved the Monarchy and contributed to the unification of Italy in the 1860s. In Italy I have never encountered them served with a dip at table, though when they're served as a snack there often is a dip.

Zucchini Frittata Recipe - Frittata alle Zucchine
Zucchini are one of the nicer things about early summer, and quite versatile: You can stuff them, steam them (if you're on a diet), put them in pasta sauce, sauté them, and if you sauté them, easily transform them into a light lunch by using them to make a zucchini frittata. Cut into thin wedges, a zucchini frittata is also a nice antipasto.

Italian Russian Salad Recipe - Insalata Russa
Insalata Russa, or Russian Salad, is -- according to Italians -- a traditional Russian dish, while Russians instead call it "Italian salad." Its true origin is probably French, a delight prepared for Russian nobles, who were charmed by its lavishness -- in addition to vegetables, at the time it contained lobster, truffles and more. This much...

Richly Aromatic Rice and Yogurt Casserole - Riso Profumato allo Yogurt
This ricey casserole with yogurt and eggplant will be nice as part of a light lunch or a side dish.

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