In the warmer part of the year, one should enjoy seasonal fruits, such as ripe figs, grapes, peaches, pears… And on our table melons or watermelons take the place of desserts. Among all the fruit, there is a “hidden” one that is the absolute queen of summer for me – the tomato. I eat it like I would an apple!
Wherever you may be in Northwestern Istria, in the summer you will come across the seasonal salad offering. In translation, this is a couple of sliced tomatoes (which are actually a fruit, but you understand why I am mentioning them in the context of vegetables) complemented with a sliced cucumber or two, some capsicum (possibly with pieces of onion) spiced with salt and olive oil. And that’s it. We eat this salad at home, as a side with the main dish of fish. Although not the lightest solution, zucchini and eggplant are the most popular if fired or oven baked.
Spices and Herbs
Basil, rosemary, lemon, salt, pepper … are the classic seasoning of Istrian (summer) menus. With the addition of olive oil, of course. Lately, whenever we have the opportunity, we use pine nuts and sometimes we even add mint as a spice. A combination of these ingredients can make a pesto for every taste.
Seafood and Fish
Octopus, scallops, prawn, shrimp, mussels and other seafood are welcomed to our plate during summer, too. Also, whenever I am able to, I choose to eat fish. Cooked, roasted, fried, salted, in a pâté, as a carpaccio… In any way available. Most often paired with a seasonal salad (or domestic swiss chard). When I think about it, I could eat this way throughout the year, not just during summer.