Summer is here, and it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill and get cooking. At Lucini Italia, we know that an afternoon or evening spent around the grill isn’t limited to hot dogs and hamburgers. That’s why we’ve gathered some of our favorite Italian-inspired grilled dishes. Simple ingredients and Lucini Italia Premium Select Olive Oil combine to create simple yet elevated dishes that will make you the hit of any summer party.
Grilled Eggplant Bruschetta
This twist on the classic Italian bruschetta is great as an appetizer or small dish, and as an added bonus it’s Whole30® friendly. The bruschetta topping can even be made ahead and stored, so all you have to do is throw your eggplant on the grill and you’re good to go!
Recipe adapted from The Wooden Skillet
- 8 Roma tomatoes; de-seeded and diced
- About 30 yellow cherry tomatoes; quartered and de-seeded
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
- 3 Tablespoons + 1 Teaspoon Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
- 2–3 medium eggplants cut lengthwise in 1/2 inch thick slices
- Combine Roma tomatoes, yellow cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, Lucini olive oil, and salt in large bowl.
- Mix well and taste to determine if you want any additional garlic, basil or salt.
- Let the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving (it can also be made ahead and stored overnight)
- Take sliced eggplant and sprinkle salt on each side.
- Place in a colander and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Take a towel or paper towel and press each piece of eggplant to release excess water.
- Grill eggplant on high (approx. 450 degrees) for 3 minutes on each side.
- Serve eggplant immediately with tomato mixture on top.
- Drizzle Lucini Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena on top
Charred Bread with Ricotta and Cherry Salsa
Cherry season is short, so it’s best to take advantage of it when there are fresh cherries around. This recipe is a fun way to work cherries into a savory dish.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
- 3 spring onions, preferably red, white/red and green parts separated, thinly sliced on a steep diagonal
- 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 12 ounces fresh cherries (about 2¼ cups), pitted and cut into ⅓-inch-thick slivers
- ½ cup Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for brushing
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 baguette, sliced in half lengthwise
- 12 ounces whole-milk fresh ricotta
- Flaky sea salt
- Toss the white/red parts of spring onions and lemon juice in a medium bowl to coat. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Add spring onion greens, cherries, and ½ cup of Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgil Olive Oil to the bowl, tossing gently to incorporate. Season the cherry salsa with kosher salt and pepper.
- Prepare a grill for medium-low heat. Brush the cut sides of baguette with Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgil Olive Oil. Grill, cut sides down, until bread is toasted and golden brown, about 3 minutes.
- Let toasts cool for a minute, then spread generous amounts of ricotta over both pieces. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Cut each half on a diagonal into 6 pieces. Arrange on a platter and, using a slotted spoon, top with cherry salsa.
Grilled Summer Squash with Pesto and Balsamic
Grilling adds a wonderful smoky element to summer squash. Pick up an assortment of squash from your local farmers market, then grill them up for an easy to prepare side dish or small plate.
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking
- 1-1/2 lb. assorted summer squash, trimmed and sliced diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick ovals
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil, more for drizzling
- 2 Tbs. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbs. toasted pine nuts
- Prepare a high gas or charcoal grill fire.
- In a colander, toss the squash with 2 tsp. kosher salt and drain for 30 minutes. Then transfer to a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, put the basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1/4 cup of Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a food processor. Purée until smooth.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, boil the balsamic vinegar until syrupy and reduced to about 2 Tbs., 8 to 10 minutes.
- Toss the squash with the remaining 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper.
- Grill, flipping once, until golden and tender, about 8 to 12 minutes. Arrange on a platter, dot with the pesto, and drizzle with Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil and balsamic syrup to taste. Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve.
We hope you enjoy these recipes! If you try them, let us know! Tag your culinary creations on social media, @LuciniItalia.