Grilling over an open fire is time-honored tradition in Italian culture, and here are a few tips on how to emulate the method at home.
Just as it's traditional in the US to fire up the grill in the summer time and enjoy the ritual that surrounds it, Italians have their very own customs around this type of cooking. Grilling on an open fire is an integral part of traditional Italian cuisine, and here's how to bring some of la dolce vita to your next cookout.
Perhaps one of the most interesting tips - and one that strays far away from American-style cooking - is marinating meat after it's been cooked. Here, it's standard to marinate meat for hours (or even days!) on end before it hits the grill. In Italy, the flavoring comes after. With quality ingredients like unfiltered olive oils and rich vinegars that can lose flavor from being heated up too much, it's no wonder that it's typical in Italy to use these ingredients last.
Next time you want to grill meat the Italian way, season it simply with salt and pepper before cooking - and once it's finished, drizzle a bit of quality olive oil, balsamic, a squeeze of charred lemon a brush of mostarda. Let it rest with these flavors for a few minutes, then dig in. Tap here for our favorite grilling condiments straight from Italy.
Bring on the cured Italian meats.
Just as we grill up hot dogs and sausages, Italy has their own cured meats. While we often see charcuterie as something to enjoy right out of the package and onto a platter, these cured meats benefit greatly from a quick char on the grill. Slices of mortadella, prosciutto and salami will all get some delicious depth of flavor after being grilled.
Nearly all summer produce can take a spin on the grill for some savory, smokey flavor. Greens, beans, lettuces, eggplant, summer squash, corn, peppers and beyond are all great contenders to quickly grill before tossing with a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing.
In Italy, skewers are called spiedini, and it's a popular way to grill meat spanning throughout Italy. Tap here for our guide to spiedini - including some delicious recipes to get you started.
Bring on the vino.
Grigliata isn't just about the act of cooking, but the ritual that surrounds it. Being outdoors on a languid summer evening calls for slowing down, sipping wine, and enjoying the atmosphere. Take it easy!