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There is no doubt that I have a bit of summer malaise after the incredible trip I took last year. It was three weeks of sheer happiness as we went from the Italian Riveria to Marema and then Cinque Terre. I felt like it was the vacation of a lifetime and yet I certainly hope it was only one of many to come. This summer I’ve hit that patch of blue that is indicative of nostalgia. Of course recognizing this indicates that you are 1/2 way to recovery so in an attempt to lurch myself into normality (which for me is hardly what one might consider normal) I went back to a moment on the seaside. It’s the type of a day dream where you can not only smell the salt water but you can feel the sun on your shoulders and see others silhouetted against the punishing sun as you snap photos that will hardly reveal a face but it is at that moment that you are nearly transported back ….and at my first bite of Macedonia Salad, I could close my eyes and feel that I WAS still there.

In Italian Macedonia means fruit salad and is often prepared with a sweet juice and it eaten in small glasses with a spoon. The juice is always made with lemon juice and sugar, some people add a dash of sweet white wine.

There is no secret recipe here folks, your only necessity is your creativity to go out and buy a nice combination of fruits. Because Madedonia salad by any other name is a fruit salad. The one I made today tasted like summer in a bowl:
– pineapple, diced w/out core
– 2 white (or strawberry) peaches, diced with skin off
– 2 yellow peaches, diced w/skin off
– 3 nectarines, diced w/skin on
– 2 cups seedless green grapes, cut in half
– 1 cup seedless red grapes, cut in half
– 1/4 cantelop, diced
– 1 cup blackberries, whole
– 2 small tangarines, peeled, sectioned and cut in half
– 2 cups strawberries, quartered
– 1 mango, diced
– 1 papaya, diced
– 3 esprit, peeled and diced

Mix all chopped fruit together and place in a large airtight bowl. Refrigerate. I prefer to leave the Macedonia in the fridge for a few hours before serving to let the juices and flavors mix. The juice will become pink or red, depending on the fruit. It is also delicious to take the minimalist approach and maybe only mix two fruits at a time like peaches and strawberries. Or you can make a Fruitti di Bosco which is only mixed berries. The berry-only combo creates a juice that is deep purple color and is a dream over vanilla or strawberry ice cream.

I like to eat it at different times each day. If I eat it for breakfast I make it in to a parfait with yogurt, sultanas and walnut pieces. To make it into a nice desert you can add a scoop of ice cream and a splash of chocolate sauce or you can mix in some miniature marshmallows and chocolate sauce for an unusual consistency. As a snack I like to eat this salad in a cup au natural.

Fruits I don’t typically add in are: bananas (they go bad quickly), watermelon (breaks down too fast and makes a bit of a soupy mess) and cherries (they have to be depitted and I can get a little lazy on this fruit).

I encourage you during these hot summer days, when marketing people are making up every deviation of the ‘vacation’ word (STAYcaction, DAYcation, BREAKcation, you get the idea..) to do what I’ve been doing these past few weeks – planning a meal or a snack based upon where you’d like to be based upon a simple healthy and flavorful dish. Where shall we eat next? Morocco? Norway? Spain?

Today, for this moment in time, I am in Italy. Care to join me ‘sul mare a tavola’?

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