Acqua e Sale – a refreshing summer raw-veggie soup

This is a refreshing summer dish made with raw vegetables in a simple broth of water, salt and olive oil. It is similar to a cold gaspacho and is great with stale bread.


2 ripe tomatoes
1/4 to 1/2 red onion
1/2 cucumber
1 green pepper (bell or other)
good extra-virgin olive oil
hearty stale bread, sliced (you can use any hearty country bread with a nice crust, though Pugliese frise are the best)


1. Cut the tomatoes, onion, peppers and cucumber into small pieces and place in a medium bowl.

2. Add lots of water, abundant olive oil and salt.  Refrigerate for 1 hour. The end result will be almost like a cold soup or gaspacho.

3. Eat in bowls, over slices of stale bread.

Grilled Eggplant – Recipe – Salento-style grilled eggplant from Maria’s Kitchen!


1 big eggplant
(zucchini too if you wish)
balsamic vinegar
extra-virgin olive oil


1.Cut the eggplant (and zucchini) into thin slices.

2. Cook them on a grill pan, or grill, or directly over the flame on the stove until the little brown lines of grilling show up. Flip and cook on the other side.

3. Lay the grilled veggies in a large shallow dish, lightly season wtih the oil, vinegar, oil and salt. Taste the veggies before you season them, because usually they’re so flavorful they barely need seasoning. Enjoy!

Casilde’s Pepper Antipasto – Recipe

Bell peppers
Olive oil for frying (and/or mixed with sunflower or vegetable oil)
Bread Crumbs
White wine vinegar

What to Do:

1. Prep Veggies. Wash & dry peppers, cut in half and remove seeds and stems.

2. Heat oil in pan until nearly smoking. (It’s hot enough when something dropped in starts to pop or crackle.)

3. Fry peppers until skins start to blister. Remove onto paper towels to cool

4. Once cool, slice into strips. Add breadcrumbs, capers, chopped mint, a light sprinkle of vinegar and salt to taste. Toss.

Yum! Eat with crusty Pugliese bread or by itself. Great with a strong red wine like Primitivo (or its sister the Zinfindel), Negroamaro or any great Puglese Rosè.