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Stay Cool this Summer

…with these Refreshing European Dishes


Europe is beautiful any time of year, and if you happen to be gallivanting abroad this summer, you will surely be seeking out ways to stay cool this summer while taking in all the sights and attractions. Even if you aren’t taking a European vacation this year, serving up some of the following refreshing dishes to your guests at your next dinner party will give the get-together a semblance of your favorite country(ies).

Summer Fruit Tart

Raspberry Charlotte Russe- France


My sister and I spent the summer at a good friend’s house in France years ago, and if there is one thing that that stands out in this memory, it is the amazing cake her mother had purchased for us from a local pastry shop. Thin macaron-like cookies lined the Charlotte Russe’s perimeter, and it had alternating vanilla and raspberry frozen ice cream layers inside! This is a confection to enjoy during the holidays or special occasions. If you are visiting France, I can’t think of a more appropriate time to sample a piece of this luxurious cake.

Granita Italian Treat

Granita- Italy


An excellent, icy treat to savor on a sultry day in Italy (or anywhere in the world) is Granita. My Sicilian grandfather insisted that I try this frozen sweet while visiting my grandparents’ lovely Mediterranean home one steamy July, and this sugary indulgence can not even begin to be compared to the Italian ice that you see in the average grocery store’s freezer section. It is a bit thicker than a slushy (7-11 has nothing on the real deal!), and it is generally either lemon or strawberry flavored.

Gazpacho Summer Food

Gazpacho- Spain


One spoonful of Gazpacho brings back wonderful memories of a semester abroad that I spent studying in Seville, Spain. This soup is served chilled and features a perfect fusion of pureed veggies. It was traditionally made by using a mortar and a pestle to mash a mixture of stale bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Blenders are much more commonly used today.

Avgolemono Summertime Food

Avgolemono- Greece


I once worked at an upscale Greek restaurant in Richmond, Virginia, and the owner/chef would let the servers sample various menu items after closing for the evening. Avgolemono can be served either cold or hot. I personally vouch for the cooler version of this soup as being a great meal to relish during the hot and hazy months of the year. Typically, this citrusy delight is prepared with chicken stock, lemons, and eggs.


These tasty specialties should be on your bucket-list of things to try while you are off exploring Europe with your rental car in France. If you can’t make the trip this year, I’ve included links to the recipes. What is your favorite summertime, European dish?



Mediterranean Summer

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