Today's tip

Grigliata mista is a staple on summer menus in Italy.

A platter of mixed grilled meats, which usually includes steak, lamb chops, sausage, and chicken and is served with a salad, is one of the most popular things to serve during the hot Mediterranean summers. In coastal areas, the grigliata mista often features a mix of fish and seafood instead of meat, with squid, shrimp, and white fish being the staples.

An Italian grigliata should be informal, with the grilled vegetables, salads, bread, and piping-hot platters of meat or fish put out on a serving table so your guests can help themselves.

Italians love to grill their vegetables as much as they do their proteins. Season peppers, eggplants, and mushrooms with some olive oil and salt, grill them gently over medium heat before cooking your meat or fish, and pile them on serving platters, covered with aluminum foil to keep warm.

While you have the grill going, throw on some slices of bread for bruschetta. The grilled bread makes for perfect hors d’oeuvres. Just top with some diced tomatoes dressed with olive oil, salt, and some shredded basil.