Summer airs

In the regions of Barcelona, the first heat of summer holds no fear for us. On the contrary, we like it so much that we welcome it with bonfires, music and dishes made with the best produce from the land and Mediterranean Sea. From the eve of the Festival of Saint John, we enjoy getting together with family and friends, and sharing culinary delicacies from a province that is so rich in produce that it provides us with everything we need. Whether we are under the stars on the shores of the sea or in the shade of the oak trees in the forest, we enjoy being in the open air and eating wonderful food. Here are some fresh, tasty and easy ideas to help you achieve perfection with your summer meals.

Local salads. The starter par excellence of summer is, undoubtedly, the green salad. Prepared with tomatoes from Montserrat, onions from Vic and lettuce from Baix Llobregat, it is the ideal dish to begin the season's mealtimes. Also delicious are esqueixades (cod, tomato and onion salads), escalivades (grilled vegetables) and empedrats (bean stews) made with beans from Ganxet and desalted cod.

The stars of the chargrill. Rack of lamb, grilled sardines and barbecued prawns from Vilanova are three of the most popular dishes in the regions of Barcelona during the hot summer months. Chargrilled with a little salt and a splash of olive oil on top, you will enjoy their intense flavours with very little effort.

Seasonal fruit. In summer, desserts are dominated by fresh seasonal fruit: watermelon, melon, figs, pears, plums and, especially, peaches of different varieties and colours. In the region of Penedès, the peaches from Ordal are particularly highly sought-after. They can be bought from the market in Sant Pau d'Ordal in June, July and August.

After-dinner coffee. Coffee is usually accompanied by the appearance of a tray of sweets, cakes and biscuits, such as coca from Llavaneres, sponge cake from Vic, borrego (cracknel) from Cardedeu and carquinyolis (almond biscuits) from Caldes de Montbui. Any of these go down very well with a glass of cava from Penedès, malvasia from Sitges or mistela from Ullastrell.
•    Check out the calendar of events on the Barcelona is much more website for the main open-air celebrations on the eve of Saint John's Day.

More information:

Directory of local food products
Cava from Penedès