It looks like Summer has finally arrived and we can at last use our garden furniture and enjoy entertaining in the garden or even just sit, relax and unwind after a long day. There is nothing better than a sitting with cold drink whilst watching the sun setting.
Summer is a great time to get in the kitchen or cook and eat al fresco, there are so many fantastic ingredients to take advantage of and the whole vibe of the season and the sun just helps to get us motivated. So why not look for those wonderful August produces, cook some fabulous simple meals or put together a wonderful picnic and head for the open space.
Salads are quick an easy and there are many varieties of lettuce to choose from cos, curly leaf, iceburg and mini gems make a good staple base. Add watercress and rocket to give flavour including handfuls of herbs. Peppers, cucumbers, green beans, peas, tomatoes, courgettes, chard and sweetcorn will all be in abundance, enjoy them while they have that summer and Mediterranean flavour.
Fruits are still at their most fabulous, think plump blackberries, they will soon be ready to pick. Cherries, peaches, plums, apricots, Bramley apples and sweet summer berries make great snacks and desserts. I mentioned fruit picking in July, this makes for an excellent family fun day out. The fruit can then be cooked, frozen, bottled or made in to jam. Why not have a family cooking session when you return. There is nothing better than picking, cooking and eating the fruits of your labour. A lovely afternoon tea or a beautiful Victoria sandwich filled with cream and fresh fruits or a homemade apple pie. Simple but lovely.
Lamb is still wonderful this month, together with quail and pigeon. How about making your own burgers and flavour them to your taste a great way to get the children involved both in the preparation and eating. A ‘build your own burger evening’ is great, not just with the family but when friends pop over also.
Fish and seafood is so quick to cook, this month cod, sea bass, crab, lobster and scallops will be at their best. Cooked simply all the flavours will come through.
Share your favourite summer creations and recipes.
A delicious recipe for you try, please let us know what you think and send us your photos
- 1kg good-quality beef/turkey mince
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Small handful chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
- 1 large dill pickle gherkin, finely chopped
- 1 large free-range egg yolk
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 200g good melting cheese, such as Cheddar, Gruyère or Taleggio, sliced
- 8 burger buns/brioche or ciabatta rolls
- 4 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Avocado, tomato and red onion, sliced
- Lettuce leaves
- Place all the ingredients for the burgers in a large bowl. Season and mix well. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Using wet hands, shape the mixture into 8 burgers. If you want to cook them straight away skip to step 4.
- If you are freezing them; place flat between sheets of baking paper in a rigid freezer-proof container. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, defrost the burgers completely in the fridge; this will take 3-4 hours.
- .Heat a griddle pan or barbecue to hot. Brush both sides of the burgers with oil and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until well browned and cooked.
- Meanwhile, preheat the grill to medium hot. Top each burger with a slice of cheese and grill for 2 minutes until bubbling. Toast the burger buns until lightly golden.
- Mix the mayonnaise with the mustard and spread over the base of each bun. Add some tomato, lettuce and avocado slices, then the burger, red onion slices and the other half of the bun.
- Serve with a small bowl of ketchup and fries, if you like. Or a healthy tasty salad and sweet potato fries.