This is the hottest summer we’ve had in years. Hot muggy days that have me dreaming of escaping the city to the sea side. As it has warmed up outside and the evenings have become gloriously long, the rhythm in my kitchen has changed. There are big bowls of cherries which we eat with dark chocolate for pudding, a rainbow of tomatoes, and peaches and apricots by the punnet. I’m spending less time cooking and more time outside. Picnic dinners and BBQs, breakfast on the back step.
I’ve put together some ideas on how to eat now, a quick guide to what’s in season this summer, a guide to barbecuing with vegetables at the centre and a few of the recipes I seem to make again and again through the summer. Hazy happy food for sunny days.
I make this when it feels too hot to eat or I am in need of something a bit refreshing. I first made it on a weighty, humid summer’s day, one of those hot city days when the air doesn’t move and all you can think about is swimming pools and ice lollies. Now every time I make this I start singing Kool and the Gang..
BARBECUE PIMENTON BURGERS
A veggie burger (that doesn’t fall apart!) made from plump white beans, walnuts, sundried tomatoes and a proud hit of smoked paprika (the flavour you might associate with chorizo). Perfect for a sunny outdoor BBQ but happy enough cooked indoors too.
A crackled old French bowl sits on my kitchen table, always piled high with lemons. I use them as often as salt and pepper in almost everything I cook — to me, they’re a third seasoning.
This tart has the lightness and freshness that’s key in a summer pudding. The coconut crust is topped with a macaroon filling and scattered with cherries.You can make this all year round, changing the cherries for whatever’s in season – strawberries in summer, slices of ripe pear in autumn, blood oranges and orange blossom water in winter.