Here’s what to cook with the glut of home- or locally-grown ingredients.

As summer hits its fullest stride, it’s not just the much hoped-for dose of vitamin D that we’re grateful for; it’s also the bounty in our garden. You may find that, right now, your trusty trug can’t handle the veritable glut that’s bursting forth. After all, the list of fruit and veg in season at the moment is pretty exhaustive, including beetroot, cabbage, carrots, courgettes, artichokes, cucumbers, fennel, French beans, lettuce, new potatoes, peas, radish runner beans, tomatoes, spinach, spring onions, shallots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, currants, gooseberries and raspberries. Phew! And even if these ingredients aren’t busy taking over your back garden, they are available in local shops and farmers’ markets everywhere. There are so many gorgeous recipes to cook with them – here are just a few of our favourites.

Main images: The National Trust

Pea, Mint And Broad Bean Quiches


National Trust


Pea and mint is a classic combination, its lightness and freshness akin to biting into a glorious summer garden. If you have grown a surfeit of either – or, simply, you have a bagful of these divine-smelling ingredients from the shop – why not knock up some heavenly mini quiches? The perfect bites to take on picnics, or to serve with some chilled English sparkling wine in the garden. Get the recipe here.


Crispy Carrot, Sweet Potato And Halloumi Baked Rosti


Delicious


It’s true, we eat carrots all year round, often associating them with the hearty roast-fuelled winter months. And yet crops are ready to harvest in June and July, making them at their sweetest right now. This dish is one that we’ll serve all year round; packed full of veg, warming and comforting, it also somehow manages to be great for summer nights too, thanks in part to the addition of fennel and olives. Just delicious. Get the recipe here.


Artichokes With Parmesan Butter Sauce


BBC Good Food


This is as simple as it gets. There is, in our books, no finer way to eat a globe artichoke. Simply remove the stalk, boil for 45 minutes and use that time to knock up a mean parmesan butter sauce to dip the leaves straight into. We might add some crushed garlic for an extra kick. Otherwise, simple perfection. Get the recipe here.


Greek Lamb-Stuffed Courgettes


Olive Magazine


Courgettes are at their very best right now. And, after cultivating them so lovingly, there is no need to do them a watery, tasteless injustice in the kitchen. Why not, instead, use them as a delicious vehicle for a Greek lamb-stuffed take on the humble zucchini? With the addition of raisins, pine nuts, feta, mint and oregano, they have the power to transport us straight to white-washed islands and seaside tavernas. Serve it with a Greek salad, as the recipe writer, Adam Bush, suggests. Get the recipe here.


Courgette Fritters


Olive Magazine


Alternatively, if you’re looking for a vegetarian take on the courgette, these exemplary fritters are crispy and light and – with the addition of a poached egg on top – make a brilliant weekend breakfast or brunch. Get the recipe here.


Salt Baked Beetroot With Feta and Onions


BBC Good Food


Tom Kerridge is the man behind this complete winner of a recipe. It’s not one to attempt if you’re looking for a quick salad to throw together; it takes somewhat more prep than that. But if you are keen to try your hand at an unusual, impressive and healthy lunch, the sheer flavours will knock your socks off. As Chef Kerridge explains, ‘The salt crust really intensifies the natural flavour of the beetroot as it steams in its own juices, seasoning it as it cooks.’ Get the recipe here.


New Potato Tortilla With Halloumi And Tomato Kasundi


Anna Jones


We cannot sing the praises of this potato tortilla loudly enough. Bursting with flavour, thanks to the medley of spices, it is the very thing to eat on a warm day in the garden – and the tomato kasundi is so moreish that, even though Anna Jones suggests making too much and saving some for later, we may just hoover it all up in a sitting. If you are in possession of greater restraint than us, the Indian tomato relish will go perfectly with pasta too. Get the recipe here.


Gooseberry Meringue Pie


Olive Magazine


Lemon meringue pie is a classic for a reason. And yet, in the short window that gooseberries are in season, there are few puddings so redolent of British summertime as this one. It takes 90 minutes to make, serves eight and is a total crowd-pleaser – plus the addition of the shortcrust pastry makes the whole sweet affair a cinch to make too. Get the recipe here.


Black And Blue Crumble Pie


Olive Magazine


It’s never too early in the season to start eating crumble as far as we’re concerned. This is Edd Kimber’s take; it features in-season blackberries and blueberries underneath a cardamom crumble topping. It is every bit as delicious as it sounds. As Edd says, ‘I’ve tested this recipe many times, just to make sure it was perfect. Nothing to do with the fact I loved it so much and just wanted to eat it again. It is also one of the easier pie recipes – just a single crust, easy filling and a quick-to-put-together.’ Summer seasonal perfection. Get the recipe here.

By Nancy Alsop
July 2021

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Nancy Alsop

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