Summer is the most bountiful time in the garden. Whether you’re growing your own or you simply want to buy seasonally and thus more sustainably, these recipes are packed with flavour and inspiration.
But once they’re in our baskets – whether of the garden gathering variety or the metal supermarket persuasion – what to do next? Luckily, we have a few delicious and nutritious ideas up our sleeves.
We present some of the best recipes for July’s British bounty.
Dips are a mainstay of the summer table. We adore guacamole and could eat it by the shovel-load, but every now and again it’s good to switch things up. Swap out the avocado (which, while we love, does have to travel thousands of miles for our delectation) for in-season peas. Add, lime, chilli, cumin, rapeseed oil and garlic, and you have a whole new excuse to mainline breadsticks/ tortilla/ red peppers. Find the recipe here.
Feta Parcels With Grilled Courgettes And Peaches
The words ‘feta’ and ‘courgette’ mentioned in the same breath are guaranteed to start our mouths watering. Throw in a balancing peach to add sweetness to the sublime saltiness and we enter culinary nirvana. The chilli flakes give it a good kick, while the smoked paprika adds a delicious smokiness to the dish. A perfect quick lunch or a knock-out side dish at a summer barbecue. Find the recipe here.
Tomato And Tapenade Tart
House & Garden
The very best summer food is easily transportable, enabling you to pack it up and decamp outside if the weather is clement – and back inside again when it is not. Tomatoes are reaching the peak of their juicy splendour at the moment – and this tart is an excellent option if you have a glut in your garden. Taken from Alex Jackson’s book, Sardine – which is based on the same Provencal principles as his restaurant of the same name – he says, ‘This tomato tart recipe is extremely simple. Given the right tomatoes, it’s a highlight of the summer table…. A sprinkling of fragrant basil at the end is essential, as well as a drizzle of your best olive oil. Nyons olives make amazing tapenade, but any soft black olives will do nicely.’ It’s the perfect tear-and-share, flavour-packed, sun-drenched recipe for this time of year. Find the recipe here.
Spiced Radishes On Preserved Lemon Yogurt
The ravishing radish is hitting its peak right now. But if, like us, you’ve often wondered what to do with these little jewels beyond dipping them in sea salt and eating them raw or chopping them into salads, then it is time to consider Adam Bush’s sensational spiced radishes. Flavoured with cumin and dill, the radish is the star of the show, while the lemony yogurt is the perfect soothing yet fresh thing to offset the spices. A simple dish that will transport you straight to the Levant. Find the recipe here.
Pickled Cucumber, Fennel, Gooseberry, Tarragon And Lemon Salad
We love it when our favourite things come together. Cucumber, fennel and gooseberries are all in season right now, and this recipe marries them all to stunning and refreshing effect. A Gill Meller invention, it is sharp yet sweet – and makes the perfect summer’s day accompaniment to a larger spread. Find the recipe here.
Herby Gooseberry Focaccia
We return to gooseberries once more and for that we make no apology – in the brief moment of their summer glory, we say it’s best to use them in a myriad of inventive ways while we can. Plus, for some reason, they evoke the pre-war world of our grandparents, for which we love them all the more. Gooseberries are brilliant in a fool and as a twist on a cheesecake, for which recipes abound. But we love the idea of the sweetness of the berries complementing the salt of the focaccia. What’s more, it is simple to make and yet will wow guests – in other words, ideal. Find the recipe here.
Whipped Feta And Beetroot On Toast With Poached Eggs And Dukkah
We are on the perennial hunt for quick yet delicious and healthy recipes for lunch that will enable us to eat a good variety of veg and adhere to the principle of seasonal eating. It is, alas, harder than it sounds. And yet this ticks all the boxes for summer. It features in-season beetroot; it contains delicious dukkah; it’s got eggs for protein; and yet it is essentially just egg and beetroot on sourdough toast. We’d recommend whizzing up the feta and yogurt the night before to save time on busy weekdays. A gut-loving treat of a speedy weekday feast. Find the recipe here.
Raspberries, loganberries and tayberries are also very much in season at the moment. Much as we love all of them, no fruit sends us into such squealing raptures as an in-season cherry. And although we’re likely to mostly eat them as nature intended, we do also have a big soft spot for a cheery clafoutis. A French classic, it’s pretty hard not to love a fruit-studded solid custard, sprinkled with a dusting of icing sugar. As the recipe suggests, it is traditional to bake the dish with the stones still in the cherries which, we’re told, adds an almond flavour. Pitted is also fine, however, if you prefer. Find the recipe here.
By Nancy Alsop