If you happen to get hold of a couple of punnets of cheap strawberries, I urge you to have a go at making this easy homemade strawberry jam. No need to use jam sugar, preserving sugar or added pectin. It’s super scrumptious with a nice balance of sweet and tart notes and a bright jewel-like colour.
Do you have a go-to summer pasta dish? This Sicilian pasta salad with tomatoes, olives and fresh herbs is mine. I learnt the basic recipe from my Sicilian sister-in-law many years ago and as the tomato season draws nigh, I wait in eager anticipation. Andiamo!
If you’ve never rolled a cucumber, I urge you to do so. These cucumber roll-ups with garlicky feta & mint filling make for a delicious refreshing summer starter, light lunch or barbecue accompaniment. They’re really easy to make, especially if you have the OXO Good Grips Chef’s Mandoline Slicer 2.0 at your disposal.
If you haven’t tried socca before, you’re in for a treat. It’s a sort of flatbread or substantial pancake made from chickpeas and it’s naturally vegan and gluten free. It’s also delicious. With little cooking or preparation required it makes a perfect meal for summertime. This socca spread with walnut basil pesto and scattered with toasted walnuts and purple mangetout scored particularly well.
As we move from late spring into early summer, broad beans start to make an appearance here in the UK. I’m very fond of broad beans, but I know not everyone’s a fan. I can almost guarantee, however, that this minted broad bean spread will appeal to anyone who tries it.
When I spotted Cornish new potatoes at my local greengrocers at the weekend, I couldn’t resist purchasing some. Somehow, a bunch of Cornish asparagus made its way into my basket too. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a vegetarian salade Niçoise.
When I first heard of pulled jackfruit as a vegetarian and vegan alternative to pulled pork, I have to say I was sceptical. By now, I should really know better! When enough vegan bloggers tell you it’s delicious, I should listen. And finally I did.
It really is too hot to think about food at the moment. I know we’ve not had much of a summer yet, but I don’t take too well to the heat; now it’s arrived all I want to do is lie in a hammock under a shady tree and drink iced tea – peach and rhubarb iced tea to be exact.
Barley is a much underrated grain. It grows well in the UK, it’s easy to cook, has a nice nutty flavour and is highly nutritious. Traditionally, it’s used in soups, but I’ve been using it more and more these days as the main grain in our meals. This vegan barley bowl is a simple meal of whole grain barley topped with a combination of spiced aubergine, chickpeas and tomatoes.
Cocktails are apparently on the up in the UK. This is a trend that I, for one, am happy to see. Ever since I had my first glass of Pimms as a teenager, I perk up when I hear the word cocktail. Mojitos are a rather more recent discovery for me, but now I’ve had the odd, ahem, one or two, I’m finding it hard to make a choice. Would you plump for a Pimms or make friends with a Mojito?