After a winter of enjoying warming comfort food, summer is the perfect time to mix things up again with some fresh new recipes. Treat your family with our favourite summer recipes and learn some new culinary tricks in the process.
Chicken and grape salad
This might sound like an odd combination but, trust us, it will become a firm favourite. Simply dice some chicken breast and fry off in a little oil before leaving to cool for a few minutes. Slice grapes half ways then stir together with the chicken and two parts creme fraiche, one part pesto until everything is nicely coated. Add a glug of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice to really lift those flavours. This will keep really well in the fridge for a day or so and actually tastes better once it’s chilled, we think. Serve with some toasted pitta breads or some wild rice.
Vegetable and chorizo skewers
Stick under the grill if it decides to rain or pop on the barbecue if the sun comes out. You can be really creative with your favourite ingredients, but we love a combination of mushrooms, green and red peppers and chunks of spicy chorizo. Add some halloumi for an extra treat and drizzle in olive oil and some cajun spices
Quinoa, pomegranate and feta salad
This is great as a side dish or can form the basis of a main meal, and it’s super simple, too. Cook some quinoa according to the packet instructions and rinse under cold water to cool. To make the salad, finely shred some mint leaves and baby spinach and cut cucumber up into small pieces. Stir together with salt, pepper, lime juice and olive oil and top with a generous helping of pomegranate seeds and some crumbled feta cheese.
Baked salmon parcels
Baked salmon parcels are one of those dishes that always taste like a lot of effort went into them but really they’re so simple to make. Lay out large squares of strong foil and pop a portion of salmon on top. Score the salmon down the middle and stuff with a little cream cheese and some baby spinach leaves. Around the salmon, scatter some halves of cherry tomatoes, a few baby mushrooms, some roughly chopped garlic and some lemon slices. For an extra treat, add a quick glug of white wine. Seal the foil edges of the parcel and bake for around 30 minutes. Serve the finish product with some crusty white bread for dipping.
Fig and goat’s cheese tart
This is another one that looks complicated but is really simple – shh, we won’t tell anybody if you don’t! Cut puff pastry into rectangles and score a border around the edges. In the centre, add some chopped dried figs, a scattering of goat’s cheese and some dollops of red onion chutney. Pop into the oven until the cheese has melted and the edges are golden. Balance the rich tart with a green salad – perfect!
Spicy sausage lasagne
This is a great twist on the classic pasta dish. Omitting the heavy white sauce makes it a much lighter dish, perfect to be enjoyed with a salad and a glass of cold white wine in the summer months. Slowly simmer chopped tomatoes with onion, garlic, red peppers, some high quality sliced pork sausages and a little diced chorizo. Add some dried chilli flakes for extra spice. Layer the sauce in a dish with lasagne sheets and top generously with mozzarella. Bake for around 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden and the pasta is soft.
Classic Caprese salad
There is little else more pleasurable to eat on a hot day than a Caprese salad with a chunk of soft white bread. Simply slice some high quality mozzarella and fresh tomatoes and arrange by alternating with basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and tuck in. For a modern twist, add some avocado into the mix.
Sundried tomato and wild rice salad
If you’re planning a summer’s day picnic, this salad transports well. You can be creative with your ingredients but start with a base of cooked wild rice. We like to add in sundried tomatoes, baked mushrooms, chopped spinach and juicy raisins then mix together with lemon juice, sea salt and some olive oil.
Pesto, artichoke and prosciutto pasta
The abundance of delicious things in this pasta dish makes it feel truly decadent. Cook some pasta up (we think conchiglie works best) until al dente and stir together with pesto (either buy fresh from the refrigerated section of the supermarket or make your own). Then add in marinated artichokes, some plump, black olives and top with torn slices of prosciutto and shavings of Parmesan.