RECIPES I'll be cooking on repeat this summer
After a truly miserable month here in the UK, summer finally seems to be on its way as we approach the summer solstice.
The change in the weather naturally brings a change in how I cook in the kitchen. Salads I can batch cook to last a few suppers are a favourite as well as lots of middle eastern inspired food, and of course plenty of pizza cooked on our pizza oven when hosting for friends and family.
Here I share some of the recipes I turn to each summer. I very rarely eat meat, so these all happen to be vegetarian recipes, if you're trying to reduce your meat intake I hope you may try these recipes before turning to burgers on the BBQ.
A spanakopita of sorts and a recipe you can play with depending on what you have in your fridge. I add pine nuts and nutmeg to this recipe and mix up the greens depending on what's arrived in our Riverford box. This is also a brilliant recipe to make ahead, fab for picnics and packed lunches.
We always seem to end up with a glut of courgettes, either from friends allotments or our Riverford box, and last summer I made it my mission to find some delicious courgette recipes. These fritters came up trumps and take very little effort. They're brill for the whole family too, I can get my little boy to eat these if they're dunked in ketchup!
Rice is my go-to carb and this baked rice is seriously easy and thanks to Ottolenghi's magic touch full of flavour. Served with lots of fresh tomatoes and a green salad for an easy mid-week supper.
I cook this at least once a week, it's all my favourite things combined. Tomatoes, cumin, chilli, lemon, greek yogurt - YUM. Serve this as a starter with some flatbreads for friends and I promise you'll all be fighting to mop up the juices.
Tortilla de patatas
I don't have a specific recipe I use for a spanish tortilla, but if I did, it would go a bit like this:
5 potatoes, peeled & sliced (about 1/2 cm)
2 onions, thinly sliced
lots of glugs of olive oil
// heat a big glug of olive oil in a frying pan, add the potatoes frying on each side until soft and golden - you'll need to do this in batches. Put to one side once they're all done
// use the same pan with a bit more oil to slowly fry the onions, take your time with this you want them sweet and soft
// whisk the eggs with plenty of salt in a big bowl, add in the cooked onions & potatoes
// give your frying pan a clean to get any bits that have stuck off, you want a nice clean pan for this bit
// add more oil to your pan on a medium heat, once the oil is warm (doens't need to be sizzling hot) add the egg mixture to the pan, it should nearly fill your pan (you can always add another whisked egg if you need to). Leave your mixture, DO NOT be tempted to stir until the bottom is cooked, you know when it is when you can shuffle the tortilla in the pan a bit like when you know a pancake is done. This'll take maybe 5-8 mins
// once the bottom is cooked, the top will still have some runny egg mixture, but the sides should be done, this is the point when you need to flip.
// place a large plate over the pan, tip the pan so the tortilla is sitting on the pan with the cooked bit on top and the half-cooked bit on the bottom of the plate. You then need to slide this back into the pan being sure to take as much of the runny egg bit with it. You'll lose some on the way, but just sort of tip it in.
// leave to cook for a few more minutes until it's done. You can then slide onto a chopping board (this pizza board is perfect for this), eat it warm, or leave to cool in the pan and eat cold.
Delicious served with a green salad and definitely something tomato-y, a salsa would be nice, or just loads of tomatoes clanked up with yes, you guessed it, more oil, a little red wine vinegar and salt & pepper. Or, cut into thin pieces and add to the table with slices of manchego, green olives and salty almonds for a wonderful nibbly thing when hosting drinks in the garden with friends.
We have a wood fired pizza oven in the garden (a lockdown project created by my partner last summer) so we cook pizzas for friends often, but it's not really worth the faff if it's just the three of us. But for me, I love a Friday night pizza in the garden, eating with one hand and with something fizzy in the other.
This is a quick easy way to get something resembling a pizza on the table easily, it's vegan too and while my son refuses to eat mushrooms, he'll eat this with olives instead.
This list is quickly becoming an Anna Jones appreciation page, but if, like me, you like to put vegetables at the heart of your meals she is the go-to person for making vegetables taste incredible.
This salad is the perfect combination of chewiness, tartness, sweetness and a bloody good flavour hit thanks to the tobasco & horseradish.
Serve with a lemon spiked green salad and it's a joyous meal to eat on a summer's day.
I am OBSESSED with aubergine rolls, these from Honey & co may take a while to make (mainly keeping an eye on the aubergine) but they're worth it and deceptively easy.
I like to save making these when we have friends or family over, or if we're going to a friends house I'll take these in a lidded pan which can then be stuck straight in the oven for ten minutes to warm through.
Serve with lentil rice, a chopped salad, crispy onions and tahini - if you have the Honey & co book (the yellow & blue one) use the recipes on page 214. If not, try these Google searches for the rice, salad and tahini and see which take your fancy.
Okay, so I said this would be a vegetarian list, but one thing I can't resist in the summer is a tuna nicoise salad.
We're lucky enough to have the Fine Fish Company on our doorstep, so I'll treat us to a tuna steak (one between two is plenty) and will flash fry to serve with a nicoise salad.
I use this recipe as a base, but feel free to swap things out, sometimes I swap the potatoes for pasta, or I might add roasted peppers or while not as special. A flash fried tuna steak on the side makes this a very special supper.