We spend all year dreaming about summer. Dreaming about when we can finally shed our winter layers, whack out the BBQ and spend our evenings eating dinner outdoors while it is still warm and light. So, when summer finally does come around it is important that we make the most of it and a large part of this comes with eating the right kinds of food. Summer (we hope) is the hottest time of the year so heavy meals are usually the last thing you want to eat. Instead, brush up on some recipes that involve fresh produce and that fill the air with gentle fragrances. These will be your staples during the summer months.
Not sure what to add to your arsenal of summer recipes? Here are some easy dishes that will keep everyone at the dinner table happy.
Oven Roasted Tomato Spaghetti
This recipe couldn’t be simpler and it is absolutely delicious. Throw as many cherry tomatoes as you can fit into a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and chopped garlic and roast on a medium heat for an hour. When you have about ten minutes left, start cooking the spaghetti. When the spaghetti is soft, drain it and put the tomatoes on top (mush them up a little bit first). Drizzle with a little more olive oil and top with parmesan and fresh basil leaves. This is a light dish that is full of flavour and won’t leave you feeling like garbage afterwards.
Mango and Cashew Chicken
This recipe combines the succulent texture of chicken with the sweet, exotic taste of a fresh mango and it is the perfect dish to whip out at dinner parties this summer. Start by dicing your chicken and cooking until it is no longer pink in the middle. Then put it on a plate and place it to one side. Next, mix together stock, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, cornstarch and curry paste. Fry up some ginger with peppers and oil until soft, throw in the sauce mixture and then, finally, add the chicken. The last step is to chuck in a generous handful of fresh mango, cashew nuts and sliced onions. Serve with rice.
Spicy Mussels and Fries
Forget about the typical white wine sauce in which mussels are usually slathered. It’s lovely but it’s too much for a hot summer evening. This recipe will blow you away and give you a newfound appreciation for summer food. Start by cooking the fries as directed. In the meantime, shallow fry pancetta in a deep sauce pot until crispy. Next, scoop out the pancetta but keep the oil in the pot and add to it crushed red pepper onion and garlic. After four minutes add in chopped fresh tomatoes. The last step is to add the mussels and let them cook for around 6 minutes. Serve the mussels and fries altogether in a big bowl.
Summer Salad with Steak and Farro
Farro is a delicious grain, jam-packed with fibre and protein that makes a great addition to salads and soups. This recipe combines it with loads of veggies and steak to make the perfect guilt free summer dish. Grill peppers and steak until the peppers are charred and the steak is however you like it. Slice both and put to one side. Meanwhile your farro should be cooking. When it is done, mix it with kale leaves, corn and plum tomatoes. Add the grilled steak and peppers to the salad and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.