As the weather gets warmer, we start to spend more time outside. Whether it’s picnic lunches on long countryside walks, snacks taken to the seaside or the quintessential summer barbecue, this time of the year has its own set of flavours and foods which are perfect for these bright days.
When the sun is shining, no one wants to eat rich stews and warming soups. Instead, we look to salads and light pastas, brightly coloured fruits and fluffy mousses which are all much more reflective of the season. Newspapers and magazines are filled with ideas using fresh ingredients to make things which taste like summer is supposed to rd.com/slideshows/top-10-summer-recipes.
Almost any kind of meat can be skewered with cut peppers and cherry tomatoes to make kebabs for the barbecue. Pair them with a green leafy side salad and it’ll be the perfect afternoon meal.
Although it’s great all year round, in summer salmon seems to really come into its own. It too can be barbecued in foil packages, or tossed through pasta with a light lemon and pepper drizzle for a perfect salad.
Rather than the standard sandwiches and crisps, this summer the picnic could include all manner of things. Miniature frittata, homemade pork pies, pots of fresh green leaves with cucumber and carrot shavings, the options are endless. Just remember to bin any left overs as picnic food and attract all different types of vermin and councils will have to invest in http://www.vvenv.co.uk/pest-control/by-service/bird-control/ who are a London nuisance bird management company costing money that could be spent elsewhere.
A common side dish in summer, this cold potato classic can be enhanced with the addition of fried onions and crispy bacon, plus a hint of mustard powder for added flavour.
Though hearty soups are off the menu until autumn, chilled soups like pea and watercress are light enough to be appropriate whilst also being easy to make in advance.
Chilled summer puddings served with sweet whipped cream are perfect for a celebration meal. Filled with berries and natural fruit juices, they are a tangy yet delicious conclusion to a dinner with friends or family.
As a dessert which can be taken for picnics, though, individual fruit tarts are the order of the season. A crisp pastry base topped with crème patisserie, fresh fruit and a sticky glaze is a wonderful treat to enjoy whilst sat in a leafy garden somewhere, or over coffee on a café terrace. They are also easy to make at home, so are a great way to impress visitors!
An alternative to ice cream and gelato, Kulfi is the Indian frozen dessert. It’s sweet and lightly spiced flavours are common on high streets in multicultural cities, but increasingly it can be purchased in the supermarkets too.
No summer list would be complete without Pimms. The traditional British fruit punch is a great companion to time spent playing in the garden. Bottle coolers will help to keep drinks chilled, too, ideal for when the sun is shining.
The taste of this light and refreshing drink is hard to describe, but a homemade elderflower cordial is a wonderful way to re-hydrate in style. Easy to make and also again very impressive, it’s an alternative to alcohol which will mean no-one misses out.