Over summer I want food that is easy to prepare and fast to make. Pickles of any description are popular in our household and the fermented carrots and daikon that I’ve used for the weekend project often end up in burgers, slaws or in the family favourite, chilled soba noodle with sriracha-miso dressing. I often make a large batch of the dressing and use it over a week or so; it’s good as a dressing for a coleslaw too. Here I’ve served it with raw kingfish, but I’ll often make it with pan-fried tofu, or leftover sliced steak.
Tarragon is one of my favourite herbs – it’s especially good with chicken or fish and I love it when it is made into an Italian-style dragoncello salsa as used for the chicken and potato salad. When tarragon season is over I often make a version with parsley in its place. New season potatoes are at their prime – Jersey Bennes are a favourite for Christmas time, but perlas and the delectable piccolos medley potatoes, both grown by Wilcox, are also excellent to use here.
The delicate flavour of almond butter is wonderful in the rich yet elegant starter of chilled, green-grape gazpacho. Make sure to serve it in small portions and ensure it is very well chilled before serving. Often it thickens up a little in the fridge so I keep some chilled water in the fridge to loosen it slightly before serving.
Stone-fruit season is always heralded with the arrival of plums and while I’ll happily munch on them raw, I also adore them roasted – I figure if I’m going to turn on the oven then I may as well cook more than I need. Delicious warm or chilled, they make for easy desserts and topping for breakfast cereal. Vary the flavourings – star anise, vanilla, cinnamon and orange all pair well with the fruit.