Every summer I announce repeatedly that I could eat just asparagus and new potatoes, with a few strawberries thrown in for dessert. And then beans, sweetcorn and blueberries turn up and I forget all about the stalwarts of early summer.
There is nothing better to have for lunch in summer than a cob of corn, baked with butter or – even better – barbecued in the husks until charred and almost aflame. Pat cold butter onto the corn to see it melt from the heat, sprinkle with good flaky sea salt and bite the kernels off the cob round and round and round. Complete bliss, especially if you’re out of doors, shaded from the scorching sun and on holiday.
For that you need no recipe. But you could make the excellent creamed corn and tomato salad, for lunch or for dinner with crusty bread. For a more substantial dish, cook the rice with corn and chorizo, a free take on paella.
After local asparagus has finished, green or French or yellow or runner beans are second best. You can make them into a lovely dish of green beans with Parmesan cream, which is actually good enough to be a main dish with bread or baked potatoes. You can also cook beans with tomatoes which is a match made in heaven.
If you’d rather have the beans as a side to a meat dish, how about some buttermilk fried pork? Or garlic fried chicken? I know, both dishes are fried and breaded but in summer we’re all more active – so I hope – and we burn more calories.
If you spot red mullet in the market or at the fish counter, don’t hesitate – it’s the nicest tasting fish. Small mullets are best grilled whole with herb butter, and you could serve them with garlic and lemon new potatoes poached in oil.
We’ve got to the dessert at last: blueberries. Blueberry buckle cake. Blueberry upside down cake. Blueberries must be one my most commonly used ingredients as I love them so much, so take your pick from the content pages.