After the heatwave in spring, British weather went back to the roots: we’re having a classic summer of cool, wet and a mix of both.
Not many barbecues then but snatch the chance of a fine afternoon and make a proper effort. Instead of supermarket sausages and burgers, how about a selection of meat and veg kebabs, as suggested in my barbecue ideas page? If you need to have burgers, make them yourself: beef, chicken or haloumi. Make a bowl of leek slaw or fennel salad on the side and have a jar of jalapeno pickles on the go.
For the rest of the week, try something new: crispy mince and beans salad for instance. Make a batch of meatballs and serve them with tomato bulgur instead of boring spaghetti. Have a go at a carbonara bake – a dish made from scratch which is basically pasta leftovers dumped into a dish and turned into a gratin.
Make the most of the summer vegetables: peppers, courgettes and aubergines. A steak to share, on a bed of roasted veg will be very nice indeed. Or maybe you fancy a rotisserie chicken prepared in the oven, with leftovers turned into a chicken Caesar salad?
For sweets, I’m currently experimenting a lot with chocolate coated stuff, marzipan shortbread bars for example; and I fancy making After Eights-type mints myself. Any leftover melted chocolate can be turned into very chocolate ice cream – and wait for another hot burst of summer. Fingers crossed!