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This week's seasonal recommendation

 

What to cook this week?

Sun, 5 August, 2018

When I was a kid and on hols with my dad, every morning before we set off for the beach, the playground, the forest, the casino (not really, but he did drag me to watch football), I’d be given a large mug of hot sweet tea to drink, no matter how scorching the weather. He claimed it would stop me from being thirsty later on. True to his word, I never demanded sodas or lemonades – probably fearful I’d get another cup of tea instead. He was a tough taskmaster, my dad.

I won’t suggest you follow my suit – and those who’ll worry I’d have ended up dehydrated, rest assured I was fine and grew big and strong; maybe all the better for the shortage of sugary fizz in my diet. But what you could do is swap your coffees, lattes, hempuccinos and frapressos for homemade cold brewed iced coffee. Calories only in the milk you add to it, sweetened if you must. Seeing as recent research indicates coffee, tea and alcohol (yesss!) don't actually dehydrate you; and coffee drinkers live longer, let's brew.

Talking about drinks, you could make this oats and banana smoothie for breakfast, using whatever dairy or non- milk you fancy and adding fresh berries. And I’ve been having overnight soaked porridge for mine – except I don’t cook it. Out of the fridge, stir and tuck in. Swap dried fruit for fresh or swap milk for yoghurt or coconut milk.

Salad days are still here so you could make this radish, cucumber and herb salad, Persian sabzi khordan, for dinner one night to have with plain baked potatoes. And since the oven will be on anyway (I know, it’s hard) you might stick in a couple of cobs of corn to make the creamed corn and tomato salad the following day. Who wants to eat meat when it’s hot?

Well, those who do may like the idea of garlic fried chicken, a very summer dish in my view. Serve the chicken in sliced sandwich rolls, shop bought or homemade seeded brown dinner rolls, topped with this lighter coleslaw.

And finally: cherry season in the UK is so short, and the cherries this year have been so wonderful that it would be a shame not to preserve some. Or at the very least bake the super easy summer cherry cake. But if the idea of turning the oven on is completely unacceptable, there’s always the ice cream collection for dessert. Summer’s in full bloom!

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