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Summer Picnics

Tis the season to be hungry! Try nibbling on these seasonal dishes al fresco during the months of December and January…

Apricots

Summer Suggestion: Apricot Rice Pudding

Bring 3 cups milk and 1 cup water to boil, reduce the heat and add ½ cup white rice and ¼ tbsp sugar. Simmer for 25 minutes until rice is soft, fold through apricots and blueberries and leave to chill.

Asparagus

Summer Suggestion: Japanese Parcels

Plunge asparagus spears into boiling water for 4 minutes, then into icy water to prevent from cooking further. Leave to drain, then wrap in smoked salmon and nori seaweed and serve cold.

Goat’s cheese

Summer Suggestion: Tomato and Chevre Tarts

Blind bake rounds of puff pastry until golden, then top with goat’s cheese, oregano and cherry tomatoes. Bake until gooey and golden.

Cherries

Summer Suggestion: Cherry Chutney

Mix 100g pitted cherries with 50g soft brown sugar, ½ tsp mustard seeds, ½ tsp ground allspice and 55ml red wine vinegar in a small saucepan until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, simmer for 20 minutes and leave to cool and thicken. Delicious with oozy brie or Christmas ham.

Hass avocadoes

Summer Suggestion: Avo Dip

Blend 1 avocado with the juice of ½ a lime, 1tbsp fresh coriander, 1 chopped chilli, ½ tsp toasted cumin seeds, salt and pepper and 5tbsp natural yogurt. Serve with toasted flatbread for dunking.

Sugar snaps

Summer Suggestion: Creamy Sugar Snap Salad

Boil 2 handfuls of sugar snaps for a few minutes until tender. Stir through 1 tin of drained brown lentils, the juice of ½ lemon, a dollop of ricotta and 1tbsp fresh parsley.

Prawns

Summer Suggestion: Sweet and Savoury Salad

Chop ½ a watermelon and 1 block of feta into chunks. Mix with 20 fresh, cooked prawns and 1 handful of rocket and drizzle over the juice of 1 lemon, 2tbsp olive oil and 2tbsp honey.

Radishes

Summer Suggestion: Radish Salsa

Mix 1 handful each of chopped radishes, tomatoes and cucumber with 1tsp fresh coriander seeds and a squeeze of lime juice. Delicious with seared steak slices in a wrap.

Mangoes

Summer Suggestion: Mango Popsicles

Blend the flesh of 3 ripe mangoes until smooth and mix with 1 cup vanilla yogurt. Pour into ice block moulds and leave to freeze for about 9 hours.

Mint

Summer Suggestion: Mint Tea

Put 2tsp green tea leaves, 2tsp raw sugar and a handful of fresh mint into a tea pot. Add boiling water, leave to stand for 5 minutes and strain. Leave to cool and serve with ice and more fresh mint leaves.

Eggplant

Summer Suggestion: Marinated Eggplant

Slice eggplant thinly and chargrill in olive oil until golden brown on each side. Place in a sterilised jar with fresh oregano, thyme, chilli and fried garlic and cover with olive oil.

Cucumber

Summer Suggestion: Cucumber Slaw

Grate 1 cucumber and 2 carrots into bowl. Add 1tbsp chopped fresh dill, 1tsp toasted fennel seeds, 1tbsp olive oil and 1tbsp natural yogurt.

Lychees

Summer Suggestion: Lychees with Ginger Sauce

Combine 3tbsp chopped ginger, 250ml sugar, 370ml water and ¼ tsp ground ginger in saucepan and boil for 10 minutes. Peel and de-stone 1 punnet of fresh lychees. Serve with a drizzle of cooled ginger sauce and vanilla yogurt.