Summer in England is always a bit of a hit and miss affair. But this summer has definitely been ‘miss’ more often than not, with grey skies and persistent rain. Yes, it can be a bit depressing at times and the BBQ hasn’t seen much action of late, but I have three recipes that are guaranteed to bring some sunshine into your life.
Smoky Maple Dressing
This dressing is so good it will quickly eclipse all others to become your new favourite. Not only is it delicious served warm over salad leaves, it tastes incredible with all grilled meat, fish and vegetables. The original recipe was given to me by my wonderful neighbour, but I have given it a personal twist. My favourite way to serve it is alongside grilled prawns as a dipping sauce – hopefully outdoors should the weather allow it! The Spezia jar makes for a good dipping vessel.
Makes enough for a few dishes – keep it in a sealed jar in the fridge and consume within 3 days
60ml balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 teabags Lapshang Souchong
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 red chilli, very finely sliced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
zest of 1 unwaxed lime
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Put the vinegar and maple syrup in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, add the teabags and stir. Take off the heat and leave to cool. Remove the teabags and pour into a bowl. Stir in the minced garlic, mustard, oregano, lime zest and chilli. Whisk in the olive oil so the dressing emulsifies and season.
Greek Salad With Courgetti
Spiralised vegetables may be the one trend, first noticed on Pinterest a couple of years ago, that’s really here to stay. Courgetti (as in spiralised courgette ‘spaghetti’) are quick, easy, tasty and healthy. They can be used in place of spaghetti or noodles in a lot of recipes, but I usually still crave some of the carb satisfaction that only real pasta can bring. I love using them in salads however, and this Greek salad with courgetti is a real crowd plesaer. Serve in the Sintra range of dinnerware for a wonderful contrast.
4 medium courgettes, spiralised
400g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium cucumber, deseeded and sliced
100g feta cheese (ideally barrel aged), cubed
85g Greek olives, sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
1/2 tsp dried oregano
a few sprigs fresh oregano to garnish
salt and freshly ground pepper to season
In a large bowl, mix together the courgette noodles, tomatoes, cucumber, olives and onion, if using. Add the feta and sprinkle with the dried oregano. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Add a few sprigs of fresh oregano to garnish and serve.
This easy sangria can serve a crowd and is both refreshing and very pretty served in the Picardie tumblers. It does taste about 50% better if the sun is shining – but then most drinks do! You can use other spirits instead of cherry brandy – vodka or white rum for instance. Taste your sangria before serving, you might want to add a spoon of agave syrup sweetener to taste.
Makes one large pitcher
1 bottle rosé wine
1 bottle soda water or lemonade
60-80ml cherry brandy (up to you how strong you want to make it)
2 tbsp grenadine
200g fresh berries – strawberries, cherries, raspberries, halved or sliced
fresh mint leaves to garnish
lemon or orange slices to garnish (optional)
In a large pitcher, mix the wine, soda, cherry brandy, grenadine and fruit and chill for at least two hours. Add plenty of fresh ice in your glasses (not the pitcher), garnish with a few mint leaves and serve. If you want to add lemon or orange slices, add them to the glasses before serving.
Lucy Parissi is visiting us from her blog, Super Golden Bakes. She is passionate about food and enjoys nothing more than making a huge mess in her tiny lovely kitchen creating new recipes and learning though trial-and-error. Lucy started her blog in 2012 as a way to organise and share her favourite recipes, and it’s taken on a life of its own. Her blog also gives her the chance to indulge in photography and and prop styling. She lives in South East London, sharing a very cluttered house with her husband, two children, Xander the cat and about a dozen cake stands.