Summer is the time of sunshine and showers, so it never hurts to prepare for both when considering your summer recipes. It also means that spending as little time at the cooker as possible is always a good thing, so here are some simple summer recipes that can work indoors or outdoors and require only minimal cooking.
Antipasto or antipasti is the name for the Italian course that comes before the main meal – so a starter to the rest of us. It also refers to a specific type of dish that includes roasted peppers, olives, artichokes and soft cheeses, often in a marinade of oil and herbs. This makes for an excellent light meal or starter and you can add spicy meats such as salami and chorizo to the platter. Add some ciabatta bread and a green salad and this can be a main meal for a picnic too. Once you have made a marinade, you can use it on meat such as chicken or to toss another salad for another day.
Hummus is available in most supermarkets these days in a variety of flavours but is also really easy to make yourself and can be used in lots of different ways. All you need is some tinned chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and tahini. Put them all in a blender for a simple dip. You can then eat the hummus with crudités such as carrot sticks and cucumber pieces or with bread.
Quick to freeze and quick to defrost, prawns have a million summer uses from the classic prawn cocktail to fillings for sandwiches and wraps. Look for sustainably sourced seafood and choose your favourite size – bigger prawns can go on skewers and over the barbeque while smaller ones are great in salads. For a classic prawn sauce, mix tomato sauce with mayonnaise then finish with some smoked paprika on top. You can serve this with tomato, lettuce and a wedge of lemon.
Flavoured oils and vinegars
A great thing to have in your cupboard is your favourite flavours of olive oil and vinegars as there are so many things that you can do with them. A simple garlic or basil oil is ideal for adding to salads or roast vegetables while cooking potatoes or meat in them infuses the dish with the flavour. Vinegars can be used in similar ways while something like raspberry vinegar is great with meringues and a little fresh fruit.
Summer is the time to cook less but this still means you place a lot of demands on your kitchen. When you look at cupboard space to store flavoured oils or the amount of shelving space in your fridge, you can sometimes realise that changes are needed. If this happens, Kitchens By Design can work with you to create a kitchen design that suits your needs. Get in touch by calling 0117 962 2599 or fill out our contact form.