Summer is a time of plenty… a time to rejoice in tomatoes bursting with flavour; perfect, tiny, sweet wild raspberries; fresh, golden corn; huge zucchinis from the garden. A time when “cooking” is almost trivial. Go for a stroll in a nearby farmers’ market or produce store and you are spoiled for choice. Grab whatever catches your eye and you can toss together a quick salad, cold soup or one-pot pasta with minimal stove or oven time. When the ingredients are good and fresh and ripe, a flavourful meal almost makes itself. Here is a small collection of such summer-inspired recipes to get you started.
- Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. I stuff my belly full of plump, ripe beauties in the summer and don’t bother with bland, watery “fresh” tomatoes the rest of the year. Enjoy them simple and raw, try a roasted twist, or go big and put together this live lasagne with thick slices of a fleshy heirloom variety… although it takes a bit of prep, it is absolutely worth it and a sure crowd-pleaser.
- And while you’re riding the tomato wave, make the perfect gazpacho. I geek out on The Guardian “How to make the perfect…” series and this one does indeed hit the spot. In the past I’ve also experimented with watermelon, strawberry and cherry gazpacho with some success, so if you’re feeling fruity, give those variations a go.
- Speaking of fruity, these two corn salads (with blueberries and peaches) caught my fancy. I made a version with corn, tomatoes, spring onions, roasted red pepper, peaches, fresh coriander and purslane and a charred jalapeño and lime dressing.
- A couple of pasta dishes for when you’re feeling like something more substantial but still fresh and easy: a version of the one-pot pasta concept that’s been floating around the internets and a perfect example of simple, seasonal perfection.
- For dessert, you could just stuff your face full of blueberries and melon (drizzle some light tahini on top for extra creamy deliciousness!), but this no-bake no-nuts cheesecake is easy to pull together and a real treat. Also delicious simply topped with fresh fruit or a drizzle of whatever jam or compote you have on hand. To simplify the process, I make it with store-bought vegan quark (Provamel brand is now available in bio stores in Germany and Switzerland).
- A loaded bowl of summer fruit for breakfast ain’t half bad, but I also like to make me a hearty, nourishing berry buckwheat borridge, a müsli or beet-berry yoats. Or try one of these breakfast suggestions.