When you get a dose of British sunshine like we have been having recently you have to make the most of it as it could and most likely will be the last. When lucky enough for the heat to hit on a actual weekend I normally escape muggy London to the countryside to see my parents, armed with a iPad full of back issues of Bon Appétit magazine and a huge shopping list. I haven’t been able to escape yet this summer, so instead I have been reminiscing over summers past and some of my favourite recipes to make when BBQ season hits.
Last year to welcome in a summer of evenings spent outside drinking aperol spritz, I kicked off with a BBQ seafood feast. For the main event we had simple and juicy grilled scallops dressed in a lemony salsa verde and grilled king prawns tossed in a dressing of chili, garlic and parsley that where plate licking good. This was accompanied by crisp fresh bread, the obligatory grilled corn and a side that was to become a staple of the summer; avocado topped with radish, carrots, pickled onion and a delicious chimichurri. A dessert that has become another summer staple over the years is simply roasting summer fruits for 30 mins with a few spoons of sugar, cornflower and the zest of a few limes.
The next time I was home I had to whip up those delicious grilled prawns again along with that avocado salad, however I did try a few new things. As well as a simple mozzarella, tomato and basil salad and again the obligatory grilled corn, I served a giant grilled sirloin steak spiced with a rub of coriander, cocoa and ground coffee. Unusual but absolutely delicious, this was served with a lemony yogurt. Another new addition was a potato, mint, pea and broad bean salad. Dessert was my mum’s famous pavlova which unfortunately I don’t even have the recipe for. Top Secret.
The end of summer evenings called for a lantern lit middle eastern feast. We ate Mint and cumin-spiced lamb chops served with a yogurt sauce marbled with pistachio paste. Moroccan chicken Brochettes served with toasted flatbreads, a parsley, red onion and pomegranate salad smothered in sweet pomegranate molasses and a fantastic corn, baby courgette and feta salad. Going against the middle eastern theme, dessert was Georgina Hayden’s wonderful British Summertime Cake with layers of strawberries, cream, pavlova and pimms soaked sponge. A perfect end to the summer.