As the warmer, summer evenings draw nearer, our thoughts turn to al fresco dining, having friends round for a BBQ and summer dinner parties. When it’s warmer outside, you don’t feel like heavy, hearty meals, you want something light that will keep you energised. We’ve put together our favourite summer dishes below. Try them for yourself and let us know how they turn out – we’d love to see your pictures too! Tweet us @cameronlodges or post a comment on our Facebook page.
Pea, Mint & Spring Onion Soup with Parmesan Biscuits
Soups make a lovely light lunch or super healthy supper on a summer’s day. This Pea, Mint & Spring Onion Soup with Parmesan Biscuits from BBC Goodfood conjures up all the colours of summer in a bowl and will leave you feeling satisfied. The parmesan biscuits are really simple to make but gives the dish an impressive edge – great if you’re planning a dinner party!
1 tbsp olive oil
knob of butter
½ bunch spring onion, sliced
1 potato, cut into small cubes
1l hot vegetable stock
900g frozen petits pois
½ small bunch mint leaves picked
85g parmesan, finely grated
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy based pan. When foaming, add the spring onions and potato. Gently fry without colouring for about 5 mins. Stir in the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins or until the potato is tender.
- Stir in the peas, bring to the boil again, then cook for about 3 mins until they are just done. Remove the pan from the heat, add the mint leaves and whizz in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- To make the Parmesan biscuits, heat the grill to high. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and divide the grated Parmesan into 6 long strips. Grill for 1 min or until the cheese has melted and is lightly golden. While still warm and a bit flexible, release the biscuits from the baking parchment with a palette or cutlery knife, then cool until firm.
- To serve, heat the soup and divide between 6 bowls. Scatter with mint and sliced spring onions, if you like, and serve with the Parmesan biscuits on the side.
Summer Pesto Pasta
This delicious, vegetarian pasta is packed full of the good stuff. From tasty squash, to zingy lemon and sweet tomatoes, this healthy pasta is brimming with flavour and perfect for a summer supper for all the family – the kids won’t even realise they’re getting a few of their five-a-day! Have a go and let us know if it’s a hit in your household.
1 tin sweet corn
1 medium squash, cut into 1/2″-thick slices
1 medium courgette, cut into 1/2″-thick slices
1 small bell pepper, seeded and cut into sixths
4 white onions, trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil
½ jar pesto
1 punnet of plum tomatoes, halved
handful fresh parsley, chopped
- Cook the spaghetti as the pack directs. Rinse, drain and leave aside to cool.
- Turn on your grill to 180 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the squash, courgette, pepper and onions with ½ teaspoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the squash, courgette and pepper for 4 – 6 mins, turning once, and then grill the onions for 2 mins, or until tender.
- In a large bowl grate ½ teaspoon on lemon zest and squeeze 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Whisk in the pesto and ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper.
- Chop the squash, courgette, pepper and onions and add it to the bowl with the pesto. Add the sweet corn, tomatoes, parsley and cooked spaghetti. Toss to combine.
Image credit: Mike Garten
Herbed Lemon Garlic Chicken Skewers
These tasty Herbed Lemon Garlic Chicken Skewers take no time at all to make and are the perfect option for a quick BBQ idea, with a minimum marinating time of only 30mins.
For the marinade:
1 ½ tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ cup fresh herbs (basil, rosemary & oregano)
1 tsp sale
¼ tsp pepper
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the skewers
2 medium courgette, cut into ½ inch slices
1 large red bell pepper, cut into ¾ inch squares
1 medium red onion, cut into wedges and then ¾ inch squares
560kg boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lemon cut into wedges for serving
- In a small bowl combine the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Set aside.
- Place cut vegetables in a zip lock bag and add 3 tablespoons of the herb marinade. Toss to coat. Place chicken in separate bag and add remaining marinade and toss to coat. Leave to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 4-6 hours.
- Preheat the grill to medium heat. Thread the skewers alternating with meat and vegetables. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 3-4 minutes and then flip. Continue to cook and flip when necessary until the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve with a salad and lemon wedges, squeezed on top.
Recipe from 400 Calories or Less with Our Best Bites
Eton Mess Cheesecake
Strawberries, meringue, cream – does summer get any better than this? A decadent dessert for special occasions, this Eton Mess Cheesecake will tempt even those missing a sweet tooth. We dare you not to love it!
100g butter, plus extra for the tin
200g digestive biscuits
420g full-fat cream cheese
150g icing sugar, plus 2 tbsp for the strawberries
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped, pod reserved
225ml double cream
600g strawberries, hulled, larger ones cut in half
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
10 shop-bought mini meringues
edible flowers to decorate (optional)
- Butter a 20cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Put the biscuits in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to bash them into crumbs – or blitz in a food processor. Melt the butter, then stir it into the biscuit crumbs, mixing thoroughly. Tip into the tin, press down to create a firm layer and put in the fridge for 1 hr to set.
- Using an electric whisk, beat the cheeses, sugar, vanilla seeds and a pinch of salt until thick and smooth. Pour in the double cream and whisk until only just combined. Spoon the filling onto the base, smooth the top and return to the fridge for at least 4 hrs, or overnight.
- Half an hour before serving, put the strawberries in a bowl with 2 tbsp icing sugar, the balsamic and scraped vanilla pod. Mix once, then leave the strawberries to soften slightly and release their juices. Push 1/4 of the strawberries through a sieve along with the juices to create a thick purée – or blitz in a food processor.
- To serve, run a knife around the outside of the cheesecake, release it from the tin, then top with the strawberries dotted with the meringues, crushing some as you go. Drizzle over the purée and decorate with flowers, if using.