28 June 2017Last updated

Food | Recipes

Recipes for a perfect summer spread

It’s light, it’s fresh, and it’s bursting with flavour

23 Aug 2016 | 12:15 pm



Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 20 mins
Serves 4

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
10 large brown mushrooms, sliced
3 large leeks, sliced
400g chicken mince
250ml cream
125ml basil pesto
8 lasagne sheets
Fresh basil
Parmesan cheese, to serve

Heat butter and half the olive oil in a deep frying pan. Add mushrooms and leeks and sauté until soft and fragrant. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the same frying pan and sauté mince until cooked. Return the mushrooms and leeks to the pan. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add cream and basil pesto and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the lasagne sheets until done and sprinkle with olive oil so they don’t stick together. Place a lasagne sheet on a plate, spoon a generous amount of the mince mixture on one end and fold the lasagne sheet over the mince. Spoon more mince on top and repeat. Use two lasagne sheets per serving. Garnish with fresh basil and serve with Parmesan cheese.



Prep time 20 mins
Cooking time 10 mins
Serves 4

20 small or 6 large calamari tubes
7 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg, whisked
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
100g almonds, toasted and 
finely chopped
1 tbsp Cajun spice
2 tbsp sultanas
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon rind
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
Sautéed asparagus, pattypan squash and lemon wedges, to serve

Clean the calamari tubes and dry them with paper towels.

Mix the remaining ingredients, except butter and olive oil. Stuff each calamari tube with the mix (do not overfill them). Secure with cocktail sticks.

Heat butter and oil and fry a few calamari tubes at a time for a few minutes until just done. Remove the sticks, halve each stuffed tube and serve on a bed of asparagus with squash and lemon wedges.



Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 30 mins
Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
250g beef bacon, diced
1 onion, sliced
1 roll (400g) puff pastry, thawed
50ml sun-dried tomato pesto
100g mozzarella cheese, grated
About 20 baby spinach leaves
100g feta cheese, cubed
10 olives, pitted and halved
1 egg, whisked
30g rocket leaves

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Heat oil and fry beef bacon and onion until the bacon is crisp and fragrant. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Leave to cool. Gently roll out the puff pastry on a floured work surface. Put the pastry on a large greased baking sheet. Cut a notch 1cm from the outer edge to help the crust puff out and crimp the border with a fork.

Spread the sun-dried tomato pesto over the base and scatter half the mozzarella cheese on top, followed by spinach leaves, feta cheese cubes and olives. Finally scatter the remaining mozzarella cheese on top.

Brush the border with whisked egg and bake for 15-20 minutes or until done. Leave the pizza to cool slightly and cut into squares.

Serve with fresh rocket.



Prep time Overnight
Cooking time 10 mins
Serves 4

600g rib-eye steak
1 tbsp olive oil
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
50g blue cheese
100ml mayonnaise
50g mixed salad greens
Bean sprouts, to garnish
For the marinade, mix:
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp chutney or barbecue sauce
4 tsp lemon juice
1 lemon, grated rind of
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

Marinate the steak in the marinade overnight. Remove the steak from the marinade and barbecue over hot coals for about 3 minutes a side or until medium-done. Season with salt and leave the steak to rest for 10 minutes.

Heat oil and fry the tomatoes for a few minutes.

Blend blue cheese and mayonnaise together. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the meat into thin strips and combine with the salad greens and tomatoes. Garnish with sprouts and serve cold with the cheese dressing.



Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 45 mins
Serves 4-6

1 large aubergine, thinly sliced lengthwise
8 medium-size baby marrows
1 kg whole butternut squash, peeled
1 large red pepper
2 tbsp butter
8 tsp olive oil
6 eggs, whisked
300g ricotta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
250ml grated mozzarella cheese
20g fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Sprinkle salt over the aubergine slices and keep aside for a few minutes. Rinse the slices well and pat-dry using a paper towel. Thinly slice the baby marrows, butternut squash and red pepper lengthwise in the same way. Heat butter and olive oil in a frying pan and fry all the vegetables until slightly golden. Remove from the pan and keep aside.

Mix eggs, ricotta, thyme, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Grease a 20cm springform tin and line the bottom with baking paper. Layer half the aubergine,

baby marrow, butternut and red pepper slices in the tin and spoon half the ricotta mixture on top. Repeat with another layer of the remaining vegetables and the ricotta mixture.

Scatter the mozzarella cheese on top and bake for 20-30 minutes or until firm. Cool the cheesecake in the tin for a few minutes before turning it out on a serving platter. Garnish with basil and serve hot or cold with freshly baked bread.



Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 10-15 mins
Chilling time 6 hours
Serves 4-6

2 tbsp gelatin
4 tbsp cold water
500ml cream
175ml caster sugar
500ml Greek yogurt
1 vanilla pod, slit open
500g fresh summer berries or fruit of your choice
Mint, to garnish

Sprinkle gelatine over the cold water and leave it to sponge. Heat the sponged gelatine until just melted, taking care not to let it come to the boil.

Meanwhile mix cream, sugar, yogurt and vanilla pod in a glass bowl over a saucepan with hot water, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove the vanilla pod and stir in gelatine.

Pour into glasses or small ramekins and chill for at least 6 hours.

Serve with fresh berries or fruit and garnish with mint.