In March this year I was commissioned to a write a few recipes for the French food and wine website Cuisine et Vins de France. They had to be for summer, include particular ingredients, and I was lucky to be able to source all the produce just before it went out of season here in South Africa. We were heading towards winter then. Now that we are firmly in spring, or dare I say even edging into summer, I thought I would share my images and recipes from this shoot.
Some of the recipes I have done before and a couple are new, but all are light and easy for entertaining in warmer months, indoors or out.
Cucumber infused gin and grapefruit spritzer
- 300ml gin
- 1 English cucumber
- 1 liter grapefruit soda
- Cucumber wedges to garnish
Slice the cucumber and place in a jug with the gin. Muddle the cucumber into the gin and then allow to infuse in the fridge over night.
When you are ready to serve, strain the gin from the cucumber and divide between 4 glasses. Fill with ice and top up with grapefruit soda. *use fresh grapefruit juice and soda water as an alternative. Garnish with long slices of cucumber.
Make as many as you need, and half a pepper will serve one person as a side dish.
- Red or yellow peppers – de-seeded and cut in half lengthways (leave the stem on)
- Sea salt flakes and pepper
- 1/2 a clove per half pepper, finely sliced
- 4 – 6 cherry tomatoes per pepper half
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon per pepper half
- 2 anchovies per half of pepper
- Fresh basil leaves to garnish
Pre heat the oven to 190C. You can leave the tomato skin on or off. To take the skin off, pour boiling water over your tomatoes, allow to soak until the skin can easily be peeled off (about a minute). Peel them and set aside.
Cut the peppers in half and take out the pith and seeds. Leave the stalk on Place the peppers in a baking tray and line the bottom of each with the sliced garlic. Season. Fill the cavities as much as you can with the tomatoes, season again and pour over the olive oil. Bake for one hour.
Once out the oven place 2 anchovy fillets across the top in a cross shape and garnish with fresh basil leaves. These can either be served warm or cold.
Peaches roasted with dessert wine and thyme
Make as many as you require
- Peaches or nectarines, halved and stones removed
- 1 tablespoon of dessert wine per peach half
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar or honey per peach half
- Thyme stalks
- Roasted almond slices to serve
- Vanilla crème fraiche or ice cream to serve
- Crumbled meringue to serve
Pre heat the oven to 180c and place the peaches cut side facing up.
Sprinkle the sugar or honey over each peach half, then pour over the sweet wine. Roast for about 20 minutes.
Serve warm with crumbled meringue, toasted almonds and vanilla bean crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream
Baby calamari pan-fried with chorizo and red pepper
Recipe – serves 2
- Olive oil to fry
- 500gms whole baby calamari (tubes and tentacles), cleaned
- 125gms Chorizo sausage
- 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
- juice of 1 whole lemon
- 1 red or green chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves (optional)
Heat a glug of olive oil in a pan and fry the red pepper and chorizo for a few minutes. When the sausage starts to crisp around the edges and the spicy oils are released, remove and set aside.
Fry the calamari tentacles and tubes in batches for a few minutes until they are done. You may need to add more olive oil to the pan.
Then toss everything back in the pan and add the butter, lemon juice, chilli, thyme and cook for a minute or two. Serve warm with lemon wedges on the side
Lamb kebabs with a spicy yoghurt marinade
Recipe – serves 4
- 3kg – 1.5 kg Lamb leg meat, cubed
- ½ cup Greek Yoghurt
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 – 2 red chillies, finely chipped (seeds in)
- Juice of half a lemon
- Small bunch of mint, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- lemon wedges to serve
- 6 – 8 wooden skewers
- toasted pita bread to serve
Make in advance:
Place the lamb meat and all the other ingredients in a Ziploc bag and rub to ensure everything is well mixed and all the meat is evenly coated. Seal and store in the fridge over night
To cook, heat a griddle pan or have your BBQ ready. Soak your wooden skewers before if you are going to cook them over a flame.
Thread the cubes of meat loosely onto the skewer. You don’t want to bunch them up too tightly. Grill on each side until the turn brown. The meat should be a little pink on the inside. Serve with toasted pita breads, zucchini tzatziki and wedges of lemon.
- 4 – 5 medium zucchini, grated
- 1 cup Greek yoghurt
- ½ – 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1tsp dried oregano
- 1tsp chopped fresh mint
- Juice of ¼ lemon
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
Place the grated zucchini on a clean kitchen towel or muslin and squeeze several times until all the liquid has been squeezed out. When drained, place
in a bowl with all the other ingredients and mix. Season to taste.
Shaved zucchini, rocket, basil and Parmesan salad
- 3 medium zucchini shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
- 2 cups of wild rocket leaves
- ¾ cup fresh basil leaves
- 50g Parmesan shavings
- 2 tbs white wine vinegar
- ½ clove garlic, crushed
- ½ tsp Dijon or grain mustard
- 4tbsp olive oil or Parmesan infused olive oil
- salt and pepper
Arrange all the salad ingredients on a large flat platter and lightly toss.
Place all the salad ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously until combined
Watermelon salad with goats cheese and a vodka vinaigrette
- 700 – 800g watermelon sliced and off the rind removed
- 125g goats cheese
- 30 g toasted pine nuts
- Small handful rocket leaves or watercress
- Small handful mint lightly chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tblsp white wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp vodka
Slice the watermelon fairly thinly, in triangles and arrange piled up on a plate. Break up the goats cheese into small chunks and scatter over the watermelon. Arrange the other salad ingredients and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Put all the dressing ingredients into a jar and shake vigorously until emulsified.
Drizzle the dressing just before serving and keep some on the side to add.
FIND ME ON Instagram