Reflect the sunshine of the summer months with these seasonal ingredients to liven up your cooking. Light and fresh ingredients, which pack a sturdy punch of flavour tend to be the most attractive during the sunnier months as we move away from the robust, rich flavours of slow-cooked stews and casseroles.
To help you adapt your cooking for the summer and make the most of some of the best seasonal ingredients, we’ve listed some of our favourites.
If you’re fortunate enough to live by the sea, buying some fresh crab should be high on your list of priorities! The sweet, delicate flavour of crab meat is perfect for summer salads or pasta dishes. If you can’t source the real deal, dressed crab can be bought in most supermarkets. This crab and courgette linguine is the ideal centrepiece for a Mediterranean-inspired seafood dinner.
The earthy, distinctive flavour and chunky texture of asparagus make it a fantastic companion to chicken and fish dishes. Cook it at high heat in a griddle pan with some butter to give it a charred flavour. Here’s 10 asparagus recipes to get stuck into if you don’t know where to start.
Spotted fennel in the supermarket, but wondered what to do with it? It has a gentle aniseed flavour making it a popular humble ingredient, particularly in Italian cooking. It’s a great companion to pork – try this pasta dish with pork sausages, fennel and rocket. Explore some more recipes here.
Beetroot’s earthiness makes it ideal for providing a vegetarian focal point to a host of dishes and its bold, distinct flavour ensures its taste livens up a range of dishes. Beetroot is complemented well by salty cheeses such as halloumi, feta and goats’ cheese. A beetroot, squash and feta salad is the ideal lunch or accompaniment to a summer BBQ.
Versatile, textured and subtly sweet, runner beans can be used in more ways than you’d think. This Keralan curry highlights the creative, punchy ways you can serve them up.
Need to spice up a salad? The refreshing, peppery bite of a thinly-sliced radish is perfect.
If you’re bored of bland lettuce leaves, watercress’ similarity to mustard and wasabi gives it a punchy flavour. Take a look at this list of watercress recipes.
The crisp, mildly bitter taste of chicory is also an excellent way to give some more life to a salad. You could also cut it into wedges and roast it to serve with a pasta dish or as part of a warm salad.
The AXI fridge freezer is another innovative piece of kit that provides plenty of excellent everyday features. Using voice technology, the in-built Inventory Coach lets you keep track of your groceries and when they are approaching their best-by date. For those who like a cool beverage on a hot summer’s day, the Ice Drink Coach monitors and alerts when each individual drink or drink type is chilled to perfection.