Summer Time and the Cooking is Easy

Summer has most definitely arrived and in Devon we’ve been enjoying some fantastic weather!

A few years ago I treated myself to a new barbecue and as Murphy’s law would have it, it has rained every time I’ve intended to use it. This year however I finally got to cook outside, and on the Summer Solstice no less!

I’ve always enjoyed traditional celebrations, by observing the farmer’s year you gain a deeper appreciation for the seasons and the cycles of the planet. This year we spent the day with friends sitting in the garden, sipping on a glorious White Wine Sangria before tucking in to freshly made burgers, kebabs and salads.

Taking inspiration from Italy I put together a bruschetta style salad which included quartered baby plum tomatoes, torn pieces of mozzarella, a good handful of freshly chopped basil, a glug of extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper, I let the flavours mingle for about half an hour before we ate. If you enjoy a punchy yet refreshing salad, then give this one a try.

White Wine Sangria

For the Sangria, take a large jug or pitcher and mix together the following:

750ml Medium Dry White Wine
100ml Calvados
Elderflower Cordial
Slices of Cucumber, Lemon and Lime
Freshly chopped Mint
Top up with Lemonade and serve over ice – be warned it’s very quaffable!

In America it’s common to have Thousand Island Dressing on burgers, it’s not a combination that’s well known in the UK, but it was one I was keen to try. Where possible I always prefer to make my own sauces and dressings, I certainly don’t trust any food that lists High Fructose Corn Syrup in its ingredients (that’s a blog post for another day), besides the sauces you make at home always taste better than shop-bought – unless you’re buying from a local artisan producer that is!

Thousand Island dressing is a tangy sauce, that once you’ve tasted it on a burger, you’ll probably want it every time. It’s simple to make and the chances are you already have all of the ingredients in your fridge.

Thousand Island Dressing

5 tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Tomato Ketchup
1 clove Garlic, crushed
pinch Paprika
Splash of Worchestershire sauce
Lemon juice to taste
Salt & Pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and leave for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.

What are your favourite garden recipes? Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you.
Visit our website for Devon Food News, Reviews, Recipes, Competitions and Special Offers www.atasteofdevon.co.uk 

About A Taste of Devon

I've always loved food with a passion, I've spent my whole life developing recipes, learning new techniques and cooking every spare minute I get, in 2014 I appeared on MasterChef where I received positive feedback from John Torode and Series 2 Winner Peter Bayless. These days I run A Taste of Devon - a website dedicated to the food and drink scene in Devon.
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