Summer is here, even if the weather over the last few days is quite the contrary. We seemed to end May on a high, weather wise and then June has been less seasonally dramatic. But we’re not here to talk about the weather, obviously, we’re here to talk about the great foods you can enjoy this June.

So where do we begin? Let’s take a look at what the best ingredients are for this great month of June and see what exciting dishes can be had this June time.

What’s on the ingredients menu?
This is the month where fresh summer eating can and should be done. We have french and broad beans perfect at this point of the year, peas are at their ripest and we even have the amazing summer fruits that everyone associates with the British Summer Time!

There is also a wide selection of freshly reared meats like lamb and a wide selection of game as well as lake fished mackerel which is wonderful grilled on the barbecue and served with even a simply aioli and chargrilled chicory, which is also a great seasonal vegetable this month.

Starters
When it comes to starters you want to be utilising some of the freshest vegetables and possibly layering with fresh fish, like crab which is perfect this month. A simple grilled mackerel and new potato salad is easy to cook, full of healthy and essential fats and oils and tastes great.

But if you wanted to push the boat out then we think these two dishes are great as a starter or as a light meal in their own right.

The first is a stunning mackerel and beetroot salad. It pops with flavours, colours and is so simple that anyone can make this dish without too much effort; we mean, just look at it! The second is a little more complex but is still a stunning dish and so refreshing for those hotter days which are sure to return.

A lovely chilled tomato and grilled mackerel is a perfect starter dish for a summertime feast; especially if you are going to prepare a barbecue and you want to have something that can be whipped up and left alone in the fridge at the start of the day; no fuss, just simplicity.

Mains
We’re going to do two different things for our mains selection this month. For those looking for a meat option we recommend lamb. English reared lamb is now perfect for this season and not earlier in the year which would have been too young.

Now you could go with some delicious lamb kebabs, using fresh ground lamb mince, a bit of mint yoghurt and some lovely pitta breads and serving it together with a simple salad, but instead we thought we would let you see this wonderful dish which brings together a lamb steak and cous-cous in a heady spice mix that is far more simple to make than it looks. Lamb steak with fruity spiced couscous is a wonderful dish, quick and tastes amazing.

Our second option to you is to do something different with peas. Yes, peas. Whether they are frozen or freshly picked, they pack flavour, nutrients and are so versatile they can be done in hundreds of ways in so many dishes.

Our first recommendation is this pesto and pea gnocchi dish. If you don’t know how to make gnocchi you can use shop bought or use this recipe that we have used at one of in home kitchen demonstrations. Light and fluffy, it’s a taste of summer and very easy to put together for a dish that packs flavour.

june_pecorino

The other is making risotto stand out with lovely pecorino and peas. Risotto is a great summertime dish and as we discovered at our event this Saturday, our Neff steam ovens can make creamy and delicious risotto in 20 minutes, and you don’t need to slave over the stove, it’s all done in the oven. Wonderful!

Desserts
We love the great British Strawberry. We’ve travelled the world and when the strawberry is in season, well, there is nothing better than a simple bowl of fresh, mouth popping strawberries to whet the appetite. But British summer fruits are the thing this year and we’re being told that some crops will see lots of great varieties popping up this year, so we will also celebrate the raspberry in our selections.

Our first dish of choice has to be a summer fruit mess. This recipe asks for blueberries, but you can add raspberry along with the strawberries and the addition of greek yoghurt brings a lovely bit of acidity to the mix to go with sweet fruits and chewy meringue.

The second choice we have is this wonderful sparkling strawberry trifle. It contains ricotta, double cream, sparkling rose and strawberries… heaven! But if you wanted something more heavenly, then this is the dish for you… Strawberry, vin santo and mascarpone trifle. Get us one, right now!.

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