Food / 15 June, 2023 / Ellie Thompson
Seasonal food is fresher, tastier and healthier, but it can be tricky to know what’s in season month by month. Shopping for seasonal groceries is easy with Ocado, and their delicious recipe ideas are guaranteed to keep your whole family happy and healthy all year round.
Check out our quick guide to this summer’s seasonal fruit and veg, along with ten scrumptious recipes from Ocado to help you and your family make the most of everything the summer months have to offer!
From strawberries and cherries to carrots, beetroot and new potatoes, here are our recommendations for seasonal summer staples for your shopping list:
Ten seasonal recipes for summer
Purple spring onion and ricotta puff pastry tart
Gorgeous new purple spring onions pair perfectly with zingy lemon and milky ricotta in this tart.
Cook time: 35 mins
- 230g puff pastry sheet
- 250g ricotta
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 bunch red salad onions, sliced diagonally
- 8 asparagus spears, halved lengthways
- 1 courgette, peeled into ribbons
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, (plus extra to serve)
- 15g parmesan, shaved
- 1 packet pea shoots
- Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
- Unroll the pastry onto the greaseproof paper. Use a sharp knife to score a border 2cm in from the edge of the pastry.
- Mix the ricotta, lemon zest, 2 tsp of the lemon juice and nutmeg and season to taste. Spread the mix over the pastry, avoiding the border.
- Toss the spring onion, asparagus and courgette with the olive oil and seasoning. Arrange on top of the ricotta and then place the tray in the oven.
- Bake for 20 mins. Allow to cool for 10 mins before topping with the edible flowers, parmesan, peashoots and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Strawberry and raspberry eclairs
The eclair gets the ultimate summer makeover! With fresh strawberries and raspberries, whatever party you’re planning this year, this dessert will be the star of the show.
Cook time: 2 hrs
- 50g unsalted butter, diced small
- 65g plain flour, sieved onto baking paper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 600ml double cream
- 225g raspberries
- 15 strawberries, sliced
- 150g icing sugar, sieved
- Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
- Place 150ml water and the butter into a saucepan over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted and the water starts to boil, turn off the heat, slide the flour into the mix and beat with a wooden spoon until you have a ball of dough. Transfer to a mixing bowl and cool for 10 mins.
- Little by little, beat in the egg with a wooden spoon. You might not need all the egg – you want the mix to fall from the spoon after a count of 5.
- Transfer to a piping bag with a 1.5cm nozzle and pipe out straight lines of choux pastry, 12cm long, with plenty of space in-between. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins until risen, golden and crisp.
- Remove from the oven, make a hole with a skewer in the base, lay them upside down on the baking sheet and return to the oven for another 5 mins to dry out. Then remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Crush 150g of the raspberries. Whisk the double cream to medium peaks and stir through the crushed raspberries.
- Push the remaining 75g of raspberries through a sieve and mix with the icing sugar to make the icing.
- Once fully cool, slice the eclairs in half and spread cream over the bases, followed by the strawberry slices. Use a little more cream inside the lid to stick it on. Top them all with the pink icing.
Baked feta and tomatoes with crispy croutons and a caper dressing
A fabulous summer dish offering a medley of textures including soft feta, juicy tomatoes and crunchy sourdough. Perfect as a starter or a main.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
- 500g mixed British tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 thick slices of white sourdough bread, torn into large croutons, plus extra to serve
- 1 tbsp capers, drained
- 200g feta
- 1 tsp runny honey
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 handful mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Halve the larger tomatoes and leave the cherry tomatoes whole. Place them in an ovenproof dish, packed tightly in a single layer. Scatter over the garlic and dried oregano and drizzle with 2tbsp of the olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and bake for 20 mins, until softened.
- Nestle the sourdough chunks in between the baked tomatoes and return the dish to the oven for 10-15 mins, until the tomatoes are caramelised and the bread is golden. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
- Scatter the capers over the baked tomatoes, then place the block of feta on top. Combine the remaining 1tbsp olive oil with the honey and red wine vinegar and drizzle over the feta. Return the dish to the oven for 8-10 mins, until the feta is golden.
- Serve straight away with a scattering of fresh mint leaves and extra bread to mop up all the juices.
Strawberry and Hazelnut Pavlova with Coconut Cream
Using whipped coconut cream as a filling, this pavlova is light, silky, and dairy-free. The meringue nest makes a great show-stopping dessert for a garden party, and you can make it in advance to save time the next day. Finish with a quick homemade strawberry sauce.
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1 hr 45 mins
100g blanched hazelnuts
4 egg whites, large
300g caster sugar
320ml coconut cream, refrigerated for minimum 2 hours
- Preheat oven to 120°C/100°C fan/gas ½. Whizz 30g of the hazelnuts in a blender until finely ground and set aside. Put the egg whites in a very clean, non-metallic mixing bowl and set aside. Pour 250g sugar into a large, non-stick frying pan and place over a low heat.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites using an electric beater, increasing the speed until they reach stiff peaks. Move the sugar around the pan and once it starts to dissolve take off the heat.
- Turn the beater up to full speed and add the hot sugar a spoonful at a time, until the mixture is thick and glossy. Whisk for 5 mins more, until cool and very stiff.
- Gently fold in the blitzed hazelnuts and spread the meringue onto a lined baking sheet in a 20cm circle.
- Use a spatula to create a dip in the centre. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hr 30 mins. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside to cool completely.
- Make the praline: heat the remaining sugar in a large, non-stick frying pan over a low heat. Move the sugar around, allowing it to melt gradually. Once golden, stir in the remaining hazelnuts to coat, then carefully pour onto a non-stick baking tray to cool.
- Quarter 300g of the strawberries and blend the rest to make a sauce. Whip the coconut cream with an electric beater until it makes soft peaks and pile into the centre of the meringue. Top with strawberries, then the sauce. Lightly pulse the caramel hazelnuts in a blender to make a fairly fine praline and scatter over the pavlova just before serving.
Fresh crab summer rolls
Pair Cornish and Dorset crab with fresh summer veg for the ultimate summer treat.
Prep time: 30 mins
- 100g fresh white crab meat
- 100g 50/50 crab meat
- 3 lime leaves, vein removed and very finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- 20g ginger, peeled and finely grated
- ½ lime, juiced
- 8 leaves little gem
- 8 Blue Dragon Spring Roll Wrappers
- 16 mint leaves
- 16 coriander leaves
- 1 drizzle dipping sauce
- In a bowl, mix the crab meat with the lime leaf, red chilli, garlic, ginger and lime juice, season to taste and divide between the little gem leaves.
- Fill a bowl big enough to fit a spring roll wrapper in with warm water (from the tap is fine). One by one, dip them in until they’re pliable, but not completely soft. Remove and place on a clean tea towel or wet chopping board.
- Pop a filled little gem in the centre. Add 2 mint leaves on top of the crab mixture and put 2 coriander leaves on the damp wrapper just in front of the lettuce (these will show through the wrapper once rolled and look pretty!).
- Fold one side of the wrapper over the long side of the filled lettuce, tuck in the edges and then keep rolling to cover. Repeat this with the remaining wrappers.
- TO TAKE ON A PICNIC: Make before you go, then arrange the summer rolls in a container and cover with damp kitchen paper to stop them sticking together. Transport the dipping sauce in a jar.
A veggie take on this Italian dish presents families with a fab dish for leftover courgettes. It’s easy to get your kids to eat vegetables with this dish full of crunchy, salty pancetta, creamy sauce, and delicately flavoured courgette. Serve this pasta dinner winner with a sprinkle of grated parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.
Cook time: 30 mins
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 20g butter
- 150g diced pancetta
- 4 courgettes, halved and cut into 5mm diagonal slices
- 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 400g spaghetti
- 6 large eggs (2 whole, 4 yolks)
- 80g parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve
- 1 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
- Warm the oil and butter over a medium heat in a sauté pan and add the pancetta. Cook for 5 mins then add the courgettes.
- Continue to cook for another 10 mins, stirring often until the courgettes have softened. Then stir in the garlic and cook for another 2 mins.
- Turn off the heat and put the pan to one side.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the spaghetti. Cook according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, beat the eggs and yolks together, before stirring in the parmesan.
- Save some of the pasta cooking water then drain the pasta and return to the pan. Add the courgettes to the spaghetti and mix.
- Add the egg mix and stir vigorously until everything is coated. Use the cooking water to loosen and make a creamy sauce.
- Divide between four bowls and top with more parmesan plus lots of black pepper.
Runner beans, peas & chorizo warm salad
Fresh, grassy beans and peas meet smoky chorizo in this delicious summer dish.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 150g chorizo, chopped into chunks
- 250g roasted red peppers, (from a jar) drained well and sliced
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- ½ tsp honey
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 560g runner beans, stringed and sliced at an angle
- 190g fresh peas
- Heat 1tbsp of the olive oil in a pan and gently saute the chorizo for 2 mins, until golden.
- Add the peppers and cook for around 1 min more to soak up the juices.
- For the dressing, mix the mustard, honey, garlic, vinegar and the remaining 3tbsp of oil together in a screw-top jar. Put the lid on and shake well to combine.
- Blanch the beans and peas in a pan of boiling, salted water for 2 mins. Drain well and tip back into the empty pan. Add the chorizo and dressing, mix well and season to taste. Serve with bread for lunch or as a side with roast chicken.
Summer Fruit Hand Pies with Soured Cream Pastry
Planning on a family picnic? These seasonal fruit hand pies by Martha Money are a great hands-free bite. You can swap cherries for strawberries if the mood takes you (adding ½tsp vanilla extract) or even succulent peaches (with ½tsp ground cinnamon).
Prep time: 1 hr
- 205g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- ¼ tsp salt, plus a pinch for the filling
- 120g unsalted butter, cut into small dice
- 60ml soured cream
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 300g cherries (hulled strawberries or peeled peaches also work well), pitted and cut into small dice
- 25g caster sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon, if using peaches (optional)
- 1 egg, whisked with 1tbsp water, for brushing
- ½ tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, if using strawberries (optional)
- 50g demerara sugar, for sprinkling
- Combine 185g of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a food processor. Scatter the chilled, diced butter over the flour. Pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs; or use a mixing bowl and rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips.
- Whisk the soured cream, lemon juice and 60ml cold water together in a small bowl. Add the liquid to the pastry mixture and pulse one or two times, just until larger lumps of dough begin to form. Or make a well in the centre of the mixture and mix the liquid in using a cutlery knife until lumps form. Transfer the pastry to a lightly floured work surface, bring it into a ball and then flatten into a disc – don’t overwork the dough. Wrap the disc or put it in an airtight container; chill for 1 hr.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 3mm thickness and cut out 6-8 circles using a 12cm round cutter. Transfer the circles to a baking tray lined with baking paper; chill for 30 mins.
- Make the fruit filling of your choice by combining diced fruit with 20g flour, the caster sugar, a pinch of salt and the flavourings, if using.
- Remove the chilled pastry from the fridge and allow to stand for 2-3 mins at room temperature until just pliable. Spoon 1-2tbsp of filling onto one half of each circle of dough. Brush a little cold water round the edge of the dough; fold it in half so the other side comes down over the filling, creating a semicircle. Seal by pressing the edges together with the back of a fork.
- Place the tray of hand pies back in the fridge to chill for 30 mins.
- Preheat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/gas 6-7. Remove the chilled hand pies from the fridge, cut a small slit in the top of each and brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle demerara sugar generously over the pies, and bake for 20-25 mins until golden and slightly cracked. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Broad Bean, Feta and Mint Bruschetta
Popped from their skins and mashed, broad beans make a simple meal fit for a king, or the kids, in all likelihood.
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
- 300g broad beans
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 handful mint, chopped (plus extra to serve)
- 2 demi baguettes, frozen
- 150g feta cheese, mashed
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the broad beans for 2-3 mins. Drain, then rinse in cold water to cool, drain again then remove the outer skins. Mash the beans with the lemon juice, 1tbsp of the extra virgin olive oil and garlic, then stir in the chopped mint.
- Cook the demi baguettes according to pack instructions. Leave to cool for 3 mins before slicing each one into 6 pieces. Toast each side of the slices of bread until golden and drizzle with the remaining oil.
- Spread over the broad bean mix and top with the cheese. Scatter over extra mint leaves, if you like.
Cherry and chocolate focaccia
Focaccia is a flat leavened oven-baked Italian bread and works fabulously with seasonal fruits and a little bit of dark chocolate. A really easy summer recipe, and one the kids will love, so what are you waiting for?
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
- 660g strong white bread flour
- ½ tsp dry yeast
- 2 tsp caster sugar, plus 2tbsp for topping
- 2½ tsp fine salt
- 3½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 70g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids or less, vegan if required), chopped
- 400g cherries, halved and stoned
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar, for sprinkling
- 1 pinch sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
- Make the dough the day before. Combine the flour, yeast, 2tsp sugar and 2tsp salt in a bowl (an electric mixer isn’t necessary for this no-knead recipe). Pour in 500ml tepid water and 1tbsp olive oil and work into a smooth dough, using your hands, until well combined with no lumps of flour left (less than 1 min). It will be very sticky. Drizzle ½tbsp oil on the dough and smooth it over the surface with your hands. Cover the bowl and set aside to prove for 8-12 hrs at room temperature. After 8 hrs it will have grown significantly, becoming light with air bubbles – a sign that it’s ready to use – but it’s fine to leave the dough for up to 12 hrs.
- Preheat oven to 240°C/220°C fan/gas 9. Line the base of a 40cm x 30cm roasting tin with baking paper. Drizzle a little oil into the tin and use your hands to spread it over the sides and base. Use oiled hands to ease the dough out of the bowl into the tin and stretch it out to fill the tin. Scatter with the chocolate, pushing it into the dough. Cover with a clean tea towel and prove for 1 hr.
- Grease your hands and push your fingers into the dough to make large dimples. Scatter over the cherries; push half into the dough and leave the rest on the surface. Stir 1tbsp caster sugar and ½tsp salt in a jug with 2tbsp each of olive oil and tepid water. When the sugar has dissolved, pour over the focaccia and immediately bake in the top half of the oven for 25-30 mins.
- Combine 1tbsp each of caster sugar and tepid water, brush over the focaccia, then sprinkle with demerara and sea salt. Cool for 10 mins in the tin then move to a wire rack. It’s best eaten on the day, warm or at room temperature.
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