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How to Have a Seasonal Al-Fresco Feast

Summer is here at last! Quick – gather up your best pals, chop some veggies for the barbecue, whip up a quick (vegan) pudding with some berries from the garden, squeeze some lemons for fresh lemonade – and you’re good to go! Extra Brownie points if you use only seasonal ingredients.

June is fruit season

If you love strawberries, cherries or raspberries, then this is definitely your month! June is unrivalled when it comes to the sheer variety of fresh fruit that’s available. Blueberries, gooseberries and currants are also in season – and they don’t get much better than freshly picked in your own garden. Our motto for June is: if it’s ripe, pick it and eat it! You can also make so many things with fresh fruit, like delicious tarts, cakes or creamy (vegan) desserts. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re going berry picking.

Hit the grill!
Barbecued strawberries? Yes, please! For a delicious treat, brush the fresh fruit with honey or agave syrup and lemon juice and barbecue at a low heat. Or you could skewer the marinated strawberries, grill them and then garnish with some lemon zest or drizzle over (vegan) chocolate sauce… Welcome to seventh heaven!

If life gives you lemons…
Fizzy cold drinks in all manner of flavours are here to stay – and they’re perfect for barbecues, garden parties, picnics or hikes. They quench your thirst and get your taste buds singing. If ordinary supermarket soft drinks are too sweet for you, why not make your own without sugar? For instance a delicious watermelon lemonade. Simply slice a small watermelon, a lemon and a lime and set aside a few wedges of each. Coarsely chop the flesh of the watermelon and blend with a handheld blender along with the juice of a lemon and a sprig of mint. Add some sparkling water and mix. Fill glasses with crushed ice, pour in the watermelon drink and garnish with fruit slices and more mint. Deeee-licious! And while we’re on the topic of watermelons: try roasting a slice on the barbecue topped with crumbled (vegan) feta and fresh mint. It’s the taste of summer! If you prefer a saltier hit, use spring onions, curry powder, salt and a splash of olive oil to add a new twist to that faithful summer friend, the watermelon.

Greedy for green
Cauliflower, broccoli, peas, kohlrabi, fennel, radish, chard and asparagus are all in season and abundantly available in June. So what can you do with this veggie cornucopia? The sky’s the limit! For instance, whip up a tasty dip with (soy) yoghurt, garlic, cucumber, onion and fresh mint and serve it with crunchy vegetable sticks. If you prefer your vegetables grilled, then you’ll love this tip: to keep your veggies from rolling around, simply stick them on wooden skewers. The little bit of extra time is well invested because it means that the skewers cook evenly. For an appetising finish, sprinkle on some thyme, lemon juice, salt and pepper and grate (vegan) Parmesan on top.

Say bye-bye to aluminium foil
Have you ever tried barbecuing with banana leaves? Avoiding aluminium foil is not only good for the environment, it also enhances the flavour of your food. Simply take banana leaves (you can buy them at many Asian supermarkets), brush them with oil, and use them to make tasty parcels of vegetables, fresh herbs and spices. Tie up with some string and pop them on the grill. Top marks for looks – and taste! Or how about putting some herbs (e.g. rosemary or thyme) to the coals for delicious hint of flavour? Soak them in water first to stop them from burning too fast.

Enjoy every Bite!