In springtime, the British landscape wakes up, and in the warm summer months, it thrives. With more gorgeously hot weather coming our way, here are our favourite recipes to enjoy using the summer’s abundant seasonal produce.

From a delicious, sparkling champagne cocktail for refreshment, to Ottolenghi’s scrumptious lamb shoulder with broad beans and herbs for a main and finishing off with a rhubarb tart with pistachios and ginger, you can elevate your garden ‘party’ with fresh summer flavours.

Cucumber, mint and elderflower champagne cocktail

Ingredients:

1 large cucumber, coarsely grated
Juice of ½ lemon
50g bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked, half gently bruised in a pestle and mortar
100ml elderflower cordial
1 bottle good-quality champagne

 

Method:

1. With your hands, squeeze the grated cucumber over a fine sieve into a bowl or jug. Add the lemon juice and the bruised mint leaves and leave to infuse for 1 hour.

2. Add the elderflower cordial and chill. Wrap the remaining mint leaves in damp kitchen paper and chill.

3. Place 8 champagne flutes in the freezer 20 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, shred the reserved mint leaves. To serve, divide the cordial mixture among the glasses, then top up with chilled champagne and garnish with the shredded mint.

 

Bask in the light of summer’s golden hour and raise a glass of this light, crisp cocktail to friends and loved ones – wherever they may be.

Recipe & Image: Delicious Magazine

Lamb shoulder with broad beans and herbs

Ingredients:

6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1.5kg new-season lamb shoulder, bone removed and rolled
5 tbsp olive oil
Maldon sea salt and black pepper
60g fresh parsley, leaves and stalks
30g fresh mint, leaves only
60g fresh coriander, leaves and stalk
200ml white wine
1½ tsp cumin
3 tbsp lemon juice
375g broad beans (fresh or frozen), blanched and skins removed

 

Method:

New-season lamb shoulder, cooked pink, is the perfect platform for a mixture of fresh and cooked herbs.

1. Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Press the garlic slices into the crevices in the lamb, then rub in two tablespoons of the oil, a tablespoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Put half the amount of each herb over the base of a small ovenproof dish (around 21cm x 27cm) and pour over the wine. Lay the lamb on top of the herbs and roast for an hour, until cooked on the outside but still pink in the centre; baste every 20 minutes.

2. Once the lamb is done, lift it from the dish, transfer to a small oven tray, sprinkle with a little salt and grill for four minutes on each side to brown. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

3. Strain the cooking juices from the roasting dish and skim off the fat – there should be about 100ml of liquid. Put the remaining herbs in the bowl of a food processor, add the cumin, the remaining oil, a teaspoon of Maldon salt (or half a teaspoon of fine salt) and some pepper, turn on the motor and slowly add the liquid. Work to a smooth sauce.

3. To serve, slice the warm lamb and arrange on a platter. Stir the lemon juice and broad beans into the sauce, taste for seasoning and spoon over the lamb. Serve at once.

 

The rounded herb blend and broad beans brighten the richness of the lamb – a dish in perfect balance.

Recipe & Image: Ottolenghi.co.uk

Rhubarb Tart with Ginger & Pistachios

Ingredients:

400g puff pastry thawed
3 eggs divided
300-400g rhubarb
425g ricotta
1/3 cup honey + 1 tablespoon
1 zest & juice lemon
1 ½ teaspoons ginger finely grated 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons pistachios chopped

 

 

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7.

2. On a lightly floured surface, lay the thawed sheet of puff pastry, dusting with enough flour to prevent it from sticking to the counter or rolling pin. Roll pastry out until it’s just big enough to fit your tart pan, coil the pastry onto the rolling pin to help you transfer it, then uncoil it onto the tart pan. Trim off any excess crust.

3. Prick the base all over with a fork to allow steam to escape and add pie weights or dried beans evenly on top so the pastry won’t puff up excessively.

4. Make an egg wash by combining 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush sides of puff pastry and bake in oven for 15min. Lower temperature to 200C/425F/Gas Mark 6 and set aside. 

5. Meanwhile, finely grate ginger. Combine ricotta, honey, ginger, lemon juice and zest, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor. Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl and slowly add to the bowl of the food processor while the motor is running.

6. Pour ricotta ginger filling into the parbaked puff pastry tart. Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to smooth the surfaces. Cut and measure rhubarb stalks so the pieces will fit into your tart pan. Top ricotta puff pastry with cut up rhubarb stalks. 

7. Melt butter in a small sauce pan on the stove and mix in honey. Brush rhubarb stalks with honey butter mixture. 

8. Bake tart in the oven for 35 minutes, until almost set, brushing the rhubarb stalks with the honey-butter mixture every 10min or so.

9. Chop pistachios, top rhubarb tart with pistachio and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, until completley set.

 

There’s no better way to finish off a summer feast than with the tangy sweetness of this rhubarb tart. Perfectly seasonal and easy to make.

Recipe & Images: Waves in the Kitchen