We’re enjoying the giddy delights of high summer in the UK at the moment, with long, warm days and balmy nights to enjoy our gardens and outdoor kitchens. There has been a plethora of high-profile sporting events including Royal Ascot, Henley Royal Regatta, Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix and the Cricket World Cup, all held on British soil and with incredible international sporting talent to enjoy. The weather has behaved itself and our customers have been using their CENA outdoor kitchens up and down the country.
July is also a bountiful time of year for enjoying the very best of in-season British produce and you shouldn’t have to look too hard to find bright and flavoursome fruit and vegetables grown right here in the UK. You can create a fresh salad just from what’s growing in your garden as lettuces, tomatoes, herbs and cucumbers are all ripe and ready to pick. Here’s the CENA team’s round up of some of the other delights you’ll find in season now:
So, what’s on the menu if you’re looking to use in-season produce this month? First up is the dark and gleaming aubergine (or eggplant, if you’re feeling a little USA today), perfect for chargrilling and adding to summer salads or turning into a classic Greek-style moussaka. So good when it is fresh and home grown.
Fresh fennel bulbs are back in the shops too, and for those of us who adore the distinctive aniseed flavour, it’s something to be celebrated and made the most of. A creamy fennel gratin is a glorious accompaniment to summer meals, finished with a crumbly cheese topping.
The British classic beetroot will be available soon and we love it as part of a fresh and zingy beetroot, carrot and orange salad. Or, if you’re looking for a warming meal on a cooler-than-average summer day, why not bake your beetroot to bring that earthy flavour to the fore?
Cherries really do have a short season so if you want to enjoy them while they are British-grown and full of sweet flavour, now is the time to do it. A bowl of cherries gently warmed in the sun is simply sublime, but you also make them into a pie, a sauce to accompany duck or a home-made ice cream.
Runner beans and broad beans
A firm favourite with those growing their own vegetables in allotments and gardens across the British Isles, in season British beans are the perfect side dish. A broad bean, mint and feta salad should be part of every summer BBQ from July onwards and runner beans are sublime sautéed in oil with garlic and a thinly sliced mild red chilli.
Courgettes are so very versatile. There are so many things you can do with them including substituting them for pasta in a healthy lasagne, using them in quiches and tarts or making them into a vibrant soup with goat’s cheese and leeks. Plus, if you really do have a glut of them and fancy making a healthy sweet treat, you can find amazing recipes for brownies made from courgettes!