Summer is here, lockdown restrictions are finally easing and there’s never been a better time to gather with friends for alfresco eating and drinking.
We’ve chosen some of our favourite stylish yet simple recipes to enjoy during those long awaited catch ups.
A vibrant cocktail: Mezcal Palomas
This smoky mezcal Paloma is a refreshing cocktail for warm summer days. Make it a long drink by topping up with cold soda water.
Makes 2 cocktails
- 100ml Pensador Mezcal
- 20ml agave syrup
- 20ml lime juice, plus extra for salting the glasses
- 120ml pink grapefruit juice
- Lime slice to serve
- Soda water to top up – optional
- Shake all the ingredients except the soda water together in jam jars, or in a cocktail shaker transferred to a transportable bottle.
- Add a slice of lime and some ice, and top up with soda water if you prefer a longer drink.
A delicious dip: Roast Garlic & Urfa Chilli Butterbean Hummus
A twist on a classic chickpea hummus, butter beans have a creamy texture and moreish flavour. Rooted Spices Urfa chilli and The House Blend, a mixture of Turkish pul bibers, adds earthy spice. Serve with seasonal crudités and crackers.
- 1 tin butterbeans, drained
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 2 tbsps olive oil plus more for drizzling
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tbsps water
- ¼ tsp salt
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp Rooted Spices Urfa Chilli
- ¼ tsp Rooted Spices House Spice Blend
- Preheat the oven to 200℃/180℃ fan. Wrap the garlic cloves (in their skin) tightly in foil and roast for 30 minutes or until soft and squidgy
- Drain and rinse the butterbeans. Add them along with the squeezed out garlic cloves, olive oil, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper to the small bowl of a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy – or use a stick blender
- Add more lemon, salt and pepper to taste
- Serve in a bowl or glass jar topped with a sprinkle of urfa chilli and the house blend, a drizzle of olive oil and a selection of crudités.
No more boring sandwiches: ‘Muffaletta’ Focaccia Sharing Sandwich
This ultimate sharing sandwich is full of delicious Italian meats, cheeses, antipasti veg and olives. Serves 2 generously, or cut into small squares (secured with a toothpick) as part of a picnic.
- 1 loaf focaccia
- 1 packet salami
- 4 roast red peppers
- 8 sundried tomatoes
- 1 ball mozzarella
- 1 packet mortadella
- 8 stuffed green olives, sliced
- Slice the focaccia in half
- Start with an even layer of salami on the lower half
- Top with the roasted peppers, sundried tomatoes, then the torn mozzarella
- Scatter the sliced olives over the top then finish with the mortadella slices and the top piece of bread
- Secure with toothpicks if you like, slice and serve.
A super easy salad: Herby Freekeh, Pomegranate & Tomato Salad
This grain salad takes no time at all to put together and is full of freshness and flavour. Freekeh is a baby green wheat, which has been roasted to give it a distinctive, smoky flavour.
- 1 pack of cooked freekeh
- 1/2 organic red chilli, deseeded and finely diced (optional)
- 1 tbsp organic pomegranate seeds
- 10 organic cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 spring onion, sliced
- 10g mint, chopped
- 10g coriander, chopped
- A handful of salad leaves
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Mix together the cooked freekeh with the chilli, pomegranate seeds, cherry tomatoes, spring onion, salad leaves, mint and coriander.
- Stir in the pomegranate molasses and red wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper and serve.
An upgraded favourite: Bubala’s Falafel
If you’ve never tried making your own falafel before, try this easy to follow version from Bubala restaurant in London. Delicious with homemade pittas, tahini, pickled onions and a scattering of fresh herbs.
Makes 12 falafel
40 minutes plus overnight soaking
- 125g dry chickpeas, soaked overnight (soaked weight should be around 250g)
- 125g peeled onion, roughly chopped
- 7g garlic*
- 10g red chilli, roughly chopped
- 30g flat leaf parsley, stalks removed and roughly chopped, plus additional to serve
- 75g coriander, roughly chopped
- 11g falafel spice mix
- 4g fine salt
- 8g baking powder
- Soak the chickpeas overnight.
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a relatively fine mix – you want the chickpeas to look like the texture of couscous. The mixture should come together nicely – if not, add a little water to bind.
- Form the mix in 35g balls. Heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in a saucepan to 180C – if you don’t have a thermometer, you can tell when the oil is hot by dropping in a little pinch of the mix – if it sizzles, you are ready to fry.
- Deep fry the balls in small batches until golden brown – around 2-3 mins. 4. Transfer to a plate with some kitchen towel to soak up excess oil.
A classic salad: Salad Nicoise
A classic salad that is so simple to make, it just requires the best ingredients to make it zing. For picnics, add the rocket and dressing at the last minute so it doesn’t wilt.
- 300g new potatoes
- 4 tomatoes
- 50g rocket
- 4 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 80g Kalamata olives, stones removed
- 4 roasted red peppers
- 8 anchovy fillets
For the dressing
- 1tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for 20 minutes, until tender.
- Soft boil the eggs for five minutes. Drain, cool, peel and halve.
- Whisk the mustard with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Slice the red peppers, tomatoes and spring onions.
- Arrange the different parts of the salad on a plate and drizzle over the dressing to serve.
For more alfresco and BBQ recipes visit www.farmdrop.com/recipes