Stuffed courgette flowers

10 recipes to cook in July

by Great British Chefs 1 July 2021

As we hit the heights of summer, greens and sweet summer berries are at their peak, with a glut of ingredients to choose from when it comes to planning al fresco dinner parties.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

Between the bounty of greens, fruits, vegetables, fish and seafood that comes our way in the height of summer, July might just be the most plentiful month of the year. Even better, the gorgeous weather means we can all eat outside in the sunshine, just like our European friends!

Naturally this opens up lots of possibilities, the most exciting of those being the elusive British barbecue. Although barbecue season often trends towards grilled meat, don’t forget that you can barbecue in many different ways – whether that’s slow-cooking, smoking or roasting food in the embers of your fire. Check out some handy barbecue tips, as well as a whole bunch of recipes to give you some inspiration.

The time has finally arrived to enjoy British-grown strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and more, rather than those flown in from overseas. The difference is immediately noticeable – summer fruits without the air miles are a world away from what we eat during the rest of the year. Try and find time to visit a pick-your-own fruit farm if you can – it’s a cheap and fun way to stock up on delicious summer fruits in the sunshine, and you can freeze anything left over.

Favourites like peas, broad beans, lettuce and French beans are joined by yet more summer greens. Courgettes are well into season now and delicious on a barbecue or in a variety of other dishes, from salads to fritters. Samphire starts its short season in July too, so keep an eye out in supermarkets and greengrocers – it’ll be gone by next month.

We’ve pulled together a small collection of our favourite recipes for this month, that keep things light, fresh and summery. Take a look!

Gooseberry custard tart with gooseberry and ginger sorbet

Nathan Outlaw is a man known for his exemplary fish and seafood cooking, but as anyone who has read his books or been to any of his restaurants will know, he’s an incredibly accomplished dessert chef too. His gooseberry custard tart is a celebration of the humble summer fruit, combining roasted gooseberries, a gooseberry and ginger sorbet and a simple bruléed custard tart for a beautiful end to any meal.

Hake fillet with golden beet and radish salad

Hake makes a fantastic alternative to cod – it’s mild, flaky and less damaging to your bank account. Simon Rogan’s picture perfect dish pairs it with another seasonal summer favourite – golden beetroot – which he boils, dices and mixes with a potato salad-esque mayonnaise dressing. The hake goes into a hot pan to crisp up the skin, and then sits on top of the salad with a garnish of fresh watercress.

Barbecued black bream with fennel and lemongrass

Adam Byatt has the right idea with his bream recipe – get the barbecue out and get it on the coals. Adam stuffs the belly cavity with lemongrass, fennel and star anise and wraps the fish in banana leaf and tin foil to steam it, but you can just as easily put it straight over the coals for more smoke and char. As a garnish, he blanches some samphire and dresses simply with olive oil and chilli, before serving with a charred slice of lemon.

Stuffed courgette flowers

If you're lucky enough to have your own veg patch, any courgette plants are no doubt brimming with more vegetables than you know what to do with by now. While we have dozens of courgette recipes to beat the glut, don't sacrifice the beautiful flowers – stuff them, as Dominic Chapman does here.

Panna cotta with summer berries

Shaun Hill keeps things simple with his summery panna cotta, sticking with traditional vanilla to accompany his summer fruit garnish. Shaun boils and infuses his cream and milk before setting his panna cottas, and macerates his berries in Grand Marnier before serving. Remember to pay close attention to the temperature of your cream mixture when adding the gelatine – too hot and it will hamper the gelatine’s setting properties. Remember to give your mixture a stir as it cools as well, so the panna cotta sets with all the vanilla seeds through it, stopping them sinking to the bottom.

Strawberry tart

Pascal Aussignac shows off a deft pastry touch with his stunning strawberry tart, giving the in-season strawberries an almost literal stage to show off their qualities. He starts by making a sweet almond pastry and baking a tart case, before whipping up a crème pâtissière for the base, marinating his strawberries in honey and rosé wine before building his tart. A legitimate summer showstopper to wow your barbecue guests.

Courgette, spelt and cumin fritters, courgette, parsley and cashew salad

Courgettes are available all year round in the UK, but July’s locally grown vegetables are courgettes in their true form – firm and full of flavour. Chantelle Nicholson goes all-out to show them off with her dish, not only making delicious courgette and cumin fritters, but also accompanying with a fresh courgette salad. If you don’t have blini pans for the fritters, feel free to use metal rings, or just freeform them for something a bit more rustic.

Honey-roasted radishes with chickpeas and herbs

Slaving away in the kitchen whilst a rare half hour of sun graces your garden isn’t a particularly appealing prospect, but Anna Jones’ summery salad is a fuss-free affair that ensures you can enjoy those rays whilst still eating well. Roasting radishes transforms their texture and flavour; the typical crunch softens into something more tender, and the peppery heat mellows into sweetness. Roast them alongside some new potatoes and chickpeas, then tumble with some feta and a tangy dressing to finish.

'Insurrection' – beetroot, blackcurrant and honey cocktail

Adam Handling’s restaurants are famous for their wonderful dishes, but also for a fantastic repertoire of ingenious and experimental cocktails. This one, inspired by his iconic dish ‘Beetroot, Beetroot and more Beetroot’ makes use of two newly-in-season ingredients – beetroot and blackcurrants, with the former being infused into rum and and the latter coming in the form of cassis. Once you’ve infused your rum and prepared a honey syrup, it’s a simple case of carefully measuring the meticulous ratio of ingredients and giving them a good shake.

Strawberry trifle