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7 recipes to cook in July

7 recipes to cook in July

by Great British Chefs 29 June 2018

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.


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!

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Lemon sole, oyster, smoked leeks and tarragon

Lemon sole is prized for its delicate white flesh in the UK, and July is the first month you’ll be able to get it in fishmongers, as its breeding season stretches into late June. There are few chefs in the country with the pedigree for fish cookery that Tom Brown has, and fewer still that are as young and talented as the former Nathan Outlaw protege. He grills his lemon sole for two minutes a side, and serves with some very clever accompaniments – a crispy oyster, smoked leeks, tarragon oil and a light oyster mayonnaise.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

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