When the sun is shining and temperatures are rising, we often can’t really be bothered to think about cooking. We want something fresh, something vibrant, something tasty, but most of all something easy that can be made in a whim.
Search no more, my fellow foodies!
These dishes will convert even the laziest cook (yeah, you there!) and will inspire him to cook something far more exciting than the typical barbecued sausage and a drab boring salad.
Oriental Chickpea and carrot patties with cottage cheese tzatziki
These little patties are the cutest and tastiest burgers you’ll have ever eaten, I promise! They are easy and packed full of flavour and are the most wonderful meat-free alternative for the bland greasy sausages most people tend to resort to when they’re holding a barbecue. Serve them with some pita or flat bread, with pasta or the delish couscous salad below.
Ingredients (makes 5 small patties)
For the patties
• 200gr canned chickpeas
• 1 medium size carrot
• 1 spring onion
• 1 egg
• 2 tbsp plain flour
• Fresh parsley
• Zest of half a lime
• ½ tsp cumin
For the cottage cheese tzatziki
• 50gr grated cucumber
• 150gr cottage cheese
• Zest of half a lime
• ½ tsp ground cumin
1. Put all the ingredients for the patties in a blender and mix until you get a firm paste.
2. Using the palm of your hands, form little patties from the batter (the batter will be a bit sticky and hard to work with but the patties will firm up once they’re being fried )
3. Fry the patties in some olive oil for 3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Put the patties in an oven-proof dish and bake in a preheated oven at 220°C for another 5 minutes.
4. Put the ingredients for the tzatziki together in a bowl and stir until combined. Season with salt and lots of black pepper.
Couscous and carrot salad with honey-harissa dressing
I absolutely love a good couscous salad in the summer, because:
a) It always looks really pretty
b) It is incredibly versatile (basically, you can throw in anything you like and it will always turn out great!)
c) It is -above all- a huge flavour bomb
This couscous salad is healthy and contains lots of vitamins thanks to the carrots, spring onion, raisins, chickpeas, … Moreover, the honey-harissa dressing is a match made in Middle-Eastern Heaven! It is sweet, it is hot, it is everything you’ve ever wanted and more! This couscous salad is ideal for a summer barbecue (again, try to avoid the typical meat overdose and opt for home-made vegetarian burgers or lovely paneer skewers!) or a traditional tagine.
• 325gr couscous
• 4dl vegetable stock
• 5 medium size carrots, grated
• 5 spring onions, finely chopped
• Handful of raisins
• 200gr canned chickpeas
• 1 tsp dried falafel herbs
For the honey-harissa dressing:
• 2 tbsp runny honey
• Juice of half a lime
• ½ tsp harissa
• ½ tsp sesame oil
1. Put the couscous in a large dish and pour over 4dl of boiling vegetable stock. Let it sit for a couple of minutes until the couscous has absorbed all the liquid.
2. Add the carrots, spring onions, raisins and chickpeas. Season with salt, pepper and dried falafel herbs.
3. For the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients and pour the dressing over the couscous salad and mix well.
Orzo with a creamy red pepper harissa, feta cheese and chorizo
This orzo pasta recipe was made in under 30 minutes and the flavours blend so beautifully together! The spicy chorizo and the heat of the harissa form an enthralling and breathtaking mix with the sweet grilled peppers and the salty-tangy feta cheese. Top it all off with some Mediterranean vegetables, peppery rocket salad and fragrant falafels, settle in your huge armchair and enjoy that wonderful heat of the sun and the refreshing summer’s breeze…
Ingredients (serves 4-5)
• 500gr orzo pasta
• 1 courgette, cut into large chunks
• 2 red peppers
• 4 celery sticks, cut into 2cm chunks
• 3 shallots
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 1 tsp harissa
• 2tbsp tomato puree
• Fresh thyme
• 1tsp ground cumin
• Pinch of smoked paprika
• ½ tsp ground coriander
• 200gr chorizo, cut into small cubes
• 100ml soy cream
1. Put the peppers under a hot grill until their skin turns black. Peal of the black skin and put the peppers in a food processor along with 2 shallots, the cloves of garlic, harissa, tomato puree, cumin, smoked paprika, coriander and the soy cream. Mix until you get a lovely paste.
2. Cook the orzo according to the instructions on the package.
3. Fry the remaining shallot, celery and courgette in some olive oil and add the fresh thyme leaves.
4. When the vegetables are al dente, add the chorizo and the cooked orzo. Stir in the red pepper harissa and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Crumble some feta cheese on top of your beautiful orzo dish and finish with some rocket leaves.