Summer Recipes

Baby Roast Potato Salad


  • 2 lb (900g) baby potatoes
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • Sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 8oz (225g) streaky bacon (optional) cut into strips
  • 4 spring onions sliced
  • 5fl oz (150ml) sour cream


  • Set oven at 200C / 400F / Gas 7
  • Blanch potatoes in boiling water for 5 mins & drain
  • Heat oil in roasting tin
  • Add potatoes & rosemary & roast for 20 mins
  • Fry bacon in heavy-based frying pan till crispy
  • Add spring onions & fry for 30 secs
  • Drain oil from potatoes and sprinkle bacon & onions over them
  • Pour sour cream on top season to taste with salt and pepper & serve hot or cold.

Runner Beans with tomatoes & cheese

Very easy, like all recipes it's never the same amounts!  I often find I need more toms so usually throw in the split ones also, so the result is wetter and great with bread to soak up juices. 

If you have winter savory that is good as one of the herbs

Serves 2 as a supper or 4 as a side dish.


  • 1lb Runner beans
  • 1tbsp tom puree
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1tsp oregano and parsley or to taste
  • 1 onion
  • 2 oz grated cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the onion and garlic (both finely chopped) until soft
  2. Chop the tomatoes and add to pan with tom puree.   Season and add chopped herbs.
  3. Simmer for about 20mins
  4. Cook the sliced runner  beans until tender
  5. Drain and arrange in a buttered oven proof dish
  6. Pour over the tomato sauce and top with mixture of cheese and breadcrumbs
  7. Bake in oven at 375/190 for 20min until brown

Runner Bean Chutney


  • 2lb prepared runner beans
  • 5 large onions
  • 1½lb Demerara Sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon of each - turmeric, cornflour, dry English mustard
  • 1½pt vinegar


Either - cut beans and onions roughly (if to be minced after cooking)

Or      - cut precisely if required for chunky finish

Boil beans and onions together until tender

Strain well (put through mincer now if required)

Put in pan - add only 1¼pt vinegar and the sugar - cook for 1¼hours

Meantime - add the dry ingredients to the ¼pt vinegar left and blend

Add to pan and cook for further ¼hour


*Interesting twist - if snowed under with tomatoes, mince/liquidise 2lb to create a puree and also add during the last ¼hour

As it all thickens, it can 'spit' a bit, so have a lid ready to control mess in the kitchen!

Christine Marshall  

Summer Chicken Fricassée with Young Vegetables

Locally sourced chicken and vegetables make a delicious summer lunch or supper dish. For four portions you will need:

  • 4 chicken breasts or a mix of thighs and drumsticks
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 50g butter
  • 25g flour
  • ½ litre chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoonfuls double cream or crème fraiche, lemon juice

Cut the chicken into large chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a casserole, add the chicken pieces, and cook gently for a couple of minutes. Add the flour, stirring well, and then the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently until the chicken is tender, about 30 - 40 minutes.  Finish the fricassé with the cream or crème fraiche and a squeeze of lemon.

Serve with carrots, mange tout, thinly sliced steamed fennel and new potatoes, or couscous -bon appétit.

Paul Cleave  

Courgette and Herb Pâté


  • ½kg Courgettes
  • ½tblsp salt
  • 25gm butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml double cream
  • 1 tblsp of each - fresh chervil/chives, parsley, mint and tarragon
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Veg oil for greasing


  1. Coarsely grate the courgettes, put in colander and add salt - 1 hour  to drain excess liquid
  2. Rinse courgettes under cold running water, strain and pat dry with cloth
  3. Melt butter in pan, add courgettes and 'sweat' for approx 10mins - not brown. Leave to cool
  4. Heat oven to 180̊C/350F/Gas4
  5. Line a 1ltr loaf tin (or similar sized container) with greaseproof paper then grease paper
  6. Put eggs in a bowl with cream and whisk very slightly to blend together. Add courgette/butter and all chopped herbs. Stir well and season with cayenne and black pepper
  7. Pour into prepared tin.  Place in a bain marie (roasting tin with cold water) sufficient to come up to half way on pâté tin. Lay a piece of tin foil over the top of the pâté tin to prevent browning
  8. Bake in oven for 1 - 1½ hours - the pâté should be just firm to touch but not allowed to go too solid
  9. Cool and refrigerate until turning it out.
  10. Serve on a bed of salad of choice, scatter a few mixed herbs on top.  Good with hot bread

Courgette & Lentil Soup

I ended up with quite a glut of courgettes last year and this was the best recipe I came across for using them up. This makes courgette and lentil soup, with only half the water it makes courgette and lentil dhal which is quite scrummy. You can get away with more courgettes than it says as they just blend into the dhal.


  • 450g/1lb/2 1/2 cups red lentils, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes
  • 2litres / 3 1/2 pts 8 1/2 cups water
  • 2.5ml/1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1.5ml/1/4 tsp chili powder
  • salt
  • 45ml/3 tbsp oil
  • 1.5ml/1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1cm/1/2 in ginger root, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 900g/2 lb courgettes, sliced
  • 15ml/1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


  1. Boil the lentils in the water with the turmeric, chili powder and salt for about 20 minutes until tender. 
  2. Heat the oil and fry the cumin seeds until golden. 
  3. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and fry until browned. 
  4. Add the tomato and fry for 2 minutes. 
  5. Pour over the lentils, stir well cover and simmer for 5 minutes. 
  6. Stir in the courgettes and cook for a further 5 minutes. 
  7. Garnish with coriander and serve hot as a soup or with chapatis or plain rice
Jo at Catspaw Authentic Entertainment  

Courgette & Tomato Gratin

Serves: 2 


  • 4 medium courgettes, sliced in rounds but not peeled
  • 4 large tomatoes, sliced  
  • 1 mozarella ball, thinly sliced
  • 40 - 50g grated parmesan or breadcrumbs - see below
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil or oregano, torn or chopped (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.  In a shallow, oven proof dish, arrange the slices of courgette, tomato and mozarella alternately (standing almost upright) in a sort of concentric pattern or whatever takes your fancy.

Sprinkle with garlic and basil/oregano and season to taste.  Sprinkle the top with parmesan (you could use breadcrumbs fried in olive oil instead) and drizzle well with olive oil over the whole dish.  

Bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and golden brown on top. Serve with some bread to soak up the lovely juices.  If there's any left over, it reheats nicely for lunch the next day.


Courgette Relish

I made this for the first time last year as the friends who gave me the recipe raved over it. It is delicious and keeps well.


  • 1.5kg unpeeled courgettes shredded
  • 250g onions finely chopped
  • 5tbsp salt 625ml cider vinegar
  • 1kg caster sugar
  • 1tbsp grated nutmeg
  • 1tbsp dry mustard
  • 1tbsp turmeric
  • 1tbsp corn flour
  • 1/8tsp cayenne
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped


  1. Combine the courgette and onions in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt and leave to stand overnight. 
  2. Drain the juices that have collected in the bowl, then rinse the vegetables in cold water and drain once more. 
  3. In a large pot combine the courgette and onion with the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil, stirring. 
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 40min until the mixture has reduced and thickened. 
  5. Sterilize six jars of 500ml capacity and spoon the relish into them while hot. 
  6. Cap and seal tightly.
Lin Stapleton  

Elderflower Cordial


  • 20 heads of elderflower
  • 1.8kg granulated sugar, or caster sugar
  • 1.2 litres water
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 75g citric acid


  1. Shake the elderflowers to expel any lingering insects, and then place in a large bowl.
  2. Put the sugar into a pan with the water and bring up to the boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  3. While the sugar syrup is heating, pare the zest of the lemons off in wide strips and toss into the bowl with the elderflowers. Slice the lemons, discard the ends, and add the slices to the bowl. Pour over the boiling syrup, and then stir in the citric acid. Cover with a cloth and then leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
  4. Next day, strain the cordial through a sieve lined with muslin (or a new j-cloth rinsed out in boiling water), and pour into thoroughly cleaned glass or plastic bottles. Screw on the lids and pop into the cupboard ready to use.

Eton Mess

Preparation time: 5-10 mins

Cooking time: 2 hours

Serves: 6


  • 500g strawberries
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 350ml double cream, lightly whipped 

for the meringue

  • 2 medium egg whites
  • 100g caster sugar


  1. Meringue - put egg whites into a clean bowl and whisk until they hold soft peaks. Add half the sugar and whisk. Add the rest of the sugar and whisk again until the mixture is so thick you can turn the bowl upside down without anything sliding out!
  2. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Put dessertspoonfuls of meringue on the sheet. Cook in oven preheated to 120°C/Gas Mark ½.  for 2 hours, until the meringues are completely dry and crisp on the outside and can be lifted off the paper easily. Leave to cool.
  3. Chop the strawberries. Put in a large bowl with the sugar. Crush a few of the berries so the juices start to run. Cover and leave in the fridge for an hour or two.
  4. Break the meringues into rough pieces, then fold into the whipped cream. Lightly fold in the chilled fruit. Pile into glasses and serve. Make no more than an hour or so in advance

Gooseberry Fool

Preparation time: less than 30 mins

Cooking time: no cooking required


  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 handfuls red gooseberries
  • 300ml/10½fl oz double cream
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 1 tbsp white wine
  • 35g/1½oz hazelnuts, toasted
  • mint leaves, to garnish


  1. To make the fool, in a blender mix the caster sugar and gooseberries for one minute until thick and pulpy.
  2. Whip the double cream and add the lemon juice and white wine. Place half the gooseberry mixture into the cream and gently stir through.
  3. Spoon half the remaining gooseberry mixture into a tall glass. Next spoon some of the gooseberry cream mixture on top.
  4. Finish with the remaining gooseberry mixture.
  5. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts.
  6. Garnish with the mint and serve.

Lettuce Soup

Cooking time: 25 minutes


  • 1 large lettuce  - approx. 1lb (500g)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pint (600ml.) white stock (chicken or vegetable stock)
  • Nutmeg and sugar
  • 2 oz (50g) butter or margarine
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 pint (600 ml.) milk
  • 1 oz (25g) flour
  • Garnish - grated cheese


Separate the lettuce leaves and wash then thoroughly. Blanch for 5 minutes in boiling lightly salted water, then drain and refresh in cold water. Shred the leaves and put them in a pan, together with the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, grated nutmeg and sugar.

Blend the soup in a liquidiser or rub it through a sieve to make a pureѐ. Melt the butter or margarine in a pan and cook the finely chopped onion for about 5 minutes or until, soft but not browned. Stir in the flour and let it cook for a few minutes before gradually adding the milk. Blend in the lettuce pureѐ and heat the soup through, adjusting seasoning to taste if needed.

Pour into bowls and offer a bowl of grated cheese to sprinkle on.


For a more substantial soup, boiled rice can be added after the lettuce puree. To make it for a special occasion enrich the soup by adding a few table spoons of cream to the hot but not boiling soup.


Braised Lettuce

Good with grilled or roast meat.

Cooking time: 50 minutes


  • 2 large cabbage lettuces (solid lettuces e.g. butternut or iceberg type)
  • 1 oz (25g ) butter or margarine
  • 2oz (50g) streaky bacon rashers
  • 1 small onion
  • 1-2 carrots
  • 5 fluid oz (150ml.) chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garnish  - chopped parsley


Remove the base leaves and outer leaves of the lettuces. Cut both into quarters, wash thoroughly and blanch for 5 minutes in boiling lightly salted water. Refresh under cold running water and dry well.

Fry the chopped  bacon for 2-3 minutes in the butter or margarine. Add the chopped onion and the sliced  carrots. Fry for 5 minutes. Transfer the fried  mixture to an ovenproof dish and then add the lettuces. Pour the stock over the fried mixture and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes.

Oven temperature 180o  C (350F), Gas mark 4


Vine Leaf parcels with soft cheese & almonds

This combination of cream cheese, chopped dates and ground almonds are encased in vine leaves, wrapped in foil and cooked over the barbecue.

Serves: 4


  • 300g cream cheese
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 30g dates or sultanas
  • 30g butter
  • 30g flaked almonds
  • 12-16 vine leaves


  1. Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl to soften it.
  2. Add the ground almonds and dried fruit and mix together. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Toast the flaked almonds under the grill, set aside to cool for a few minutes
  4.  Mix the nuts with the cream cheese mixture
  5. Soak the vine leaves in water to remove some of the saltiness. If you are using fresh vine leaves then blanch in boiling water to soften them.
  6. Spoon an equal amount of cream cheese mixture on to each vine leaf. Fold over the leaves to enclose the filling.
  7. Wrap the parcels in foil, 1 or 2 per foil package. Place over the Barbecue to heat through for 8-10 minutes turning once.

Blackcurrant Ice Cream

600 ml Devon Double cream

300g Blackcurrants

150g Granulated sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Optional - 1 tablespoon brandy


Place the blackcurrants, sugar and lemon juice with 2 tablespoons of water into a saucepan, and cook gently until the fruit is soft. Allow to cool and then rub through a sieve or puree in a food processor. Whisk the double cream until just soft and light, do not over beat, and gently stir in the cold blackcurrant pulp, and brandy. Pour into a freezer container and freeze. This is good with mixed summer berries and meringues.

Paul Cleave  

Devonshire Bean Salad

Runner and French beans make a delicious salad. For four to six helpings:

400g sliced, or whole beans

200g new potatoes - cubed and boiled

200g flaked smoked mackerel, smoked trout, or cubed smoked cheddar cheese

200g halved cherry tomatoes

4 chopped hard boiled eggs.

Dressing: whisk together, 4 tablespoons organic rape seed oil, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, I teaspoon Devon honey, salt, and freshly ground pepper

Cook beans in salted water until just tender then refresh under cold water, drain well, and cut into bite sized lengths. Mix the beans with other ingredients and dressing. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and chives and serve on a bed of lettuce.

Good with crusty soda bread made with Devon stout in place of milk.

Paul Cleave  

Blackberry Muesli

Blackberry Muesli for breakfast

For four you will need, 4 tablespoons rolled oats, 1 small apple grated, lemon juice, 1 generous dessertspoon Devon honey, Natural Devon yogurt to mix and, to serve, plenty of blackberries you have picked yourself.

Mix the oats, grated apple, lemon juice and honey with natural yogurt to make a soft creamy mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve the muesli with a liberal portion of blackberries.

Paul Cleave  

Summer Pudding Recipe

A Summer Pudding reminder


Line a 6" (15 cm) pudding basin with thin slices of wholemeal bread, without crusts, keeping some for the top.


For the filling, place 1 ½ lbs (750 g) of mixed berries eg raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, black and red currants, in a saucepan with 2oz (50g) granulated sugar, and a little lemon juice. Bring to the boil, stirring gently. Add a dessertspoon of cornflour mixed to a paste with water, to thicken.


Pour the fruit into the lined basin and cover with bread, place a plate on top of the basin, and refrigerate the pudding overnight. Turn the pudding out of the basin, and serve with natural yogurt, or double cream.


Paul Cleave

Paul Cleave  

Seasonal Recipes: Pickled Cucumber

This is good with cold meat, smoked fish, and on open sandwiches.

1 ½ cucumbers

100g (4oz) thinly sliced shallots

2 tablespoons salt

½ pint white (distilled) or cider vinegar

125g (5oz) caster sugar

2 teaspoons dill seed.

Wipe the cucumbers, cut in half lengthways and slice thinly. Place in a basin with the sliced shallots. Sprinkle with the salt and leave for an hour. Rinse thoroughly in cold water, drain well and pack into preserving jars.

Place the vinegar, sugar and dill seed in a saucepan and bring to the boil stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 3 minutes and pour over the cucumber and sliced onions.

Seal immediately, label and store for 2 - 3 weeks before using.

Paul Cleave  

Lamb Burger Recipe: meat for a treat!


For 8 large, or 12 medium size burgers you will need:

1 lb (500g) minced lamb;

1 small onion finely chopped;

1 teaspoon chopped rosemary;

1 egg;

2 oz (50g) wholemeal breadcrumbs;

salt and freshly ground pepper.

Try to source the ingredients locally!

Fry the onion in a little oil until soft and allow to cool. Mix all ingredients together, divide evenly into 8 or 12 rounds and flatten. Fry or grill the lamb burgers and serve with a minted salad in burger buns.

Paul Cleave  

Recipe of the month: Summer Vegetable Ragout

Summer Vegetable Ragout [4 - 6 portions]


  • 2 tablespoons organic rapeseed or olive oil;
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped;
  • 2 cloves garlic - crushed;
  • 4 sticks celery, (8oz) 200g carrots, (8oz) 200g mushrooms, 1 red, 1 green pepper, cut into bite sized chunks;
  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes;
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika;
  • (1 pint) 500 ml vegetable stock;
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree;
  • a handful chopped sun dried tomatoes;
  • Broad beans, and later in the season, chopped runner beans or courgettes can be added as available.


Heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole and add all the cut vegetables.
Stir over a gentle heat to soften.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil.
Simmer until the vegetables are tender.
Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Sprinkle generously with chopped parsley and serve with grated cheese and crusty bread.

Paul Cleave  

Banana pancakes with blackberries, honey and crème fraiche

Prepare a thick pancake batter by mashing 1 medium sized ripe banana and adding 1 egg, 1 tablespoonful caster sugar, and 2 tablespoons of self-raising flour. Fry spoonfuls of the batter in a lightly greased frying pan until golden brown on both sides. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche and sprinkle with blackberries and drizzle with Devon honey. Great for breakfast!


Simple and delicious: uncooked strawberry compote with cream


Slice strawberries, or cut into quarters, sprinkle with a little fresh orange juice (I tablespoon to 1lb (500g) fruit) and add caster sugar to taste. Mix thoroughly and leave for an hour or two by which time the strawberries will be resting a fragrant syrup.

Serve mixed with double cream or vanilla ice cream, with shortbread on the side.

Paul Cleave


End of lockdown salad

Quickly prepared from lettuce, hardboiled eggs [sliced or chopped], halved cherry tomatoes, and sliced cucumber.

It is good with a dressing made from 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil, mustard, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon honey and 1 tablespoon cider vinegar.

Perfect with cold meat, fish or cheese, and crusty bread and ideal for a garden picnic.


This month's recipe: new potato salad

New potatoes are good as a salad.   

Boil the potatoes in salted water with mint. Drain, and when cold slice or dice.   

Add a generous helping of chopped chives and finely chopped radishes. Season with freshly ground black pepper and mix with mayonnaise and a splash of cider vinegar.   

Paul Cleave


Summer fruit compote


 Summer Fruit Compote

A delicious Danish inspired compote which is good served with yogurt or ice cream as a summer pudding.


500g (1 lb) mixed summer berries eg strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, loganberries, blackcurrants

Squeeze of lemon juice

75g (3oz) granulated sugar

! teaspoonful cornflour mixed to a thin paste with water


Place fruit, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan and gently bring to the boil, stirring frequently. Simmer for 2 - 3 minutes then stir in cornflour paste. Bring back to the boil, then remove from the heat and pour into a basin. Allow to cool and store in the fridge until needed.


Thank you to Paul Cleave for this gorgeous recipe. 

Paul Cleave