As Wimbledon gets under way, in our house it’s all about serving up speedy salads and strawberries and cream!
Are you planning on watching any of the tennis over the next couple of weeks? If so, why not pop into your local Co-op before settling down in front of the TV to pick up a punnet of strawberries and a pot of cream? There are lots of fresh strawberries in store now and they’re sweet and juicy enough to be enjoyed just as they are. Or, if you fancy something sweeter than cream for a treat, serve them with a scoop of The Co-operative Truly Irresistible vanilla ice cream – I love it, but I have to hide it away or the kids polish it off!
Don’t forget that raspberries are here too – have you seen the raspberry and lemon cake in the latest issue of the magazine? It’s so easy to make and looks amazing.
We’re great believers in maximum impact for minimum effort, and this strawberry tart is a perfect example of how it’s done. There’s no baking, no fuss and yet it looks so stunning and delicious that people will think you’ve spent ages making it. It’s actually a simple assembly job, and the secret is in the combination of flavours – with lemon curd setting off the sweetness of the strawberries.
Lightly grease an 18cm loose-bottomed tin and line the base with greaseproof paper. Bash the biscuits into tiny crumbs (whizz them in a food processor or put into a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin).
Melt the margarine, add to the biscuits and mix together. Spoon into the tin and press down with the back of the spoon. Chill for at least 1 hour until hard.
Spoon the lemon curd over the base and carefully spread to cover the surface.
Hull the strawberries, cut into wedges and scatter over the lemon curd. Sprinkle mint leaves over the top, if using, and serve.
This is a great pud for the weekend and looks really impressive, but it’s surprisingly easy to make. It’s said the summer pudding was invented in the 19th century as a lighter alternative to a pastry-based dessert, and is a great British classic that makes the most of delicious seasonal fruit. It’s brilliant served with a couple of scoops of The Co-operative Truly Irresistible vanilla ice cream on top as a treat, but we also enjoy it at home with natural yogurt. Just pop into your local Co-op on the way home and pick up some fresh and frozen berries plus a loaf of white bread to add to store cupboard ingredients and you’re well on the way to making this scrummy pud.
Line a 1-litre basin with cling film. Cut a circle of bread to line the bottom of the basin. Cut each of the remaining slices into 3 strips. Arrange the slices around the basin until covered. You should have some bread left over.
Hull the strawberries and slice finely. Put all the fruit into a saucepan with the sugar, orange juice and 2 tbsp water. Heat gently for a few minutes, just to soften the fruit slightly.
While still warm, put the fruit in the basin, reserving half of the juices, and cover with the remaining bread.
Bring the cling film over the top to cover the bread. Rest a saucer on top and cover with weights – a couple of tins work well. Chill overnight.
Turn the pudding out of the basin, remove the cling film and drizzle the reserved juices over the top so that all the bread is coloured. Top with extra berries and serve with yogurt or cream.
Make the most of the warmer weather and lighter evenings to get the barbecue out and try these tasty recipes. The juicy garlicky lamb chops are ideal 'finger food' for outdoor eating and they smell amazing as they cook. And a simple honey-based marinade turns a plain pack of thighs and drummers into deliciously sticky, golden chicken pieces – which everyone will enjoy. I’m making myself hungry just thinking about them…
These boys had loads of fun making burgers – and eating them afterwards. Quick and versatile, they can be cooked in the oven, in a frying pan or on the barbecue. Homemade burgers make a great Father's Day treat for dad, if you need an excuse, but we think they’re good any day – my family love them served with salad, wedges and ketchup. Yum!
Lamb chops ingredients
Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits into the lamb chops, thinly slice the garlic and poke into the slits.
Spread 1 tsp mint jelly or mint sauce over each chop.
Cover and chill until you are ready to cook.
When you’re ready to cook, put a few rosemary stalks onto the barbecue, if you have them, and sit the chops on top of them.
Cook the lamb to your liking – the chops should only take a few minutes on each side. Serve with extra mint jelly or mint sauce.
Sweet honey chicken ingredients
Cut slits into the chicken flesh without cutting all the way through.
Mix the garlic, five spice, oil and honey in a bowl and add the chicken. Stir thoroughly and chill for 1 hour.
Cook on the barbecue for about 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, sticky and golden.
Strawberries are so versatile – they can be mixed with savoury flavours just as well as sweet. This salad is a quick and easy way of putting this to the test. The salty feta works well with the sweet berries and the mint adds a zingy, fresh taste. We’ve made it with baby spinach leaves in our version but you could also use little gem lettuce, if you like. And for the dressing, just whisk some olive oil and balsamic vinegar together – it couldn’t be easier!
If you’d like a simple dessert idea using strawberries, watch our video to see how you can make fruit jellies with any of the soft summer fruits we grow so well in Britain.
In a jug or small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Divide the spinach leaves between 4 plates. Scatter over the strawberries, mint and feta cheese.
Drizzle over the dressing and sprinkle over a little freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with fresh, crusty bread (optional).
While British strawberries are in store, it’s the perfect time to make this delicious frangipane tart. Similar to a classic Bakewell tart, it is almond based with fresh strawberries on top. It looks and tastes amazing and it’s really easy to make. When you are next in store, just pick up a punnet of British strawberries, a pack of short crust pastry (or make your own), ground almonds and almond extract and you probably have everything else you need at home in your store cupboard. We’ve made a video too, so it’s even easier. You’ll find this and many more summer ideas in the current issue of The Co-operative Food magazine, and lots of videos on The Co-operative Food YouTube channel.
For the pastry:
For the filling:
To make the pastry, put the flour into a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar to the bowl, mix in, and then add the egg yolk and 2-3 tbsp water. Use a knife to bring the mixture together into a ball. Wrap the ball of pastry in cling film and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/ fan 160°C/ Gas 4 and heat a baking tray. Grease a 25cm round fluted tart tin. Roll the pastry out and line the tin, trimming to fit. Prick the pastry base with a fork.
Cover the base with greaseproof paper and baking beans or dried pasta and bake for 10 minutes on the tray. Remove the beans and paper and bake for 5 more minutes. Once cool, spread 3 tbsp of the jam over the base.
To make the frangipane filling for the tart, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and a large spoonful of the flour and beat the mixture for another 2 minutes.
Add the remaining flour, baking powder, ground almonds and almond extract to the mixture, and carefully fold it all together until the frangipane is well mixed.
Spoon little spoonfuls of the frangipane on top of the jam so that the whole tart is covered with the mixture. Gently spread it to fill the gaps – it will also spread more as it cooks.
Cut the green tops off the strawberries and slice them in half. Gently push the berries, cut-side down, into the frangipane to form a pretty pattern.
Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes until the frangipane is cooked and light golden. Leave to cool. Melt the remaining jam in a little pan and then brush it over the berries to give them a shiny glaze.
Serve the tart with some sliced and toasted almonds sprinkled on top and some crème fraîche, if you like. Then all you need is a nice cuppa…