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Roasted summer vegetables

Roasted vegetables are great as a light lunch or dinner. Try roasted asparagus with basil and sea salt pesto, baby artichokes with feta dip and round courgettes with cherry tomato sauce.

Surely, they would be even greater, if grilled and consumed in a garden, by the lake or in a park. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. For instance, one might not have a garden, a lake or a grill. Unexpected rain can also disrupt an al fresco dinner. Another reason could be a group of wasps.

It was during my sailing holidays in Croatia. I have spend the entire day gutting fish, squid and octopus that I'd bought on a market, geatting ready for a BBQ evening. When we'd finally managed to find a picturesque little bay and tie up the boat, we realised there were countless wasps coming to our yacht and we had to run away. We ended up staying in a marina where barbecueing was not permitted and I had to make the squid and octopus in the oven.

What lesson can be learned from this story? Probably the fact that anything that you might want to barbecue, you can also make in the oven. It doesn't always work the other way around, but in this case it does - I have prepare these recipes for the oven, but you can make the vegetables on the grill too.

Recipe: Roasted asparagus with basil and sea salt pesto

Serves: 4
  • a bunch asparagus
  • one tsp. olive oil

Recipe: Basil and sea salt pesto

  • one cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Blend basil with olive oil.
  • Add salt, combine.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Trim asparagus' ends. Coat asparagus with olive oil.
  • Roast at 180C for about 20 minutes.
  • Serve with pesto.

Recipe: Roasted artichokes with sizzling feta dip

Serves: 4
  • 4-6 baby artichokes
  • one tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • one tsp lemon zest

Recipe: Sizzling feta dip

  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Prepare a bowl with cold water with lemon juice. To prevent artichokes from discoloration, keep the cut ones in the bow before you're ready to roast them.
  • Cut the stalks off the artichoke. Pull off the tough leaves. Cut the artichoke in half. Spoon out the inner leaves and the fuzzy choke. Very young artichokes might not have the choke.
  • Combine oil and lemon juice, coast artichokes with the mixture. Place them in a baking dish and top with lemon zest.
  • Roast at 200C for aboit 25 mintes.
  • Combine feta with oil and lemon juice.
  • Place in a ramekin and bake with the artichokes for 20 minutes.

Recipe: Roasted round courgettes with roasted tomatoes sauce

Serves: 4
  • 4 round courgettes
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • tsp olive oil

Recipe: Roasted tomatoes sauce

  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • tsp brown sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • Cut the tomatoes in halves and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and sugar.
  • Roast at 150C for about 45 minutes.
  • Cool down and blend.
  • Cut the courgettes in halves and coat with oil. Place them in a baking dish and top with chili flakes.
  • Roast at 200C for about 35 minut.
  • Serve with tomato sauce.

Broad beans and asparagus salad

This asparagus and broad beans salad is extremely easy, takes very little time to prepare, but still is a truly satisfying Spring meal. It’s green, crispy and delicious. Makes a great quick lunch or a perfect addition to your picnic basket.

Recipe: Asparagus and broad beans salad

Serves: 2
  • a bunch green asparagus
  • 1/2 cup broad beans, shelled and cooked, skins removed

Recipe: Lemon dressing with chili flakes

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • Cut off the asparagus tips, cook them in boiling water with one tbsp of sugar for 3 minutes.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, hinly slice the asparagus lengthwise into strips. Cook them for 30 seconds.
  • Whisk the ingredients of the dressing together.
  • Combine broad beans and asparagus with the dressing.

summer bbq

A barbecue doesn't have to be limited to burgers and beers. Not that I have anything against burgers, let alone beer.

This is a menu for a simple, yet creative BBQ dinner. All the recipes are easy and quick, which gives you plenty of time to chat with your guests. You can substitute flounder with other fish. Add some grilled summer squash, thick slices of raspberry tomato with freshly chopped chives, a crispy baguette and a bottle of crisp white wine. Unless you really cannot imagine a barbie without beer.

Recipe: Grilled flounder

Serves: 2
  • 2 flounders, washed and cleaned
  • juice of one lemon
  • one tsp. of sea salt
  • one tsp. of freshly ground pepper
  • Sprinkle flounders with lemon juice and rub with salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate for at least half an hour.
  • Grill for about 7-8 each side.

Recipe: Purple turnip fries

Serves: 2
  • one purple turnip
  • one tbsp. of olive oil
  • a pinch of coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of freshly ground pepper
  • Peel the turnip and cut it into wedges
  • Transfer them to a baking dish, sprinkle with oil, season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes.

Recipe: Turnip greens dip

Serves: 2
  • greens of one turnip
  • 1/2 cup of Greek yoghurt
  • one garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chop the turnip greens.
  • Combine with yoghurt and garlic, season with salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Recipe: Grilled asparagus

Serves: 2
  • 1/2 bunch of white asparagus
  • a few slices of Parma ham
  • one tbsp. of olive oil
  • Remove tough ends of asparagus. Peel them.
  • Grease the asparagus with olive oil. Wrap 1/2 slice of ham around each asparagus.
  • Grill for about 15 minutes, turning every now and then. The ham must be browned and the asparagus crispy.

white asparagus and poached egg

The easiest solutions are often the best.

Sometimes all you have to do is to poach an egg .

Watching the runny yolk coat white asparagus puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Recipe: White asparagus with poached egg

Serves: 2
  • one bunch of white asparagus
  • one tsp. of sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • Peel the asparagus. Break off the tough ends.
  • Bring water to boil, add salt and sugar, cook the asparagus for 12-15 minutes.

Recipe: Poached eggs

  • 2 organic eggs
  • a pinch o salt
  • one tsp. of white wine vinegar
  • Bring water to boil, add vinegar. Crack each egg to a shallow bowl. Stir boiling water to create a whirl.
  • Carefully drop the egg into th center of the whirpool. Cover the pot, remove from heat and let it poach for 3 minutes.
  • Place asparagus on a plate, top with poached eggs.
  • Season with freshly ground black pepper.

roasted asparagus with Hollandaise sauce

For me, the asparagus season is one of the most most beautiful, but also the most stressful times of the year. Between mid-April and the end of June, when asparagus is in season in Poland, a day without at least one asparagus meal is a day wasted.

I'm not sure if I would admire asparagus as ardently if it was easily available all year round.

I appreciate its subtle taste and delightful firmness, but it is the fact that it is here today and gone tomorrow that makes me madly in love.

Recipe: Roasted asparagus with Hollandaise sauce

Serves: 2
  • Put roasted asparagus on plates and top with sauce..

Recipe: Roasted asparagus

  • a bunch of green asparagus
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • a few thin lemon slices
  • one tsp. of olive oil
  • Break off the tough ends of asparagus.
  • Place them in an oiled baking dish, drizzle with lemon juice, top with lemon slices.
  • Roast at 180 C for about 15 minutes.

Recipe: Hollandaise sauce

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 g of butter
  • juice of one lemon
  • a pinch of salt and white pepper
  • Beat the yolks with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Melt butter in a skillet and gradually add to beaten yolks, mixing continuously.
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