Summer eatin’

What does Summer mean to you? For me, it means stinking hot, balmy days, burning sand between the toes, swimming, moonlight cinema, music festivals, thunderstorms and loads
of amazing fruit.

Look at these dark cherries! So huge and sweet. Despite the cooler than usual weather, it makes me feel that Summer has finally arrived.

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Here’s a salad using cherries that I love.

Pip 200 grams of fresh cherries, making sure to keep any resulting juices. Toast 100 grams of hazelnuts in a moderate oven until fragrant (about 5 minutes! Watch them so they don’t burn) then remove their skins by rubbing in a clean teatowel before setting aside to cool.

Thinly slice 4 small zucchinis (aka courgettes) or two large ones and place in a large bowl. Pick the leaves off a small bunch of flat leaf parsley and add to the zucchini. Now slide in your prepared cherries, leaving the juice to help flavour the simple dressing.

Mix any reserved cherry juice with two tablespoons of olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Whisk to combine and then pour over salad. Toss so all ingredients are just coated.

Sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts and serve.

This goes great with game meats, as a salad at a barbecue or a light side for a simple roast.

For a vegetarian main, add some baby spinach and grilled haloumi for a more substantial meal. I also like it with some cooked and cooled baby potatoes. Make sure you slice them in half so they’re seasoned with the dressing.

Feeds: 4 moderately hungry people as a side.

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