What better way to spend the long weeks away from studying, than cooking up some treats to enjoy on a (hopefully) hot summer’s day?
Breakfast – Avocado and Tomato on Toast
Toast doesn’t have to be boring and only served with the classic beans or butter. The sun’s out so mix it up, try new breads, griddle it instead of using the every day toaster, and put it with nutritious, but naturally rich ingredients like avocado and tomato.
Two thick slices of bread, (I like to use something different like tiger or sourdough)
One ripe avocado
A small wedge of lemon
Sea salt and pepper to season
Two cherry tomatoes
1. Heat a griddle pan and cook the bread on it for about two minutes each side, or until it picks up char marks. If you don’t have a griddle pan, just toast it or whack it under the grill.
2. Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone. Squeeze the flesh out of the skin onto the bread and mash it with a fork and a squeeze of lemon. Season generously with salt and pepper, then thinly slice up the tomatoes and arrange on top.
Tip – Sometimes avocados ripen in the supermarket then get reduced. Check the end of aisles, you can get them for really cheap, as every student needs.
Lunch – Chilled Pepper and Lentil Soup
Rich and delicious, this soup can be eaten hot but it really comes alive when chilled, perfect for a beautiful summer’s day.
Two peppers of your choice
Half a red chilli
500ml vegetable stock.
75g of red split lentils
Few dashes of Tabasco (optional)
Roughly chop the peppers and chilli then bring them to boil with the stock. After five minutes add the lentils and then simmer for 15-20 minutes, until they are cooked and a knife slides straight through the pepper flesh. Season with salt, pepper and the Tabasco if you can handle it, then blend to a thick soup. Serve immediately or leave to cool and then pop in the fridge for a chilled summer lunch.
Lunch or Side Dish – Minted Feta Salad
When it’s blazing hot, there’s nothing fresher than a dressed salad and this one wins every time.
A handful of mixed lettuce leaves
Five cherry tomatoes
½ carrot, thinly sliced on an angle
A small wedge of cucumber, cut into thin strips
¼ red onion, sliced
65g of cubed feta cheese
1 tsp of mint sauce, mixed with ½ tsp of vinegar
This couldn’t be easier. Throw together all of the salad ingredients. Scatter over the feta cheese then drizzle with the mint dressing and toss lightly.
Dinner – Chorizo Spiked Beef Burger
This burger is great to throw on a BBQ, or under the grill and then enjoy with an ice cold beer. The best thing about chorizo is you don’t need to add any other flavours; it does all the work for you.
125g of beef mince
100g of chorizo
One crusty seeded roll
Any salad or cheese of choice to top (optional)
¼ red onion, finely chopped
Two cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
One tsp of tomato ketchup
A pinch of smoked paprika
Heat the grill, or BBQ. Take a few slices of the chorizo and put to one side for grilling whole later, and then finely chop the rest. Mix the chopped chorizo into the mince and then press to make a patty. Place on the grill and cook on one side for 6-7 minutes, then flip and cook for another 6 minutes. You might need to drain away some of the fat half way through cooking. About 5 minutes from the end, throw on the slices of chorizo to crisp.
Mix together all of the ingredients for the relish and then assemble the burger. Spoon on some relish, any salad you want, the burger, top with the grilled chorizo and you’re done.
Sweet Treat- Lager and Lime Ice Lollies
No one wants a warm dessert on a hot day, and these lollies are a great cool-down treat and also great to share at a BBQ or gathering. You can usually pick up ice lolly moulds for really cheap at bargain or pound shops.
One small lime
330ml bottle of pale lager
1 tbsp of sugar
Add the zest and juice of the lime to the lager with the sugar and mix. Pour equally into lolly moulds, and freeze overnight. It really is that simple.
Words & Photographs: Wil Law