Despite the usual premature proclamations around the country of an end to summer weather for the year, September has arrived alongside a warm, sunny heatwave. While school and working in the office might be resuming after Covid, with this hot spell you can still pretend that you’re still happily in the middle of a summer holiday.
To help with this, we’ve caught up with some of the best chefs in London and compiled from them a short list of great recipes with a summer feel to them, from salad to dessert. So forget about the onslaught of Christmas ads that will soon be coming our way, and the “typical British summer” comments, and get cooking with these sunny delights.
Leafy Spring Salad by Eran Tibi, Head Chef & Founder of Bala Baya
Mixed leafy herbs
Sliced fresh or dried fruit you’ve hydrated
Any kind of seeds or whole spices
Dressing made from an oil (of your preference) and a citrus juice or vinegar
Pan fry your seeds a little bit. Mix all your herbs in a bowl and add those seeds. Pour a generous amount of drizzle of oil and juice.
Crumble or shave your cheese. Slice the fruit and gently toss it all together with a touch of salt.
Sashimi Salad with Matushisa Dressing by Nobu London
Freshly ground black pepper
200g fresh tuna fillet
60g assorted salad vegetables
FOR THE DRESSING:
70g finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon powdered mustard
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons grapeseed oil
4 teaspoons sesame oil
Start by making the dressing. Combine all the ingredients except the oils. When the salt is fully dissolved, add oils.
Preheat a grill or broiler. Sprinkle a little sea salt and black pepper on the tuna. Briefly sear the tuna until its surface turns white. Plunge the fillet into iced water to stop it cooking any further, then shake off the excess water.
Pour the Matsuhisa Dressing into a serving dish. Arrange the salad vegetables in the centre of the dish. Cut the tuna into slices 4-5mm thick. Roll each slice into a cylinder and place them in a petal-like pattern around the vegetables in the centre.
TOP TIP: If you can’t find or get tuna then this salad is also delicious on its own as a vegetarian dish. If you don’t have grapeseed oil, you can use a good olive oil instead. This all-purpose dressing also works with meat or spooned over chilled tofu – one of Nobu san’s favourite ways to enjoy it.
Amazonico’s Famous Guacamole by Vitelio Reyes, Executive Chef at Amazonico
2 whole ripe avocados
1/4 red onion in small dices
1 whole tomato – small dices and seeds removed
1 lime – juice only
1 small red chilli – finely chopped
Small bunch Coriander – finely chopped
Pinch of salt
Glug of olive oil
Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix together until you have a smooth paste. Serve with tortilla chips as a snack or with spiced chicken or pork as an accompaniment.
Courgette & Parmesan Pasta by Theo Randall
300g of Penne Rigate
4 courgettes ( cut into 1cm rounds)
2 medium sized white onions ( cut in to thin slices)
4 tbsp of olive oil
100g grated Parmesan cheese
2 egg yolks
8 basil leaves
Cook the onions slowly in a sauce pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil for 20 mins until soft but with no colour. Fry the courgettes in a frying pan gently for 20 mins until soft, do this at the same time in two pans if possible, to save time. Add the basil leaves to the courgettes so they absorb the flavour of the basil. Season and take off the heat but leave the courgettes in the pan.
In a pot of salted boiling water add the Penne and cook for 2 minutes less than the packet suggests. Remove the Penne from the pot with a slotted spoon and add to the frying pan with the courgettes and 2 ladles of pasta water. Place the frying pan back on the stove and add the onions and courgette to the penne. Cook for a couple of minutes.
In a bowl beat up the egg yolks and Parmesan cheese and pour into the pan with the Penne courgettes onions and basil. Toss well and add a little more pasta water so it remains really creamy. Serve in hot bowls with black pepper and a little grated Parmesan on the side.
Croissant Pudding by Apollonia Poilâne, CEO and Third Generation Baker at Poilâne
2 large eggs
½ cup packed (75g) light brown sugar
Fine sea salt
2 cups (475ml) whole milk
Six 1- 2-day-old Croissants, torn into thirds
Softened butter, for the pan
Whipped cream and raspberries, for serving (optional)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Pour in the milk and whisk until frothy.
Place the torn croissants in a large bowl and pour the egg mixture over them. Toss together and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours so the croissants absorb the liquid (or coverage with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight).
Position a rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm) loaf pan.
Transfer the croissant mixture, including any liquid, to the pan. Bake until the custard is set and the top is browned, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool slightly on a wire rack.
Cut the pudding into slices and serve warm or cold with whipped cream and fresh fruit, if you like.