What To Cook Using 5 Seasonal Ingredients

Whether it’s a quick fig salad for an al fresco lunch or mini beetroot burgers the whole family will enjoy, this month’s in-season ingredients are full of flavour. Here, SL contributor and food writer Chloe Scott-Moncrieff shares her five favourite recipes for August…
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Vibrant and full of vitamins and minerals, beetroot continues to be top in the flavour stakes until October. Look for Avalanche beets if you’re after the crème de la crème.

Kid-Friendly Beet & Beef Burgers With Dill Salad & Guacamole

Serves

4

Total Time

45 Minutes

Ingredients

1 large or 2 small beetroots
400g of beef mines
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped,
1 tsp of fennel seeds
Salt & pepper
90g of watercress
A handful of dill, finely chopped
100g of pine nuts
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1-2 tbsp of olive oil
2 ripe avocadoes
20g of coriander, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
¼ of a red onion, finely chopped
1 chilli

Method

Step 1

To make the burgers, grate the beetroots. Combine with the beef mince, garlic, fennel seeds and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.

Step 2

Shape the mix into small, 4cm-wide patties – shape them tightly to keep them compact. Cook them on the grill, BBQ or in a frying pan for a few minutes on each side, until they’re nicely caramelised.

Step 3

For the salad, combine the watercress, dill, pine nuts, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper in a bowl.

Step 4

For the guacamole, mash 2 ripe avocados with the chopped coriander, lime juice, red onion, some chilli and a pinch of salt. Serve a portion of each per plate.
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Nectarines and peaches epitomise the very best of warm, summer days. August is when they’re at their most juicy. For the finest on offer at the supermarket, check out Natoora yellow nectarines, available at Waitrose and from Ocado.

Nectarine Salsa

Serves

4

Total Time

10 Minutes

Ingredients

4 ripe nectarines, diced
1 red onion, finely chopped
20g of coriander, chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 red chilli
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp of sugar
A pinch of salt
Juice & zest of 1 lime

Method

Step 1

Combine the onion and nectarines with the coriander, green pepper, red chilli, balsamic vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. Drizzle in the lime juice and zest.

Step 2

Serve with tacos, fish or steak.
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Marrows receive a lot of vitriol but these ungainly veg have so much to offer – including some serious low-calorie credentials that don’t compromise on flavour. Stuff them with bolognese sauce and layer with bechamel and mozzarella or, even better, try them gently spiced with a garlicky yoghurt sauce, like the recipe below.

Crispy Fennel Seed Marrow, Served With Yoghurt Sauce

Serves

2

Total Time

30 Minutes

Ingredients

½ a garlic clove, finely chopped
1 large handful of fresh mint
1 tsp of honey
Salt & pepper
Zest & juice of 1 lemon (optional)
100g of plain flour
1 tsp of fennel seeds
1 tsp of curry powder
2 eggs
1 marrow

Method

Step 1

For the yoghurt sauce, combine the garlic, fresh mint, honey with a pinch of salt and pepper. If you have a lemon at hand, include some lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice, but this is optional.

Step 2

To make the marrow fritters, put the plain flour into a bowl and mix in the fennel seeds, curry powder and a couple of generous pinches of salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs and place in a separate bowl.

Step 3

Slice 1 marrow into long thin strips, approximately 5mm wide. Dip the marrow strips into the flour and egg.

Step 4

Either on a griddle pan or a greased baking tray with a baking sheet in the oven, cook the strips. You want them to caramelise, so turn over halfway through cooking.

Step 5

Serve with the yoghurt sauce.
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Potassium, vitamins A, C, E… what more can you ask for from fruit? Blackberries are abundant in nutrients – and you’ll spot plenty of them in hedgerows from late August. Enjoy them, weather depending, until the end of September.

Easy Blackberry Cobbler

Serves

4

Total Time

1 Hour

Ingredients

120g of butter
170g of self-raising flour
100g of golden caster sugar
120ml of milk
1 egg
1 tsp of ground cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp of almond essence (optional)
250g-300g of blackberries
Pinch of white sugar

Method

Step 1

Heat oven to 200°C. You’ll also need a 20cm baking tray.

Step 2

Rub the butter together with the self-raising flour until you have small crumbs. You can do this quickly in a Nutribullet if you have one to hand.

Step 3

To make the batter, stir in the golden caster sugar, then the milk and egg. Whisk together. You can also add some ground cinnamon or almond essence, although both are optional.

Step 4

Spoon in the batter. Sprinkle in the blackberries evenly in and add a pinch of sugar if you wish. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden.

COOK’s TIP: Other additions to try include apple slices, cinnamon powder or a little ground ginger.

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Enjoy the best of figs now as they reach the peak of their honeyed flavour. Growing plump on the trees as we speak, they’ll stop fruiting in the northern hemisphere by the autumn.

20-Minute Fig, Endives, Blue Cheese & Walnuts (V)

Serves

4

Total Time

20 Minutes

Ingredients

6-8 figs
100g of walnuts
1 shallot
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Thyme (optional)
2 x endive/chicory hearts
150g of soft goat’s cheese or blue cheese

Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the figs, bottoms up, in a baking tray with the walnuts.

Step 2

Slice the shallot and combine with the mix. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and sugar and a splash of balsamic vinegar. If you’ve some thyme, sprinkle in some sprigs. Roast for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven.

Step 3

Slice the endives (otherwise known as chicory). In a large bowl, sprinkle in all the ingredients.

Step 4

Scatter over the soft goat cheese or blue cheese. Serve.

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