A Huge thanks to Simon Ward, Head-Chef and owner of Hammer & Tong
www.hammerandtong.com.au for this wonderful list of Summer Food Must Haves. Summer is the time to celebrate your food – everything is greener, more vibrant and bursting with flavour. Here are his tips for summer food must-haves; the simple summer pleasures that you cannot live without!
Gazpacho – A chilled summer soup is the perfect dish to enjoy on a hot day. It is healthy, easy to make and is a fabulous lunch alternative to sandwiches and salads.
Homemade Yoghurt Sorbet – Another summer favourite that will please the whole family! Yoghurt sorbet is delicious, you can add any fruit puree to make it even more enticing for the kids.
Jerk Chicken – Big and in trend with Melbourne cafes right now! A Jamaican spice rub that consists of; allspice, dried peppers, cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, and salt. Great with rice and green beans.
Avocado Smoothie – Avocado you either love it or hate it. I love it in a blender with crushed ice, condensed milk and a dash of lemon juice. So good.
Orange Iced Tea – Mix weak black tea with ice, mint and fresh orange slices to create a really refreshing summer beverage.
Flame grilled corn with lime, paprika and grated mozzarella – Grill fresh corn on the cob over an open fire, and once cooked through add mozzarella and lightly season with lime, paprika and salt. Corn on the cob is extremely low in calories and tastes fantastic, so reduce the use of butter and oils to keep your fat intake low.
BBQ – Is it just me or does everything taste better on a BBQ during summer? A delicious pork roast on the BBQ with a side of roast vegetables and garlic infused oil is definitely a family favourite!
Tomato Salsa – Tomatoes are in season during Summer, so take advantage of the endless varieties and flavours available to you by making your own salsa. Perfect with baked tortilla chips, on bruschetta or served with Salmon or Chicken.
Mango – Served as is, there really isn’t anything better.
Stuffed Zucchinis – Mix goats cheese, chives and fresh salmon together to create the perfect stuffing for zucchinis.
Charred Spring Onion – Again using your bbq or a hot pan, throw on whole cleaned spring onion. Keep turning it till it gets a nice dark colour. It taste delicious with light sour cream.
Blueberry Smoothie – Mix a punnet of blueberries, a scoop of low-fat vanilla ice cream, ice, honey and low fat milk into a blender to make a delicious summer snack.
Green Salad – A light, fresh salad is perfect in summer. Stick to classic greens – a mix of green leaves such a cos, spinach, rocket and some bitter leaves to add character, then mix in fresh peas, fresh green capsicum, spring onions, green cherry tomatoes, green olives and top with grilled haloumi to add a bit of bite. You’ll be surprised at how great this simple summer treat will taste!
Grains in Salad – Take your salad to another dimension; add cooked grains such as barley, quinoa, freekah or buckwheat. It with fill you up quicker and at the same time you still be happy with yourself because you’re eating healthy.
Grilled Prawns – Personally, I don’t think anyone can go past a deliciously marinated and grilled prawn in the warmer months. Choose a marinade that is fresh and not too heavy so not to mask the delicate flavour of the prawn; think a nice glaze of lime, garlic and basil or lemon, pepper and chives.
Fruit Juices – Get creative! Juice all of your summer favourites to find a blend that you like the best! Personally, I love ginger, carrot, pineapple and orange.
Green Beans – Jazz up traditional blanched green beans by adding flaked almonds, butter, garlic and shallots.