Penne with Walnuts, Gorgonzola and Sage

Pasta is that comforting dish that is generally easy to make and forms a perfect Friday Night or quick weekend meal. It takes 10 or 11 minutes to cook the pasta, and the creamy accompaniments are ready to be tossed with it. Perfect! It is also good for when a friend pops in unexpectedly at lunch time.

It is mildly flavoured and goes really well with a green salad, herb salad or just some bitter leaves of Belgian endive or rocket.

Similar recipes include Penne with Ricotta and Broad Beans, Rocket Salad with Penne and Parmesan, and Pasta Salad with Artichoke Hearts.

Browse all of our Pasta dishes, and all of our Penne recipes. Our Italian dishes are here. Or browse all of our Early Summer recipes.

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Mint Sambol

Mint Sambol is a Sri Lankan recipe akin to Pachadis or Thogayals of South India. It takes mint leaves, onion, garlic and chilli and grinds them with sultanas and coconut for sweetness, and lime juice for tang. It is a great accompaniment to rice or any Indian or Sri Lankan spicy dish.

I have blended this to a smooth paste, but you can also grind it to a more chunky mixture. That is also very nice.

Similar recipes include Spinach Thogayal, Carrot Sambol, and Andhra Spinach Pachadi.

Browse all of our Sambol recipes and all of our Sri Lankan dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Zucchini Gratin with Roasted Tomato Sauce | Cheesy Baked Zucchini

Summer and Autumn are the seasons of zucchini abundance, and we have some terrific recipes for dealing with the glut. This is another one – it comes from the now-defunct Lucullian Delights blog. Ilva’s recipes were so good – Italian, simple, delicious. Just my style. She as always very generous in sharing her food and recipes. You will love this one.

If you have been following this blog for a while you will know that I adore Gratin dishes and also stuffed vegetables, and this dish fits both criteria. A cheesy stuffing is made and the zucchini are baked. I also made a Roasted Tomato Sauce to go with it – you can use this recipe, but bake at a higher temperature, or begin early and put the zucchini in with the roasting tomatoes when the timing is right. I added a little bit of sugar after pureeing as it is Autumn and the tomatoes are not as sweet as in mid Summer. I love the spice kick from the chilli (but you can leave it out if you are not a fan of spicy heat).

Similar recipes include Potato Gratin with Cream, Sweet Potato Gratin, and Cheesy Baked Aubergines.

Browse all of our Zucchini dishes and our Gratins. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Strawberry and Black Pepper Icecream | Eggless

Long before I came vegetarian I loved to make icecream. I was pretty famous in our little group for my vanilla icecream, and an orange and cardamom icecream. I loved to make them in Summer. Then I became vegetarian and my take on vegetarianism does not include eggs. So I stopped making icecream. I could have continued to make sorbets, which we all love too, and shift over to eggless icecreams, but I didn’t have the heart. I was so attached to the icecreams that I used to make and how much my friends loved them.

Today (as I write this) for the first time in all those years, the icecream machine has come out of the cupboard again, and the blender has whizzed some strawberries into submission, to make what must be the best icecream I have made in decades! Hahaha.

Similar recipes include Creme Fraiche Icecream, Strawberry Frappe, Strawberries with Lemon, Strawberry and Peach Lassi with Basil, and Strawberry Jam.

Browse all of our Icecreams, all of our Strawberry recipes, and all of our Desserts. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Green Bean Salad | Insalata di Fagiolini

Equally good hot or cold, this Green Bean Salad is sure to become a favourite. Simple and easy (very much my kind of food), the beans are steamed and then mixed with mint, garlic and lemon. Take it straight to the table for an instant salad, entree/starter or snack. With some crusty bread, it can even become a light lunch.

Similar dishes include Green Beans with Tomatoes, Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini, Glorious Five Bean Salad, and Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal.

Browse all of our Green Bean dishes and all of our Italian recipes. Our Salads are here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Seasonal Cooking | Simple Beautiful Summer Salads

Sometimes we forget that simplest is bestest.

Elizabeth David is the best source of simple but utterly delicious salads. I love to read her books, and today I have taken the liberty of reproducing some of her beautiful salads.

Similar posts include 30 Great Salads for Early Summer.

Browse all of our Salad recipes and all of our Early Summer dishes.

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EARLY SUMMER – Don’t Miss these Stunning INDIAN Dishes for Early Summer | SEASONAL COOKING COLLECTION

We always need spice and heat, right? As the weather warms and the days are gloriously long, spice adds to the brightness of our days. Enjoy these highlights from our Early Summer Indian recipes.

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EARLY SUMMER – Don’t Miss these Summery dishes | Seasonal Cooking

Coats and jackets are put away and anticipation is high for the warming weather. The capriciousness of Spring is steadying. The weather is beautiful, and food becomes lighter, as though our body is shedding its layers too. Thoughts turn to the bountiful Summer harvest.  Enjoy these highlights from our Early Summer classic recipes.

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Lemongrass Chai

Lemongrass grows freely in my garden, as it does in India, and it is used to add fragrance and that beautiful lemon flavour to salads, rice and S.E. Asian dishes. But in India its use in cooking is limited despite its availability. It features mainly in drinks and soups, such as this fragrant tomato soup.

Here it is used in a simple but elegant chai – a lemon grass bulb and an Indian tea bag or loose leaf tea. Jaggery or rock sugar is used to sweeten the tea, and it can be taken with or without milk. It is a wonderfully refreshing tea on a warm Summer afternoon or evening. I encourage you to try it.

You might like to read How to Make Chai, and our 20 Chai Recipes.

Similar recipes include Fiona’s Beautiful ChaiTim’s Chai, and Tulsi and Mint Chai.

Browse all of our Chai recipes and all of our Indian drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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My Favourite Grilled Asparagus | Simple Food is BACK!

Simple recipes are now the fashion, thank goodness. I grabbed Nigel Slater’s Greenfeast from the library just after it was released – I never buy a book these days without a good look at it first. I was surprised by the book, perhaps initially a little disappointed.

First of all, its dimensions are small for a cookbook, especially one that is to be used regularly in the kitchen. But it is also quite thick and bound in such a way that the book will not open flat. To cook from it I would need to put my heavy mortar on the edge of one page and the pestle on the edge of the other.

And then to the content – I was surprised at how everyday and simple the recipes are. My initial comment on social media was that it is a book to give Simple, by Ottolenghi, a run for its money. Few exotic ingredients, recipes that suit time-hungry but foodie professionals. Recipes without 6 or 7 or 8 different processes. But, well, also without excitement.

24 hours later I realised that the lack of excitement, the everydayness of the recipes is the genius of this book. It is a cookbook that thumbs its nose at all of the chefy cookbooks we have been drooling over for the past decade. It thumbs its nose at the hours we spent searching down new ingredients that in cities like Adelaide have not and never will make it into the mainstream. It thumbs its nose to those of us who like to think we know 1 or 2 things about food – but have forgotten how to cook simply.

Nigel’s recipes are always unapologetically British, but the first of the Greenfeast 2-Volume set focuses on stunning fresh-from-the-garden ingredients arranged with love on a plate to produce Summery yet nourishing dishes. It is a book that you want to cook through from start to finish for easy, satisfying, home cooked meals. Thanks Nigel.

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