The likes of Green Lanes and West Green Road, Tottenham Farmer’s Market and the Indoor Latin Market are a constant source of culinary inspiration.
With the colourful fruit and veg displays, fresh breads and a never-ending array of interesting ingredients, it’s possible to bring the whole world to life on your dinner table.
Here’s hoping summer lasts well into September, but just in case it doesn’t, get out the barbecue and whip up a banquet for friends and family while you can.
Load up your basket with freekeh and chia seeds at Evergreen Express and then get cooking…
Grilled nectarines and halloumi with mint pesto dressing
I love this combination of flavours but it’s the colours that really make this dish.
Slightly under-ripe nectarines, or peaches, will stand up better to being grilled. Tis the season for these stone fruits.
Halloumi, ubiquitous in these parts, is a brilliant grilled treat for veggies and meat-eaters alike.
- 3 nectarines, cut away from the stone in thirds
- 250g halloumi, sliced
For the mint pesto dressing:
- 2 handfuls of mint leaves, and more to garnish
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 10g peanuts or cashews
- Squeeze of lemon
- 2 tsp water
- 75ml olive oil
For the pesto dressing, use a food processor to blitz all the ingredients except for the oil.
Add the oil and blitz again.
The dressing should be thin enough to drizzle. Loosen with a bit more water or lemon juice if needed. Season to taste.
Brush the fruit and cheese lightly with oil and place on a hot grill pan or barbeque. They’ll need just a couple minutes each side.
Lamb burger with aquafaba garlic mayo, pickled cucumber and feta
When I first heard of making mayo with the water from tinned chickpeas, I couldn’t have been more excited.
While it’s a brilliant vegan condiment, this also works as a worry-free mayo for a barbecue. Plus I love the fact is uses something you might otherwise throw away.
Lamb, feta and cucumber is an undisputed combination. Pickling the cucumber is easy and fun.
- 1 medium cucumber, very thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 2 shallots, very thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp pickling spices
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 200ml cider vinegar
- 100g sugar
- 100 ml water
- 500g lamb mince
- 4 bread rolls
- 200g feta, cut into four
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 25ml aquafaba (chickpea water)
- 1tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 100ml rapeseed oil
Make your pickled cucumber at least four hours ahead of serving, or the day before if possible.
Place sliced cucumber and the salt in a colander and mix well.
Allow to sit for 30 minutes. In a saucepan, combine the rest of the brine ingredients (shallots, sugar, vinegar, spices, and water), boil and simmer for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Rinse the cucumber and put the slices in the brining liquid.
Allow to cool.
Store in a non-reactive container in the refrigerator.
Form four burgers and refrigerate.
For the mayo, combine garlic, chickpea water, mustard and lemon juice in a food processor bowl.
Slowly add the oil and continue blending. (Drizzle the oil while the machine is running, if possible).
If the mayo is not thick enough, continue to add oil until you get the desired consistency.
You can also throw in a few whole chickpeas at first if you are aiming for a something thicker.
Season to taste.
Season the burger patties and cook over a medium-hot barbecue (or cast iron grill pan) around four minutes each side. Serve on toasted rolls with the mayo, feta and pickles.
Harissa and garlic chicken wings
This recipe is simple and delicious.
It brings together elements of my past, having grown up in America (nod to Buffalo wings) and also having lived in Morocco ( the harissa paste) and experiencing all the wonderful deep flavours of its cuisine.
You can make your own harissa paste, but if you are looking for something quick and still yummy, a jar will do.
Moroccan food is generally not hot (spicy) but just tastefully spiced. Taste your paste and judge the heat of it and choose your hot sauce for the end carefully so you get flavour as well as heat.
- 4 cloves garlic, made into a paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 150g Greek yoghurt
- Juice of one lemon
- 100g harissa paste
- 1k free range chicken wings
- 75g butter, melted
- 2 tsp West Indian hot sauce ( to taste)
Whack the garlic cloves with the side of the knife and chop the garlic and salt together.
The salt will help break down the garlic. Drag the knife through the mixture at a 45 degree angle, smearing the garlic on the board until it forms, more or less, a paste.
Combine the paste with the yoghurt, harissa and lemon.
Coat the chicken wings well and refrigerate in a non-reactive container until ready to use, anywhere from an hour to a day.
Remove chicken from the marinade leaving behind excess.
Cook the wings on a medium barbecue, turning frequently, for 25 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Or spread on baking trays and place in a preheated oven 180C for 20 minutes.
Turn oven up to 220C and cook another 25 minutes or until brown and cooked through, turning halfway.
Toss wings with butter and hot sauce. Serve with Greek yoghurt, if desired.
Freekeh, chickpea and tomato salad with chia seed and lemon dressing
If you are lucky enough to see heritage tomatoes for sale at shops and markets in the area, don’t pass them by.
If not, this time of year we are lucky to have all sorts of great tomatoes available.
Coat them with the simple vinaigrette here that we’ve loaded up with chia seeds for a fibre kick.
Freekeh is a roasted wheat grain, heralded by some as a ‘new’ superfood, despite the fact it’s actually an ancient grain from the Middle East.
It’s nutty and delicious and full of fibre and minerals.
- 200g freekeh, cooked to packet instructions and cooled
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained
- Zest of one lemon
- Handful chopped coriander
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 300g tomatoes, baby plum, halved (or use a variety of colours of tomatoes, cut into chunks)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tbsp black chia seeds
Mix lemon juice, garlic and mustard. Whisk in oil and season to taste. Mix dressing with chia seeds and tomatoes. Spoon onto freekeh and chickpeas.
Infallible cheesecake with rosewater cream, fresh berries and pomegranate syrup
Summer is all about simple cooking, particularly when it comes to desserts.
This ‘tarta infallible de queso’ (foolproof cheesecake) comes from a cookery magazine that I picked up in Spain and I am as fond of the name as I am the cheesecake itself.
The toppings are my own invention too.
I can’t get enough of summer berries, and the rosewater and pomegranate syrup are common ingredients in local shops.
I use Cypriot ricotta, as it’s drier and crumbly. It requires a bit more cream to be added but produces a drier cheesecake, which my family has always liked.
You can use the creamier Italian ricotta if you prefer and just reduce the cream to 25ml.
- 125g melted butter
- 250g digestives
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 500g Cypriot ricotta
- 150g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp flour
- 3 eggs
- 150ml double cream (or as needed)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250ml double cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1-2 tsp rosewater (to taste)
- 200g fresh berries
- Pomegranate syrup
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Butter the sides of a spring form pan and line with baking paper.
Blitz up the digestives and butter to a fine crumb.
Grate in the nutmeg and give it another mix.
Press into the bottom of the pan and refrigerate.
Next, smash up the ricotta with a potato masher and add enough cream to make the mixture smooth.
Add the sugar and flour, mix and then add the eggs one by one, mixing before the next addition.
Now pour mixture into the pan.
Bake for 45 minutes or firm to the touch,but don’t overcook.
Cool completely and ideally refrigerate for 12 hours before serving.
Before serving, whip cream with sugar and rosewater.
Take the cheesecake from its mold, slide it onto a plate and cover the top with cream. Decorate with berries, slice and plate.
Drizzle each slice generously with pomegranate syrup and serve.
Wordsby Julie Ann Andreshak
Images by André Ainsworth
Styling by André Ainsworth, Rif Hussain & Julie Ann Andreshak