“At this time of year, I’m all over fresh summer produce, from salads and mezze recipes to fruity baking”
“I love the abundance of amazing fruit and veg we get in summer. When I’m cooking, I prefer lighter, cooler meals, so lots of salad dishes and mezze-style eating. As for baking, I try to incorporate seasonal fruit into my recipes – I love the colour and freshness it brings.
“I only buy strawberries when they’re in season so, after a long winter of eating apples, they’re a welcome change. The Red Diamond strawberries from M&S are so fragrant their flavour doesn’t get lost in baking, which is why I made these tartlets – they’re a twist on a Bakewell tart. I ate a pistachio-strawberry mousse cake and loved it, so swapped the classic cherry-almond combo for these flavours.
“The M&S Isle of Wight tomatoes are beautifully flavoured and perfect raw, so they’re good with a bit of olive oil and salt on crusty bread, but I’ve used them in
a warm new potato, halloumi and tomato salad with houmous dressing. Because of the varied colours, sizes and shapes of the tomatoes, it looks stunning plated up. As a most-of-the-time vegetarian, halloumi is like a food group on its own to me. It’s good for grilling but as it goes rubbery when it cools, this salad is best served warm.
“My dad grows raspberries and makes jam, so the scent of cooking them brings back strong memories. The M&S Sapphire raspberries in my coconut cookies are huge, juicy and sweet, with a slight tang to them. I often find raspberries too sour, but these are perfect, and the jam helps them adhere to the cookies.”
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“These are the sweetest tomatoes! They’re beautifully flavoured, perfect raw and look stunning on the plate”
400g M&S baby Jersey Royal new potatoes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100g halloumi cheese
250g mixed M&S Isle of Wight tomatoes
Handful of fresh basil
For the dressing
4 tbsp M&S velvet houmous
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 15-20 minutes until soft. Drain and return to the pot. Pour olive oil onto the potatoes and stir to coat. Halve or quarter the tomatoes, depending on size, and toss into the pot.
Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl, adding enough water to get the consistency of double cream. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and tomatoes. Stir gently to coat, then transfer to a serving dish.
Cut halloumi into slices the thickness of a £1 coin. Grill over a high heat (or cook in a dry non-stick pan over a high heat), flipping when coloured so both sides cook. Remove and place on top of the potatoes and tomatoes. Tear and scatter basil leaves over the salad. Serve warm.
“Red Diamond strawberries are so fragrant and plump their flavour doesn’t get lost when added to dishes”
250g plain white flour
25g ground almonds
50g icing sugar
¼ tsp salt
150g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 medium egg
For the filling
100g shelled, roasted pistachio nuts
100g cold unsalted butter
80g granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
4 tbsp plain white flour
2 tbsp milk
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp strawberry jam
For the topping
250g M&S Red Diamond strawberries, hulled and sliced
Plain yoghurt or crème fraiche, to serve
To make the pastry, put flour, almonds, icing sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add butter and blitz until you get a fine, breadcrumb-like texture. Beat the egg, add and pulse until the pastry starts to come together. Tip the contents out and mould into a ball. Pat the pastry into a disk and place into a resealable sandwich bag, then place in the fridge until very firm (the pastry will be hard to handle if it’s too warm) – this will take around an hour.
Take the pastry out of the fridge and break in half. Knead it back together so it’s malleable, then divide into six even balls and chill for 15 minutes.
Remove one ball of dough from the fridge, roll out onto lightly floured baking paper and make a circle roughly 18cm in diameter. Gently flip onto a 10x2cm tin and peel away the baking paper. Lift the edges of the pastry and let it settle into the tart tin, lining the base and sides, allowing the excess pastry to hang over the edge. Place on a baking sheet and chill. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough and tins.
To make the filling, using the food processor you used earlier (don’t worry if there’s pastry residue left), blitz pistachios until you get a fine, mealy texture. Add butter, sugar, salt and flour. Blend until combined, then add milk and lemon zest and blend until smooth. Place the lemon juice and strawberry jam in a small bowl and mix.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4. To assemble, remove the tins from the fridge, use a sharp knife to remove excess pastry, and place onto the baking sheet. Divide the strawberry jam mixture between the tins and spread an even layer at the bottom. Spread the pistachio batter on top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tins and allow to cool completely before topping with sliced strawberries. Serve with yoghurt or crème fraiche.
“Sapphire raspberries are huge, juicy and sweet. The slight tartness complements the sweet cookie beneath”
Makes 18-20 cookies
150g unsalted butter, softened
150g light brown sugar
1 medium egg
125g plain white flour
50g rolled oats
40g desiccated coconut, plus more for rolling
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
6 tbsp raspberry jam
18-20 Sapphire raspberries
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together into a smooth paste. Add the egg and beat in. Add flour, oats, coconut, salt, baking powder and bicarb of soda and make a dough.
Place a small amount of desiccated coconut in a bowl. Take heaped tablespoons of dough, make into balls, then roll in the coconut. Top up the coconut as needed.
Place the balls of dough on a lined baking sheet and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
Ten minutes before you take the dough out of the fridge, preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4. Get the dough, space the balls roughly 8cm apart on the lined tray (you may need two) and bake for 10-12 minutes until flat and golden. While warm, make a dent in the centre of each cookie using the back of a teaspoon. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Once cool, spoon a little jam into the middle of each dent and top with a raspberry. Serve immediately.
Words, recipes and images: Izy Hossack / Editor: Heather Taylor