Easy Spiced Courgette Pilaf

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Faced with a glut of Courgettes and running out of ideas? Here’s a really simple summer supper that is equally delicious served straight from the pan or chilled and served as a salad- Spiced Courgette Pilaf. To serve 4:

Dice one medium Onion (red or white) and 3 small or 2 medium Courgettes. Fry in Olive Oil until softened. Add 2 tsp Garam Masala, 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin, 1/4 tsp Ground Turmeric and 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds. Fry for a couple of minutes and then add 240g Basmati rice and stir fry until the rice looks glassy. Add 480g of water (or if you don’t want to weigh the water, double whatever the volume of rice you used) and a chicken or vegetable Stock Pot and bring to the boil. Add the lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Leave for 12 minutes, returning to stir occasionally. Once the rice is cooked, take off the heat, season, stir well and either serve immediately or cool and serve cold.

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Simple Summer Salad

A really simple, refreshing salad which is perfect as either a side dish or what the recipe intended it to be- a bruschetta or crostini topping. Gorgeous. This recipe serves 4 generously.

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What do you need?

  • 1 pack Feta or salad cheese
  • 1 big handful fresh mint leaves
  • 250g frozen peas
  • 350g frozen broad beans
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

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How to make?

Cook the Broad beans and drain. Leave the cooked beans to cool, and once cooled, pop out of their skins. Whilst the beans are cooling, cook the peas and then add to the skinned beans. Lightly press on the cooked beans and peas with a potato masher to ‘bash’ them but not completely squish them into oblivion!  Stir and crumble in the feta, torn mint leaves, a good glug of olive oil and season well. Mix all together and serve atop toasted slices of bread or as a side salad. Enjoy!

Iced Tea

I said I’d give it a try and I am pleased to say it works! Here’s a quick and refreshing summer drink- iced tea. I chose green tea with jasmine but I think any type of tea you fancy would work- Earl Grey, white tea or something fruity.

This is much more thirst-quenching than my Iced Coffee and can be drunk throughout the day.

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First of all, brew a couple of tea bags in freshly boiled water until it’s the strength you prefer. When ready, pour into a jug or carafe half filled with ice. Remember that as well as cooling the tea down, the ice will melt and dilute the strength so don’t make it too weak. Pouring over ice will only take out the majority of the heat, so add a few citrus slices if they compliment the tea you’ve chosen and add to the fridge to chill fully.

Once cooled, serve over ice and enjoy.

Smoking Rum

Somehow, since the hot weather began, evenings in our flat have consisted of Tour de France highlights with a cocktail in hand on many an occasion. Tonight, as the peloton rolls into Paris to conclude this year’s race, is no exception. The only slight exception is that we are watching the live race rather than the highlights- as it’s the 100th TDF, the race organisers delayed the start time so that the riders arrive into Paris at dusk rather than late afternoon- brilliant.

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This evening’s edition is the Smoking Rum. Not the most summery of drinks, but the ginger gives it a refreshing twist.

Add a generous amount of ice to a hi-ball glass, and pour over the following:

  • 50ml Spiced Rum (our current choice is Bacardi Oakheart)
  • 50ml Ginger Beer (Bundaberg is the best!)
  • 50ml Cloudy Apple Juice

Add a squeeze of Lime juice and a slice of Lime, stir and enjoy. Easy.