Recipes with a twist for a perfect summer on the Northern Beaches
If the Northern Beaches was a season, summer would be it. Think long days by the beach, ice-cream after a swim, family BBQ's, backyard cricket, afternoon naps - you name it, we're about it. But one of our FAVOURITE things about summer has to be the fresh food, and we couldn't think of anyone better than Martyna Angell (or The Wholesome Cook) to share her quirky takes on some of our favourite summertime dishes.
SEAFOOD Caesar Salad
Similar to a Caesar Salad, but made with delicious Aussie seafood: fresh cooked prawns, seared scallops and hot-smoked smoked salmon. This salad truly is a crowd-pleaser. Dotted with tangy capers, creamy avocado and sweet summer mango. All on a bed of cos lettuce drizzled with an instant garlic mayo dressing* (you will love on other things as well). And let’s not forget Parmesan croutons.
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
For the mayo dressing
1 large garlic clove
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the croutons
2 slices day-old sourdough
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
For the salad
2 heads baby cos lettuce
½ -1 mango
180g hot-smoked salmon, plain or pepper-crusted
250g medium cooked peeled prawns
12 scallops, roe off
To make the mayo dressing, place egg, garlic, apple cider vinegar, mustard, olive oil and salt in a small deep bowl or a clean salsa jar. Using a stick blender process the mixture to emulsify into a thick but runny dressing. (Keep leftovers in the jar in the fridge for up to 1 week). Set aside.
To prepare the croutons, set oven grill to medium heat (160C). Slice bread into rough bite-sized pieces. Place in a baking tray lined with baking paper and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with parmesan and toss to coat. Spread evenly. Grill for 2-3 minutes or until golden and crunchy. Remove from grill and leave on the tray to cool down slightly before handling.
For the salad, leaf and wash lettuce. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Tear leaves in half across and place on a serving platter. Drizzle over with 5 teaspoons of the prepared dressing, gently toss the leaves to coat with the dressing. Cut avocado in half then slice in the flesh still in the skin with a sharp knife. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and place on the salad. Repeat with the mango cheeks and scatter the flesh over the salad.
Pat dry scallops with a paper towel and sprinkle with a little salt and some black pepper. Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Fry on each side for 1 minute or until golden.
Dot salad with bite-sized pieces of the hot-smoked salmon, cooked prawns and seared scallops. Scatter with cooled croutons. Serve with extra dressing on the side.
Instead of Parmesan cheese and to make this dairy-free you can use nutritional yeast flakes instead. Alternatively, spread some vegan garlic butter on the bread slices then cut into bite-sized pieces before grilling. As this recipe contains whole raw unpasteurised egg in the dressing, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you so prefer, use store-bought mayonnaise or Caesar dressing instead.
Instant Cheesecake POTS with Summer Fruit
The perfect summer dessert! Best of all, it’s easy to always have all the ingredients on hand and they can be ready to eat in minutes. The nutty “crust” base is covered with a light and zingy no bake cheesecake layer and topped with all manner of chopped summer fruit – I’ve popped three suggestions for you in the recipe, but feel free to mix and match to your liking.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chilling time (optional): up to 12 hours
For the crust
3 Medjool dates
1 cup raw macadamias
2 teaspoons coconut oil
For the cheesecake layer
250g cream cheese
1½ cups Greek-style vanilla yoghurt
¼ cup icing sugar
Zest and juice from 1 lime
Summer fruit options, to serve
2 tablespoons coconut flakes
2 peaches, plums or nectarines
A few mint leaves
2 cups mixed berries
2 tablespoons white chocolate chips
To make the crust, pit dates and chop roughly. Place chopped dates, macadamias and coconut in a food processor and process until crumbly in texture. Spoon into the base of 4 serving glasses and chill while you work on the filling.
Place cream cheese, yoghurt, icing sugar, lime zest and juice in a food processor. Process until smooth. Divide between the 4 serving glasses, layering on top of the crust.
Depending on what fruit combination you are using, destone mango or stone fruit and cut into slices or chunks. Roughly chop berries (except raspberries or blackberries, if using those).
Serve immediately with chopped fruit on top. Sprinkle with coconut flakes, mint leaves or white chocolate chips respectively. Alternatively, chill in the fridge for up to 12 hours and top with fruit just before serving. Cover with cling wrap when chilling.
SUMMER PICNIC FAVE
These are totally picnic ready – pop the layers in lidded jars and transport to your favourite picnic location in a cooler bag for a classy summer picnic dessert! You can wash the jars (and spoons) when you get home to help reduce plastic waste.
Instead of Macadamia nuts you can use cashews or blanched almonds. For a nut-free version, use 1 cup nut-free granola clusters instead. Instead of icing sugar you can use honey although it will alter the flavour of the cheesecake slightly, or opt for powdered natvia or xylitol for a low sugar version.
Hawaiian fried rice WITH leftover Christmas Ham
Wondering what to do with all the leftover Christmas ham? Here is a recipe worth trying because Christmas ham makes for a wonderful addition to this Hawaiian-inspired fried rice recipe. It’s super simple to make – because holiday dinners should be– and bursting with summery flavours of fresh gold pineapple. White long grain or basmati rice are best for this recipe – use microwaveable pouch rice for a quick shortcut or cooked and fully cooled aka leftover rice for this recipe. I share some of my favourite ways to keep, store and use leftover ham in the coming months in the notes below.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
200g Christmas ham
2 sprigs spring onions
1 small gold pineapple
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 packet microwave rice
1 teaspoon Keen’s curry powder
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 bunch coriander
Chilli flakes, optional
Dice ham. Finely slice spring onions, keep the white parts separate from the green. Peel and core pineapple. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Use 2 cups in the recipe, store remaining pineapple in a container in the fridge and use within 7 days.
Heat sesame oil in a large frying pan or work set over medium heat. Add the white parts on spring onion and stir to coat in oil. Cook for a minute. Add diced ham and cook, stirring for another minute. Sprinkle in rice – breaking it up as you go, season with curry powder and soy sauce, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.
Push rice to one side and crack in the egg on the other. Scramble the egg and stir through the rice. Add the pineapple and green parts of the spring onion. Stir to heat through.
Divide between 4 bowls and serve with some freshly chopped coriander leaves and chilli, if you like.
What to do with leftover Christmas Ham
Don’t let it go to waste! Store open ham in a damp ham bag for up to 1 week. After this time it is best to cook something with the leftovers or freeze them for use later.
Leftover Christmas ham can be sliced or diced then stored in the freezer in zip lock bags. If slicing, place some baking paper between 4-5 slices to easily access smaller portions for defrosting. Defrost wrapped in a paper towel in the fridge, overnight. Alternatively use your microwave defrost function.
Add diced ham to scrambled eggs, soups and salads. Use sliced ham for lunches, to serve instead of bacon with breakfast or burgers. Don’t forget the fatty bits – you can store them diced separately and add to scrambled eggs, soups and casseroles. The ham bone and rind can also be frozen and used in the winter to make a delicious pea and ham soup.
White Sangria with summer fruit
White Sangria is a lighter version of the traditional Spanish red wine drink. It’s perfect for summer as it is served chilled. You can use a selection of summer fruit here: peaches, nectarines, berries, lychees, pineapple and melons make nice renditions. I’ve added some peach infused tisane (tea) to the mix as well for a more robust flavour. Pomegranate or berry tisanes or cold infusions would work well, too!
Prep time: 10 minutes
1 bag peach tea (tisane)
1 cup boiling water
2 cups ice
½ cup Grand Marnier or Brandy
750ml chilled white wine (pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc)
1 cup lemonade or lime infused sparking water
2 mint sprigs
Steep tisane bag in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes to make an intense infusion. Meanwhile, destone peaches and nectarines. Cut into thin wedges or bite-sized chunks. Slice strawberries.
Put fruit into a 2L pitcher or a punch bowl. Add ice, Grand Marnier or Brandy. Pour in the tisane. Top with chilled white wine and lemonade or sparkling water. Add mint sprigs and stir.
Serve in wine or punch glasses with some fruit, in each glass.
Over 18s only. Drink responsibly.