Summer is here, although the weather begs to disagree! But we are still in the mood for making lovely summer recipes. We spoke to cook and bestselling food writer Elly Pear as she launches her new recipe book Green. In her book, Elly shows us how to easily vary veggie and vegan dishes to suit your fancy, with options to make a meal quick and simple or a bit more special.
Elly has chosen some of her favourite summer recipes for us – we think these would make a wonderful summer dinner party meal, maybe even al fresco. Her Summer Vegetable Noodles recipe is Asian-inspired, fresh and flavoursome, and we can’t wait to bake her Lemon & Raspberry Cake.
Over to Elly…
Summer Vegetable Udon
In Bristol, my favourite place to order a food delivery from is China Capital near Ashton Gate Stadium. Their udon noodles are the inspiration for this recipe. Fat, chewy noodles, loads of crunchy veg and a delicious saucy glaze – it’s the sort of dish I should’ve been making as a student, if I hadn’t been so busy living off humous and toasted pitta bread.
Summer vegetable udon noodlesServes 2
- Vegetable/olive oil, for stir-frying
- 1 courgette, halved and sliced
- ½ small onion, cut into fine wedges
- 3 spring onions, white and green parts divided and sliced
- ½ red pepper, sliced
- 1 handful of finely sliced red cabbage
- 1 x 200g tin of sweetcorn
- 1 large handful of baby leaf spinach
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
- 400g pre-cooked udon noodles
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 50ml boiling water plus ½ tsp cornflour, stirred until smooth
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sriracha hot sauce
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok over a medium heat. Add the courgette slices and onion and cook for 3 minutes.
- Next, add the white parts of the spring onions and the red pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the red cabbage and cook for another 2 minutes or until slightly wilted. Stir in the sweetcorn and spinach then push everything to the edges of the wok.
- Add the garlic and ginger to the middle of the pan. Drizzle over another 1 teaspoon of oil and cook or a further 1 minute, stirring continually.
- Meanwhile, boil the kettle. Place the noodles in a colander and pour over boiling water to separate them. Add the soy sauce, cornflour mixture, rice wine vinegar and sriracha to the pan.
- Toss everything together and cook for another 1–2 minutes. Add the noodles and stir to combine. Serve topped with the spring onion greens.
Almond, Lemon and Raspberry Jam Cake
This is such an easy cake to bake and it keeps really well, so you don’t have to eat it all in one sitting. I always use salted butter for this cake and it’s particularly important when greasing the cake tin as it is otherwise unlined. The heat of the tin makes the cake form an incredible crust, which is so good against the sweet jam.
Almond, lemon and raspberry jam cakeServes 8
- 140g plain flour
- 125g ground almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 225g salted butter, softened
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp raspberry jam
- 4 tbsp almond flakes, toasted lightly in a dry pan
- Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6. Mix together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the dry ingredients along with each egg.
- Fold through the remaining dry ingredients and then mix in the lemon zest and juice.
- Grease a 25cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the hot oven for 25 minutes or until the top of the cake is light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin. Once cool, remove the cake from the tin, spread the jam over the top, sprinkle with almond flakes and serve.
This cake will keep well for 2–3 days when stored in an airtight tin.