Whilst we continue to enjoy quite wonderful summer weather, there is nothing more pleasant than dining al-fresco. Packing up a picnic and taking it to a favourite spot or eating your evening meal in the garden after a day at work is a simple treat that can induce feelings of relaxation and being at one with nature.
Many may think that herbs and spices have a minor part to play in summer eating, but that belief could not be further from the truth.
At this time of year we have an abundance of fresh salad ingredients, soft fruits and home-grown vegetables. This colourful array of produce simply begs to be simply prepared and enjoyed in a huge variety of ways.
The spice blends that we at Seasoned Pioneers lovingly roast, grind and blend, result in a balanced package of flavour and so are highly versatile, easy to use and great to experiment with! The following ideas may inspire you to spice up your salads, snacks and barbecues:
Salads and Dressings
Just add 1-2 teaspoons of our Creole spice blend to olive oil, lemon juice & balsamic vinegar for a dressing with a kick!
Experiment too by using some other ingredients such as mustard, soy sauce, honey, lime juice, crushed garlic… the limit is just your imagination!
Alternatively try sprinkling Dukkah or Zahtar over your salad for exotic flavour and crunch.
For a refreshing and tasty salad laden with herbs and spices, try our recipe for Tabouleh Salad using Organic Baharat, great on it’s own or with grilled meats, fish or halloumi.
All of our spice blends are great used as rubs, but we particularly like our Caribbean BBQ Jerk rub, which gives an authentically spiced and highly flavoured coating.
Simply rub 2-4 teaspoons into scored meat, fish or vegetables and then grill or barbecue.
Mix 2-4 teaspoons with mayonnaise, crème fraiche or yoghurt for an extremely easy & tasty flavoured dip of your chosen cuisine! Serve with tortilla chips, baked pitas, breadsticks, baby plum tomatoes or long slices of carrot, celery and peppers.
We love using Caribbean Poudre de Colombo or Creole spice blend!
Add 1-4 teaspoons to olive oil, honey & lemon juice, pour over scored meat & leave in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight if possible, before cooking.
Pasanda is wonderful as a marinade or try Rose Petal Masala mixed with yoghurt.
For fish, we recommend using Chermoula, a lovely blend of herbs, spices, garlic and seasoning which when mixed with lemon juice and olive oil, is just delicious.
On really hot days, surprisingly, the answer to keeping cool could lie in enjoying a hot and spicy curry. If you look at the cuisines of the hottest countries in the world, they all incorporate spicy dishes and lots of chillies.
Scientifically proven, the consumption of hot food increases your blood circulation making you sweat, which in turn cools you down. However, we empathise that it may not be what you fancy for dinner on a hot summers day, but if you do, then we suggest our tried, tested and extremely delicious recipe for Chicken Goan Xacuti!
By Karen McFarland
Edited by Helen Kinsella
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