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Summer cooking tips and tricks

05
Jan

Keeping your cool in the kitchen this summer

Kiwis have been cooking at home a lot this year (for obvious reasons) and while winter might lend itself to many cosy hours spent in the kitchen, summer cooking is still its own delight.

With so much fresh produce on hand, very little effort is needed to whip up a meal full of delicious, light flavours at this time of the year. Whether you’re grabbing your pan to turn the tomatoes bursting on the vine outside into a simple pasta sauce or heating up your trusty cast iron skillet to grill some fresh corn on the cob with a little salt, garlic and smoked paprika, it’s easy to give your meals that burst of summer flavour.

The warmer months are also a great time for experimenting with salads – and not just as a side. Using pasta or whole grains, along with cooked or fresh vegetables and your protein of choice, the options for a filling lunch or dinner during the summer months are endless. And most of them require nothing more than a pot of boiling water, a chopping board and a beautiful, big salad bowl to throw all that goodness into.

And let’s not forget that bounty of fresh summer fruit over the warmer months. Delicious on their own, fresh berries or stone fruit are also perfect for whipping up a baked dessert like crumble or cobbler. Cook it all up in an enamel pie dish that you can pop in the middle of the dining table for everyone to help themselves to after dinner – and don’t forget to keep lashings of cream in a jug on the side for those who want a truly indulgent summertime treat.

Of course, on the hottest of summer days, it’s not all that appealing to fire up the stove or oven, but there are still ways to beat the heat for a delicious meal.

Plan ahead and bake your dish in the morning when it’s a little cooler so all it needs is some reheating later. A lasagne often tastes all the better when it’s had a chance to really infuse its flavours while sitting in its dish for a while. And if you are going to the effort of cooking up a big meal, make double or triple portions so you can store them in the fridge for another day or two of dinners. And, of course, there’s no better time to skip the stove and take the cooking outside – so grab the barbecue tools and a few gorgeous platters to pile high with whatever takes your fancy on the grill.

Enjoy!

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