Summer Entertaining And Al Fresco Food

For gorgeous Irish summer, so we've dreamed up this all-green al fresco entertaining menu that is both light and pretty.  

Roasted Asparagus & Greek Feta Cheese Flatbreads

Make your brunch or lunch a real summertime treat with this easy, filling and light pitta/flatbread topped with crushed cheese, nuts, and fresh, green asparagus.

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 bunches of fresh, young asparagus
  • 1 pack of feta cheese 
  • 4 flatbreads (or pitta wraps, for the super skinny version)
  • 1/2 tbsp pine nuts or crushed pistachios
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • dried or fresh oregano
  • olive oil  
  • lemon juice to taste

Method 

  • Marinade the asparagus for half a day or overnight in olive oil with the oregano, lemon juice, salt, garlic and pepper. Alternatively, steam, sauté or roast separately until crisp-tender just before making the flatbreads.
  • Preheat the oven.
  • Place the asparagus sprigs on the breads. (We've made a swirl here.)
  • Top evenly with roughly crushed feta cheese.
  • Sprinkle the nuts all over.
  • Bake at 180º for up to 3 minutes on a sheet of baking paper or until edges are golden brown.

Serve immediately on a large chopping board or on the baking paper for a rustic feel.

Cool Courgette Salad

Simple, surprising, serendipitous - just what we look for in a summer salad!

Ingredients 

For the courgette salad

  • Large or new season courgettes
  • Fresh flat parsley/basil (or other favourite herbs) leaves, roughly chopped, ripped or left whole.
  • Mint leaves, roughly chopped or ripped into pieces

For the dressing 

The dressing is a marinade you can prep the day before using the following: 

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed


Method

  • Slice the courgettes into thin ribbons using a handheld slicer or peeler. 
  • Place the ribbons on a plate/platter and spread them out.
  • Pour the marinade over through a sieve and toss thoroughly, approximately one hour before serving.
  • Sprinkle the fresh mint and herbs all over.
  • Cover and keep it in the fridge so it's nice and cool when served.

Drizzle any remaining marinade over the salad and on the edges of the plate/platter just before serving.

This recipe works really well with cucumbers, too, and would be easier still, as there is no marinading and prepping. 

Rosemary-Infused Water or Lemonade

This is a classic cooling mocktail that everybody loves. It's simple, not too sweet with a little savoury, tangy twist from the rosemary. You can easily swap the rosemary for fresh basil and add cucumbers to make it even more refreshing.

Ingredients for about 6 glasses

  • 6 lemons
  • 3-4 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 cup sugar or can leave out
  • 6-8 cups water

 Method

  • You can make an infusion with boiling water, but this is probably not what you want to make on a hot day. Instead, try this. 
  • Juice 4 of the 6 lemons.
  • In a large pitcher or glass jug combine the fresh rosemary/basil, lemon juice, water, sugar (if using) and the water.
  • Cut the rind off the remaining 2 lemons (the liquid will get bitter otherwise).
  • Stir together.
  • Keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours or you can make it the day before.
  • Before serving, add the cucumbers, if using.

 

 

Serve over ice, garnished with lemon slices, herb leaves or sprigs.

Greek Halva With Crushed Pistachios and Rose Petals Topping 

You don't need to make the halva - you can find it in ethnic food stores and some supermarkets. But if you do want to, here is a very good recipe from Stylist Magazine.

To get your ingredients, follow the Silk Road to Dublin’s exotic food and spice stores here: Asia Market, The Mexican Shop, Spiceland, or go for a stroll on Moore Street. Some fruit and veg shops have a great selection, too. 

 

Fresh Mint Moroccan Tea With Honey

Mint tea isn't just a drink in Morocco. It is a sign of hospitality and friendship - which is why we were so keen to use it in out get-together video, and has become a long-standing tradition. If you want to find out more, you will love this post about the mysticism of the Moroccan tea ceremony on Eye Swoon.

There are various recipes for Moroccan tea around. You can make a simple fresh mint infusion or a mint and green brew, like in the traditional version. 

Ingredients 

  • half a bunch of fresh mint sprigs (leave some for garnishing at the end)
  • tsps green tea
  • tsp sugar or honey (or more to taste)
  • cups water

 Method

  1. Boil the water.
  2. Combine the mint and green tea and sugar in the teapot, then fill it with the hot water, swishing it around.
  3. Let the tea brew for three minutes.
  4. Set out glasses for the tea and serve.

For more inspiration, watch our summer entertaining video: 


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