Strawberry Avocado Salad

Gavin WrenRecipes, Salads, Side dishes, Vegetarian

Sweet summery strawberries play against the tangy, metallic feta and the creamy avocado to make a delicious salad that’s ripe for any summer picnic or lunch table. Dressed with a rich strawberry and balsamic dressing, this vegetarian strawberry avocado salad is a beautifully fresh, easy to make dish that’s a perfect starter, side dish or salad.

This week I’ve created a visually arresting, sure-fire summer streaker, strawberry avocado salad, which will whip it’s clothes off and run across your table whenever you desire. Summer, Summer, Summertime. It’s summer. It really is summer. The last few weeks have been spent basking (to be more precise, working) in the high twenties, a level of warmth that had barely graced my skin this year. It took until the third week of August before the weather finally climbed out of bed, yawned and said, “so, what season is it?”. This summery-ness inspired an insatiable urge to create something tantalisingly summery. I wanted a recipe that felt fresh and bright, something which climbed up to the top floor, took it’s clothes off and ran …come and read more!

Courgette and Aubergine Antipasti

Gavin WrenRecipes, Salads, Side dishes, Small Bites, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Courgette and aubergine antipasti is a simple vegan and vegetarian summer BBQ recipe perfect for lunches or picnics. Grilled or BBQ vegetables mixed with a simple dressing of olive oil, garlic, mint and white wine vinegar make a perfect make ahead side salad that tastes better after 24 horus in the fridge! Make the most of the summer's abundant courgettes and aubergines with this amazingly tasty Italian side dish!

Courgettes, courgettes, courgettes. They’re coming out of my ears. They’re just everywhere at the moment. Courgettes are the fruit of summer, they’re the long, thin, green fruit of our garden England, borne forth in abundance during the summer months. Courgette and Aubergine Antipasti is an awesome way to use a load of them up, make a big platter if you have guests coming round and I assure you it will all get eaten, it tastes amazing, especially after 24 hours to meld and uses up excess vegetables in the blink of an eye. It’s also the perfect recipe for sitting in the garden, reading the paper, turning the veg on the BBQ occasionally, whilst still feeling as though I’m actually doing something useful. …come and read more!

Courgette and Orange Bread Salad

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian

A bright, citrus and sweet courgette and orange bread salad that just screams summertime! Tangy, sharp orange and sweet dried apricots mix perfectly with olives, capers, pine nuts, parsley and sweet red onions to create a flavour filled salad. The roasted courgette and onion sit with the orange dressing and play against the added crunch from the stale bread at the bottom. It's the perfect make ahead summer lunch or side salad to sit with some grilled fish, meat or squeaky halloumi.

A glut of courgettes has descended on our world. If you grow your own you’ll found the cheeky blighters hiding behind leaves and sneaking up on you. Even if you don’t grow your own, you can walk into a supermarket and pick up a large pack for very little because they are one of the most abundant vegetables in the UK at this time of year. Today’s recipe makes use of these abundant, seasonal vegetables, with a courgette and orange salad loaded on top of the stale bread you’ve got hanging around. It’s a powerful and bright salad that works beautifully on it’s own or would sidle up beautifully with a piece of grilled white fish or some halloumi slices grilled to squeaky perfection. …come and read more!

Roasted Pepper Goat’s Cheese Salad

Gavin WrenRecipes, Salads, Side dishes, Vegetarian

Balsamic roasted peppers with goat's cheese and basil make a beautifully summery side salad or vegetarian picnic dish, the vibrant colours and simple preparation make a star dish that requires very little input to create.

I’ve probably stated that lots of recipes are easy, but this roasted pepper goat’s cheese salad really is. It honestly ticks the simplicity box with a big, fat ‘X’, especially if you save time and use pre-roasted peppers. But even if you decide to roast your own, it’s a pretty straightforward affair, if you have other things to do in the kitchen whilst you wait for the peppers to take on their delicious, sweet, summery flavours. Whatever route you take, this salad scattered with goat’s cheese and basil will take you on a little summery trip to a warmer, richer, brighter place, chasing those sunshine soaked salad dreams. Fancy a Swim? I’ve had an amazing week. I feel completely in over my …come and read more!

Balsamic Roasted Peppers

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Recipes, Side dishes, Starters, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Balsamic roasted peppers are a mediterranean treat made with red, orange, green or yellow peppers, gently braised in the oven with garlic, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil until they become soft, sweet, richly flavoured slithers of pepper. Perfect for a salad, a picnic or to be served alongside cheese, charcuterie and olives as antipasti. Alternatively make ahead and store them in the fridge until you need them.

Today’s post is about creating luscious slithers of pepper, roasted with balsamic vinegar and garlic to create rich, sweet antipasti style balsamic roasted peppers. These are incredibly easy to make if you forego the peeling, but if you want the ‘perfect’ experience then you need to peel them, just make sure you’ve dialled in your patience levels on that particular day. Confrontation. I woke up early today. I’ve got a meeting with a website developer about a the ongoing development of the bloggerskillsacademy site I’m creating. The whole process has drifted slightly and I feel we need to kick some life back into it and get on track. I get nervous about confrontation with people, so having to exhibit some doubts …come and read more!

Smoked Cauliflower with Paprika Garlic Marinade

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Spicy whole smoked cauliflower cooked on the BBQ with a paprika, garlic, lemon, cumin and tomato marinade spiced up with a hint of cayenne pepper for a colourful and smokey BBQ treat for vegetarians and vegans alike. This is also a great fun project to learn how to smoke or cook with indirect heat, whether it's summer or winter.

This post shows how to make smoked cauliflower and why smoking vegetables is a great way to start playing around with indirect cooking or hot smoking, as you don’t have to worry about temperatures and cooking times like you would with meat or fish. With this recipe I’ve added a full flavoured marinade to the cauliflower to spice up the flavour and it adds some fantastic visual impact to the finished article. Vegetable Lust. Poor old cauliflower isn’t the most romantic of vegetables, it’s probably one step up from cabbage, languishing in the bottom end of my on-the-spot opinion of what vegetables are sexy. At the other end of the scale, asparagus is sexy. Those slender, tender, delicate stems that only make themselves available during a …come and read more!