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Seven sensational summer ingredients and how to use them

Dip smoky, griddled artichokes into zesty aioli, chomp on slices of warm courgette bread and sip on sweet strawberry daiquiris. With our superb recipes you can dive right into a delicious summer, crammed with wonderfully fresh, seasonal produce.

  1. Marvellous melons

    Coming in all shapes and sizes, from extra juicy watermelon to super sweet honeydew, melon is the ultimate refreshing snack. Try these three easy watermelon treat ideas for something a little different, or keep it simple by freezing melon balls (any type) so you can add to summer drinks for a fruit-flavoured ice cube. 

    Marvellous melons
  2. Beautiful broad beans

    Crisp broad beans are perfect for adding a splash of colour to summer dishes. For the best flavour, double pod them (remove their thick grey skins) before blanching in boiling water. Try mixing into a colourful salad such as this vibrant radish salad recipe, mixing into this crispy gnocchi, or mashing into a tasty toast topping for these salmon and avocado bruschetta.

    Beautiful broad beans
  3. Cracking courgettes

    If you haven't tried it already, spiralised courgetti is a fun and easy way to serve up this summer veg. Going beyond pastas and salads, courgettes can be used in much the same way as carrots in baking, adding colour and moistness. Try this easy carrot and courgette quick-bread (no yeast), or a sweet treat with this almond and rosemary cake. To really test your baking skills, follow our step-by-step recipe to make a swirled green vegetable loaf

    Cracking courgettes
  4. Super strawberries

    Although delicious on their own or in a classic pairing with cream, strawberries are also great for getting creative with. Whip them up into a flavoured strawberry butter to spread on toast to start the day, marinate with balsamic vinegar and serve as sweet, tangy open sandwiches, or bake into a tea time treat with some delicious strawberry blondies. If the sun's shining, you can also cook up some smoky strawberry skewers on the barbecue, or serve up the ultimate summer cocktail with this strawberry frosé recipe. 

    Super strawberries
  5. Glorious globe artichokes

    Don’t be put off by first appearances – beneath layers of fibrous petals hides the artichoke heart, which has a fleshy, succulent texture and subtle flavour. Best cooked simply, we love these griddled artichokes with rosemary-infused butter and a lemon aioli for dunking. If fresh ones aren't available, jars of artichoke antipasti are still a great ingredient to enjoy. Layer into a Mediterranean-style ciabatta sandwich, top a veggie pizza, or mix into a Spanish-inspired tortilla.

    Glorious globe artichokes
  6. Charming cherries

    Plump and juicy cherries make a great summer snack but can also be baked into pretty puds or even paired with meaty mains. Try this North African-style lamb pilaf where the cherries replace the traditional dates or apricots as a sweet balance to the meat and spices. For dessert, these cute little cherry galettes have a hint of fragrant thyme for a summer twist or you could go old-school and pile them up in a classic ice cream sundae.

    Charming cherries
  7. Brilliant broccoli

    Tenderstem broccoli is at its best in early summer, while the larger varieties come into their own from August. Don't just stick to boiling or steaming, try different techniques to get the most from this robust green veg. Roasting intensifies the slight bittersweet taste, so is perfect for matching with the strong flavours of this miso and tahini rice salad recipe. Stir-frying helps keeps broccoli vibrant green and crisp, so serve with a summery rum-glazed salmon for an alfresco dinner to impress.

    Brilliant broccoli