July is a great time to rest and recharge. We can’t all afford to go away on long holidays, but taking some time out for a lazy picnic in the park, a quick paddle in the sea or just a potter in the garden can be enough to feel revitalised.
Gathering and prepping the fruit and vegetables that are around right now can also be a great avenue for contemplation. Got a punnet of cherries to stone, runner beans to slice, blueberries to pick, or samphire to forage? Take the time to enjoy the quiet monotony of these tasks in the sunshine, then reap the rewards of your gentle effort.
Much of the season’s produce is so simple to serve and enjoy, just as it is, especially when freshly picked. But if you’re looking for something unique, we’ve selected our favourite recipe ideas for doing something a little bit different with your summer harvest.
We made this blueberry curd recipe to use up leftover egg yolks from meringue nests. Serve with meringue and double cream lightly whipped with icing sugar and a dash of sherry. Top with more blueberries for a fab summer dessert.
Put 200g blueberries and 50g caster sugar in a saucepan. Mix 25ml water with 1 tsp cornflour, then pour over the blueberries. Simmer for 5 mins, squishing the berries a little as you stir.
Tip the thickened mixture into a heatproof bowl with the juice and zest of ½ lemon, 50g butter, ½ tsp cinnamon and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the butter has melted. Whisk in 2 egg yolks and keep whisking over the heat for around 10 mins, or until the consistency of custard.
Push through a sieve into a jug, then pour into a sterilised jar. Will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks. Makes 140g
For more inspiration see our blueberry collection.
Our favourite way to cook runner beans is to slice them into thin ribbons, boil them for 3-4 mins or until tender, and serve with a restrained dollop of clotted cream. For something more everyday, this green bean pasta bake is a wonderful excuse to use up a glut.
Tip: To stop your runner beans being stringy, use a peeler to take a thin strip off each of the sides. You can use the offcuts to make stock.
For more tasty recipes, see our runner bean collection.
Stock up on samphire from July to August. Flavour-wise, it’s quite similar to asparagus. Try it simmered for 2-3 mins, then tossed in melted butter as a side for fish. Or for something different, go for this modern brunch from Rosie Birkett.
For more recipe ideas, see our samphire collection.
Fold cherries through thick Greek yogurt with a grating of dark chocolate for a quick dessert, or give Tom Kerridge’s cherry bruschetta recipe a whirl for a stylish starter. We’ve also used cherries in a moreish crumble cake.
Tip: To pit cherries, set a small metal piping nozzle on a board, push the cherry on top slowly and the pip should come out of the top
For our ultmiate selection of recipes, see our cherry collection.
Browse recipes for, and information on, other ingredients in season in July:
- Broad beans
- Currants (black, red & white)
- French beans
- Globe artichokes
- New potatoes
- Rhubarb (outdoor)
- Swiss Chard
Seasonal food dates in July:
Other food dates for your diary:
1-31 July: National Picnic Month
Take advantage of the warm summer holidays and go on a family picnic. For treats the whole family will enjoy, see our best picnic recipes.
8-14 July: Great British Pea Week
Pick your own classic British peas from June until October. For recipe inspiration, see our pea collection.
See our seasonal calendar for more inspiration.
More seasonal recipes and information…
What fruit & veg do you enjoy in July? Leave a comment below…