Summer spice mixes & seasonings

5 home-made spice mixes & seasonings to bring your summer recipes to life

As the seasons change, so do our eating habits. While warming soups and casseroles are firm favourites for winter, summer paves the way for light salads, barbecued taste-sensations and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

So to help you bring out the full flavour of summer’s seasonal ingredients, here are five delicious home-made spice mixes and seasonings to give your cooking a new lease of life.

Salsa rhythms

Put a tropical twist on your next meal with this refreshing pineapple salsa recipe. This dish makes the perfect garnish for grilled fish and is also great sprinkled onto crunchy nacho chips or spooned into Mexican chicken fajitas with a dollop of sour cream for a fruity twist.

Ingredients

1 fresh pineapple, core and skin removed, or 400g tin of pineapple slices, finely diced

1 red onion, finely diced

Juice of 1 fresh lime

1 bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped

1 medium-heat jalapeno chilli, finely chopped

Pinch of salt

Turn up the heat

Bring a hint of the exotic into your weekdays with this Moroccan-inspired spice blend. Rub into lamb chops before grilling for a mouth-watering Middle-Eastern adventure, sprinkle onto fluffy cous cous or stir into hummus to create a subtly-spiced accompaniment to tasty fried falafel.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon cloves

Sensational salads

Make dull, lifeless salads a thing of the past with this classic French vinaigrette dressing. Once mixed, you can keep this go-to salad saver in the fridge for up to a fortnight, so why not make up a bigger batch in a squirty sauce bottle so it’s always on hand to perk up healthy dinners.

Ingredients

75ml extra-virgin olive oil

25ml balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

½ teaspoon brown sugar

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Barbecue season

Want to be crowned king or queen of the grill this barbecue season? Then whip up a batch of this sweet and smoky dry-rub recipe. Try sprinkling a few teaspoons into your home-made burger mix, mixing into oil to drizzle over vegetable kebabs or adding to natural yoghurt and marinating meat overnight for succulent barbecued ribs or chicken wings.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon onion granules

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

Pasta perfection

You’ll be amazed at how much better home-made pesto tastes compared to shop-bought alternatives. Simply whizz all the ingredients together in a blender to prepare and you’re ready to use your delicious creation to drizzle over fresh-cooked pasta, enhance the flavour of oven-roasted vegetables or spread onto toasted ciabatta with a generous helping of melted mozzarella.

Ingredients

100g fresh basil

50g parmesan cheese (or vegetarian substitute)

2 cloves garlic

50 pine nuts

140ml extra virgin olive oil

Category: Advice