Al Fresco Collection

Pan-fried lamb cutlets with herbed breadcrumbs

This is an Italian appetizer, but it makes the most wonderful tapas. Expect pink lamb, surrounded by crisp fragrant crumbs dotted with capers and herbs.

Roasted aubergine & mint salad

A really delicious salad using aubergine and mint – a perfect flavour combination – with a little feta cheese to add some creamy saltiness to the finished dish.

Anchovy & olive sticks

Tip: If the dough of this recipe is too stiff, add water; if it’s too wet, simply add flour.

Spicy potato wedges

These Indian-inspired potatoes make a great change from rice as an accompaniment for curries, and also pair perfectly with roasted chicken or lamb.

Courgette flowers stuffed with goats' cheese & lavender honey

When small courgettes flower in summer, they are a treat to behold. They are perfect for stuffing and require little time to cook. Honey might seem a surprising ingredient in this dish, but lavender honey has a more savoury flavour than most honey and beautifully complements the salty goats' cheese.

Best-ever spiced pickled eggs

It’s very important to use really good spiced vinegar to infuse the oval gems.

Cajun glazed mini chicken kebabs

These spicy little kebabs are delicious at lunchtime grilled, as directed or cooked over a barbecue. These go well with a mango salsa and maybe a Cajun rice salad made from a little cooked rice and lots of mixed peppers, chopped jalapeño, celery, red onion and fresh parsley. Alternatively serve with skewers of barbecued vegetables.

Spiced potato salad

The dish literally takes minutes to bring together, but if you let it sit for a short time, the flavours intensify.

Wild rice salad with walnuts & dried cranberries

Wild rice has long, slim grains and a nuttier, firmer texture than regular rice. This salad, with its nuts, dried cranberries, herbs and spicy dressing, makes a great side dish.

Super coleslaw

Super coleslaw has rainbow colours, bursts with flavour and is lower in fat than your standard coleslaw.

Quinoa tabbouleh

A superfood version of classic tabbouleh using quinoa in place of bulgar wheat, delicious on its own in a wholemeal flat bread with a drizzle of live yoghurt or served with a selection of other salads or grilled meat.

Asparagus summer rolls with hoisin chilli dipping sauce

Using spring roll wrappers makes this Vietnamese speciality a very beautiful and unusual starter.

Beef with cabbage & courgette salad

This simple warm salad is great served as part of a selection of Asian-style dishes such as stir-fries or noodle dishes.

Hot and sticky summertime chicken

Here’s an easy recipe for spatchcocked – split and grilled – chicken.

Quinoa with rosemary & peppers

Highly nutritious and one of the only grains that constitute a whole protein, quinoa has been eaten for thousands of years. It was cultivated by the ancient Incas.

Couscous with spicy fish

Couscous is often thought of as a grain, but it is in fact a tiny pasta. It's often used in northern Africa as a foil to spicy dishes.

‘hot’ grilled trout

For this recipe you can use brook trout or any similar oily, freshwater fish.

Jerk chicken with mango salsa

You can make this chicken as spicy as you like and the mango salsa complements the flavour beautifully.

Chicken wings with honey & paprika

A favourite tapas dish of really simple finger food. The paprika and honey marinade gives the chicken an irresistible sticky, spicy glaze.

Stuffed veggie loaf

Filling and wholesome, I defy anyone not to absolutely love this lunchtime treat!

Turkey drumsticks with fruity salsa

This Mexican-style salsa adds a zesty and intriguing note to the simply grilled turkey.

Lemon fish

Fish is so quick and easy to cook and is wonderfully healthy, too. If you haven’t cooked it before, this is a great recipe to start with. The recipe provides both grilling and microwaving instructions. If you use a thicker piece of fish, such as halibut, you will need to add a couple of minutes to the cooking time. The classic accompaniment to this dish is wilted spinach and some boiled new potatoes.

Chicken kebabs

These kebabs can be enjoyed on their own with a side of yoghurt dip. You can also chop them into small pieces and wrap them into a warm tortilla with lettuce and tomatoes for a quick, filling lunch. Or use vegetables such as onions, peppers, aubergines, cherry tomatoes and sweet potato for a super healthy alternative.

Lamb chops dijon

A simple but vibrant French-style recipe that brings out the wonderful taste of good lamb chops.

Country slaw

This crunchy and colourful slaw made with crisp, raw vegetables has a simple, rustic feel. Make it in late summer when sweet peppers and tender courgettes are at their best.

Country-style pork with southern barbecue sauce

These mouth-watering chunks of pork are deliciously sticky, and make wonderful outdoor finger food.

Almond & apricot meringue roulade

Adding cornflour and either lemon juice or vinegar to the mixture keeps the centre of the baked meringue marshmallow-soft and the outside crisp.

Sweet potato & orange cupcakes

Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene (a source of vitamin A), and eating fat with beta carotene rich foods helps the body absorb vitamins, so using them

Fruit & nut chocolate slices with crème fraîche

Macadamia nuts with their buttery, almost shortbread-litreike flavour, turn these simple chocolate slices, which are somewhere between a mousse and a cake, into something special. If you like the current craze for adding salted nuts or salt caramel to chocolate bars, try using salted macadamias, but if not, the plain variety are readily available.

Churros con chocolade

Churros are sausage-shaped donuts that are meant for plunging in the thick chocolate sauce served with them. They're a tradition all day and are also eaten for breakfast.

New york cheesecake

This simple cheesecake, flavoured with lemon and vanilla and topped with a snowy white layer of sour cream, is an all-time classic.

Tropical fruit gateau

With a delicate coconut sponge cake, creamy filling and mounds of tropical fruit, this fabulous cake will bring a taste of sunshine into your home.

Exotic fruit salad

This fresh fruit salad made with exotic tropical fruits and a zingy lime dressing is the perfect dessert any time.

Coconut wedges

Dairy-free and sweetened with maple syrup, this coconut oat cookie is a wholesome alternative to mass-produced snack bars.

Rhubarb upside-down cake

Tart rhubarb makes a fabulously fruity, gooey topping for the golden sponge base of this cake. As it cooks, the rhubarb turns a gorgeous pink that’s impossible to resist.

Vanilla whoopie pies

These biscuit-like cakes filled with marshmallow icing are an all-American favourite adored by kids and adults alike. Perfect for lunch boxes and parties alike.

Blueberry & papaya salad with toasted almonds

Try this light, refreshing fruit salad for breakfast with Greek yoghurt and a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice.

Strawberry & lemon mini soufflés

These little soufflés are intense in flavour and amazingly light.

Cubed melon

This mixed melon salad – delightful on a hot summer day – also makes a stunning, healthy dessert for a special dinner party.

Grilled herbed duck breasts

The natural oil in duck breasts means they withstand perfectly the searing heat of a grill.

Herbed beer can chicken

Steaming a chicken over a half-filled beer can infuses it with a delicious flavour.

Bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers

These spicy stuffed chillies are easy to prepare in advance, as you can chill or freeze them before cooking. Increase the quantities to suit; you can never have too many!

Barbecued wings

Sticky barbecued chicken wings are a perennial favourite and a great snack to offer before the main event. You can't make too many – they will disappear as fast as you can make them!

Moroccan chicken

Preserved lemon is traditionally called for in this dish, although you can use thinly sliced fresh lemon if you prefer or if preserved lemons prove hard to find.

Skewered lamb kebabs

The key to tender lamb 'souvlaki' is the marinade, so don’t skimp on the timing (even though it takes three days!). The longer the kebabs marinate, the better this 'souvlaki arnisio' will taste!

Honey-citrus chicken

Make your chicken dinner more exciting with this zingy marinade.

Spring flower cake

This light, fresh, lemony layer cake is perfect for celebrating Mother’s Day. Alternatively, make it as a gift to take to a spring lunch party or enjoy it with guests.

Steamed mussels with pesto

This is a great way to serve mussels. Make sure there is plenty of good crusty bread with which to soak up all the lovely juices left in the bowl once the mussels have been eaten, and offer your guests finger bowls and plenty of napkins because this can get decadently messy!

Watermelon & feta salad

If you’re someone who likes combining the flavours of sweet and salty, the combination of watermelon and feta is just for you. It’s so simple, yet so fabulous.

Egyptian sweet couscous

Among the variations of couscous, this recipe from Egypt is unrivaled for the sweet-toothed palate. It’s traditionally served with a cold glass of milk or a cup of heavy Arabic coffee.

Orange salad with almonds

This very light, cleansing salad is the perfect dessert to serve at the end of a long and heavy meal. It looks especially dramatic when prepared with blood oranges.

Rice salad

This Italian recipe ('insalata di riso') is a great favourite for hot-weather eating, as it is light yet satisfying and includes lots of lovely fresh vegetables that make it really tasty.

Arabian-style rice

Rice forms the basis of many meals throughout the Middle East. Often it is cooked with added ingredients, such as spices or vegetables. When cooking any Arabian-style rice, steam or bake it, tightly covered, so that it absorbs all the liquid and remains fragrant and fluffy.

Hummus

Hummus is one of the best-known and most popular Middle Eastern dips. Served with fresh or toasted pitta bread, hummus makes a great snack or appetiser. Tahini is an important part of the hummus recipe and cannot be replaced; however, it can be omitted, if you like.

Passion fruit sorbet

Many large supermarkets now carry frozen tropical fruit pulp, which makes it easy to get the flavour of Mexico in a frozen treat. Make a simple syrup of water and sugar, then blend in the frozen pulp and flavourings and freeze in an ice cream maker. Passion fruit, known as parcha in Mexico, are small, seedy fruits with a sweet-tart flavour.

Seashore lobster dinner

This one-pot meal – cooked outdoors over a barbecue or indoors on the hob – conjures up summers at the seaside. Spread layers of newspapers over the table for the traditional (and easy) clean-up. Place the contents of the saucepan in the middle of the table and it’s all hands on deck.

Garlic & coriander naan bread

These naan taste authentic and make a great accompaniment to an Indian curry.

Crispy fish & chips

This crispy oven-baked fish and chips recipe is a healthy and delicious reworking of a fatty favourite. Soak your sliced potatoes in water before cooking, then they will be even crisper.

Lemon chicken with quinoa & spinach

High in protein, this is a perfect meal to avoid the evening bloat.

Sundried tomato & olive sticks

This dough is quite wet, so do not be tempted to add more flour during mixing.

Pecan & cranberry rye bread

The rye flour and pecans in this bread add extra texture and interest.

Vanilla fudge

This fudge makes a terrific gift for vegans and anyone on a dairy-free diet. Give it to nonvegans, and they will express surprise. They never thought vegans could have it so good!

Grilled chicken with lemon & thyme

Grilled chicken makes a perfect supper and is loved by almost everyone. The directions here work for an outside barbeque as well as under a grill; either way, with a bit of basting with an aromatic oil or butter, it’ll be delicious. This dish can be prepared partly in advance; the chicken and marinade can be kept in a resealable plastic bag in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Cinco de mayo grilled vegetable platter with salsa verde

Cinco de Mayo, Spanish for the “5th of May”, is a Mexican national holiday celebrating the victory over the French at Puebla de Los Angeles in 1862. Foods in the colours of the Mexican flag – red, green and white – are popular.

Gnocchi with spinach & walnuts

Gnocchi is fine and filling and great for a near-instant supper. As it comes vacuum packed, it has a long shelf life and is a handy standby; it also freezes well.

Pitta bread

Pittas are best eaten immediately, and freeze well, but you can store them in an airtight container for 1–2 days, and reheat in the toaster.

Baked feta & walnut salad

This is a rustic Greek-style salad with baked feta cheese, walnuts, mixed salad greens and thinly sliced fresh radish and courgettes, tossed with a tangy lemon–garlic dressing.

Mushroom, tomato & mozzarella ciabatta

This is a simple and tasty snack for two or can be cut into small squares and served as part of an antipasto for larger groups.

Salmon tempura

A Japanese-influenced dish, tempura batter should be light and airy, crunchy and without any trace of oiliness. Make the batter just before using it.

Neapolitan roasted pepper salad

This is such a classic, delicious antipasto and incredibly addictive! Also delicious with mozzarella in a sandwich made with crusty bread.

Olive marinate alla siciliana (sicilian marinated olives)

This way of flavouring olives is very traditional in Sicily, where it is known as olive cunsati. The longer the olives are left in their marinade, the stronger the flavour they will take on, but they can be equally delicious served almost immediately after being dressed. Add a handful of these olives to any dish of cured meats for an easy antipasto.

Herbed cheese–stuffed chicken breasts

The chicken breasts can be stuffed in advance and you might want to ask an adult to help you stuff the cheese under the skin. Serve with potatoes and some green beans or salad.

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