Celebrate summertime by making the most of the abundant local produce. The quintessential Kentish fruit – cherries – can be found across the county right now. Why not try an irresistible cruffin filled with creme patisserie topped with a rich cherry compote from Gilda Bakery near Canterbury? Or fill your home with a glorious rainbow of seasonal and sustainable flowers from Blooming Green, open every Saturday for Pick Your Own until the end of October.
Produced in Kent have curated a collection of easy, tasty recipes from local producers using the best of the season. Here are a few that will bring a taste of the Kentish summer to your table:
Heritage Tomato Salad
In this recipe from The Corner House the sweet flavours of the colourful tomatoes are paired in a dish with a light and creamy goat’s curd, while the dressing elevates the flavours to new heights.
400g Heritage tomatoes, assorted colours, shapes and sizes – Macknade have a vast range at this time of year
2 banana shallots, finely diced
3 sprigs tarragon, picked and chopped
50ml rapeseed oil – try locally made Kentish Oils
Squeeze of lemon juice
250g goat’s curd or soft goat’s cheese from Cheesemakers of Canterbury
Pinch of caster sugar
Handful of small salad leaves such as frisée or pea shoots
Salt and pepper
- Slice your tomatoes in creative ways to make the plate look pretty and interesting
- Place the tomatoes in a mixing bowl and add the shallots, tarragon, rapeseed oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and a pinch of caster sugar
- Mix gently and taste. Arrange on a plate.
- Toss and coat a few salad leaves with the leftover dressing in the bowl, scatter over the tomatoes and place a dessert spoon of goat’s curd on top.
Summer is BBQ season and Kent’s Karimix are raising the ‘sausage in a bun’ bar to new levels with some Argentinian flavour inspiration. In South America foodies go nuts for ‘Choripan’, literally combining Chorizo Sausage ‘Chori’ and ‘Pan’… Spanish for bread.
1 x Pack Spicy Cooking Chorizo Sausages, skin removed
3 x Red Peppers, finely sliced
½ White Onion, finely diced
4tbsps Karimix Chimichurri Sauce – available online from Karimix
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-2 tbsp Rapeseed Oil – try the Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil from Pure Kent
3-4 Buns or Ciabatta bread cut into pieces
- Light the BBQ so it has time to get to optimal cooking state.
- Finely slice the red peppers and fry them in a pan with the rapeseed oil until they are soft and slightly caramelised on the edges.
- Mix 4 tbsps. of Chimichurri sauce with 1 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and set to one side.
- Finely dice the white onion.
- The skins on the chorizo sausages come off easily, just make a light cut down one side of them and peel the skin away.
- The sausages are cooked whole to begin with, then removed from the heat and butterfly cut (just cut down one side to open the sausage up) exposing the centre. Put them back on the heat to crisp the middle.
- Whilst the sausages are cooking, toast the bread.
- To build the Choripan, start by piling in the fried red peppers, place 1-1½ sausages on top (depending on the size of your bun), drizzle over some chimichurri sauce and scatter in some of the diced white onions. Whack on the other half of the bun and devour…
Castle Farm Lavender Shortbread
The fields of Lavender at Castle Farm are awash with purple right now, now’s the time to enjoy this seasonal flower (known for its calming properties) and delicate flavour in this shortbread recipe.
200g plain white flour
Pinch of fine sea salt
40g ground rice flour
75g caster sugar (plus extra for decorating)
5-10 drops Castle Farm HOT Lavender Essence
One heaped teaspoon of Castle Farm Culinary Lavender Flowers
175g unsalted butter, from a chilled 250g block
- Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and stir in the ground rice flour and sugar
- Take your butter from the fridge, and while your bowl is on the weighing scales, grate in 175g of butter from the block.
- Sprinkle in the Lavender flowers, and the drops of HOT Lavender Essence.
- Work it all quickly into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Press the mix into a 20cm square baking tin and level the top
- Chill in the fridge for about an hour.
- Then, heat the oven to 140’C fan (160’C/gas 3).
- Bake the shortbread for 40 minutes until light golden.
- Remove from the oven and prick all over with a fork, then mark into 20 pieces, cutting right through to the bottom of the tin.
- Dust caster sugar all over the top and leave the shortbread to cool before removing from the tin.
- Then sit back and enjoy with a relaxing cup of tea!
Not in the mood for cooking? From wine tastings, music and foodie festivals, Produced in Kent have bags of inspiration on things to do, where to eat & how to treat yourself this summer, check out Produced in Kent’s Summer Guide.