Experts are now predicting the rain will keep falling and summer will barely appear this year - but despite the miserable forecast, you can give your customers a glimpse of sunshine by offering summer-inspired meals.
Hearty casseroles, hotpots and thick soups come off the menus during the summer months and are replaced with lighter dishes that make the most of the season's ingredients.
Fish and vegetarian dishes are good summer choices, but meat can also be cooked to appeal to summer-loving customers.
Preparation: five minsCooking: 35 minsServes: 20
- One jar Seeds of Change tomato and basil sauce
- 12 large aubergines, sliced
- 750g mozzarella cheese, grated
- 250g parmesan cheese, grated
- 300ml olive oil
Heat olive oil in a heavy iron pan and sauté aubergine slices until lightly coloured and cooked through.
Spread a layer of sauce in a gratin dish. Cover with a layer of slightly overlapping aubergine slices. Spread with another layer of sauce - then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Repeat process, finishing with a layer of parmesan cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200oC/400oF/gas mark six, for 20 to 25 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. Serve with toasted ciabatta and a green salad.
Recipe supplied by MasterFoodServices
Wild Alaska Salmon and Cucumber Terrine
Preparation: 15 minsChilling: two and a half hoursServes: 12
- Two x 418g cans of red or pink wild Alaska salmon
- Four tbsps powdered gelatine
- 300ml just boiled water
- Vegetable oil for greasing
- One cucumber, sliced
- 300ml vegetable stock
- Two x 200g tubs low-fat soft cheese
- Six tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 300g natural Greek-style yoghurt
- Five tbsp dry white wine
- Three tbsp lemon juice
- Two tbsp chopped fresh dill or parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Herbs or salad leaves to garnish
- Slices of brown bread to serve
Drain the salmon and reserve the liquid. Discard the skin and bones, flake with a fork and set aside.
Dissolve the gelatine in very hot (not boiling) water. Leave for two to three minutes, stirring once or twice and then leave to cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, brush two 900ml loaf tins with vegetable oil and line with cling-film, leaving plenty of overlap. Arrange cucumber slices in overlapping layers in the base of each dish.
Stir the vegetable stock into the cooled gelatine and pour half over the cucumber slices. Put in the fridge and allow to set (approx 30 mins).
Mix together the soft cheese, mayonnaise, yoghurt, salmon and reserved salmon liquid. Add the wine, lemon juice, dill or parsley and season.
Add the remaining gelatine to the salmon mixture and stir. Pour into the tins over the layers of cucumber. Chill until set.
Turn out, remove the cling film and slice. Serve with herbs or salad leaves accompanied by brown bread and butter.
Recipe supplied by Alaska Seafood
Summer Herbed Lamb and Vegetable Stir Fry
Preparation: 10 mins plus one hour marinatingCooking: 10 minsServes: 10
- 1kg lamb in strips
- 100ml lime juice
- 150g chives, chopped
- 100g basil, chopped
- 75g fresh coriander
- Three green peppers
- One bunch of spring onions
- 250g mange-tout
- Five courgettes
- Three heads of broccoli
- 75ml olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Put lamb strips, lime juice, chives, basil and coriander into a bowl with salt and pepper. Mix well.
Cover with cling-film and place in the fridge for an hour to marinate.
Cut vegetables into batons. Remove lamb from marinade and drain well.
Heat oil in a wok and add the lamb mixture. Fry until the lamb starts to colour.
Add vegetables and cook for one minute. Pour in the reserved marinade and simmer for three to four minutes. Serve with egg noodles.
Recipe supplied by British Meat
Roasted Norwegian Cod Caesar Salad
Preparation: five minsCooking: 15 minsServes: 12
- 30g sun-dried tomatoes
- 160g parmesan cheese, grated
- 75g breadcrumbs
- 12 180g Norwegian cod fillets
- 1,020g Romaine lettuce, shredded
- 540ml prepared Caesar dressing
- 540g French bread croutons
Combine the sun-dried tomatoes, 40g of parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Purée until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
For each serving, coat one side of one cod fillet in the coating. Roast in a preheated 190oC oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
Toss 85g of lettuce leaves in 15ml Caesar dressing and 10g parmesan cheese and place in a serving bowl. Sprinkle 45g croutons over salad and top with roasted cod. Drizzle an additional 30ml Caesar dressing over the cod.
Recipe supplied by Norwegian Seafood
Tempura Quorn Mini Fillets and Vegetable Brochettes with Soy and Chilli Dip
Preparation: 10 minsCooking: 10 minsServes: eight
- 16 Quorn mini fillets
- Eight small pieces each of red and green pepper
- Eight button mushrooms
- Eight baby corn
- 100g plain flour
- 50g cornflour
- One tsp malt vinegar
- One tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Half tsp salt
Cut Quorn mini fillets in half and thread on skewers alternately with red and green peppers, mushrooms and finish with the baby corn on top.
Make batter by mixing the dry ingredients with vinegar and enough water to make a thick batter.
Spoon some of the soy dip over the brochette and dip into the batter until covered.
Fry in hot oil until golden. Serve with dipping sauce.
Recipe supplied by Quorn