Okay so the end of the summer holidays and autumn is in sight – but one of the things to really look forward to (sad to say!) is Autumn. Oysters and mussels will be featuring a lot in my menus (both professionally and at home) during September, October and November. Some of the top notch spring lamb should be coming through now too. But I urge you, for the last few weeks of summer, to focus on the burst-in-your-mouth joy of a fresh cherry tomato.
With a few weeks more sunshine forecast we’re in for a plump and bursting-with-flavour tomato season and these little numbers can bring so many meals alive. I’ll be laying my hands on all sorts of tomato varieties to use them in soups, stews, salads, tagines, pasta dishes, aperitifs and curries.
My particular star-turn for the tomato at this time of year though? It’s the panzanella – that gorgeous Tuscan salad featuring tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, cucumbers, basil, red onions and capers which provides the perfect reason to soak up a hunk of leftover bread.
Rupert’s Quick Meal Tip: Roast your tomatoes in the oven (dare I say burn), sprinkle with cumin seeds and serve with full fat Greek yoghurt, and drizzle each of olive oil and red wine vinegar. This can accompany all sorts of dishes but even on its own makes for an outrageously good mouthful that you can serve with homemade flatbreads and salad for a simple but memorable lunch.
But for all you dedicated meat-eaters out there we’ve got those Last Bank Holiday Weekend of the year barbecues to get excited about. Here at Philleigh Way we’ve barbecued in all sorts of weather, including for a wedding on the cliff tops at Maenporth that same windy weekend that Boardmasters was cancelled. Yes it was blowy – but we were tucked in away a little bit – and it was a fantastic day in the end. The menu couldn’t have been more Cornish – smoked beef, roasted lamb shoulder, whole breams and then a variety of salads and potatoes – and all went hand in hand with the client’s beautiful, laidback rustic event. For pudding? A crowd-pleasing affogato with coffee, ice-cream and a little gingerbread crumble. One very happy couple, with very happy guests too. Job done.
Get out and enjoy Cornwall…
Owner, Philleigh Way