One game I’m definitely playing in the next year or so is Spot the Park/Common/Outdoor Scene in every film or TV series I watch, because I’ve seen so many film crews at work outside over the past year. And, just as I predict a spate of outdoor film and TV action, I also predict that, this summer, there will be a whole lot of recipes for outdoor cooking and eating. So long as the weather allows, and our freedoms continue, such delicious predictability is a very nice problem to have, so, tongs at the ready, here are two from me.
Peas in the pod with wasabi dressing and furikake
This will also work with mangetout or sugar snaps. Make double the amount of furikake, if you like: it keeps well in a sealed jar and is lovely to have around to scatter over rice or noodles.
Prep 10 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 4 as a side
For the wasabi dressing
25g wasabi (or a bit more, to taste, if you like heat)
¾ tbsp maple syrup
1½ tbsp lemon juice
60ml olive oil
For the peas
500g peas in the pod (or mangetout or sugar snap peas)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
For the furikake
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1½ tbsp nori flakes
½ tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
1 tsp sea salt flakes
Turn the grill on high, or set a griddle pan over a high heat and ventilate the kitchen.
Mix all the furikake ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
In a bowl large enough to hold all the pea pods, mix all the ingredients for the wasabi dressing with a half-teaspoon of salt and set aside.
In another large bowl, toss the pea pods in the oil, to coat, then grill in two or three batches for about four minutes in total, turning them once halfway, so they get grill marks on both sides.
Tip the grilled peas into the dressing bowl, toss to coat, then arrange on a large platter and pour over any dressing that’s left in the bowl. Sprinkle half the furikake on top of the peas and serve the rest in a bowl on the side.
Baked potato with onion and harissa butter
I’ve given instructions for cooking these indoors, in the oven, but if the sun is shining and you have a barbecue, wrap the potatoes in foil, pierce both the foil and the spuds, then grill, turning regularly, for an hour, until very soft inside. Needless to say, these go especially well with any sausages that might happen to be cooked alongside.
Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 20 min
4 medium baking potatoes (about 250g each)
2 tbsp olive oil
Flaked sea salt
3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
For the onion and harissa butter
60ml olive oil
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped (350g net)
80g unsalted butter, very soft but not melted
1 tbsp rose harissa
2½-3 tbsp (10g) parsley, finely chopped
Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Rub the potatoes all over with the oil and a tablespoon of salt, so the salt sticks to the skins, and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for an hour and 20 minutes, until soft all the way through.
Meanwhile, make the onion and harissa butter. Put the oil, onions and three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt in a large saute pan, set it over a medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, for 16-18 minutes, until very soft and deeply golden brown. Tip into a bowl, add all the other butter ingredients and a good pinch of flaked salt, and mix well.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, split them open down the middle and squeeze the ends to open them out a little. Sprinkle with more flaked sea salt, then top with a generous spoonful of the onion and harissa butter. Finish with the sliced spring onions and serve with the lemon wedges for squeezing over.