Summer is for beaches, braais and basking in the sun. Brita du Plessis takes it outside with chargrilled delicacies perfect for entertaining or just a lazy Sunday in the garden. Celebrate outdoor living with these alfresco recipes.
Go off the grid with these alfresco recipes
Charred Tomato and Onion Salsa
400g mini Rosa tomatoes
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
1 red chilli, or to taste
A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
Grill the tomatoes, onion and chilli on a braai or griddle pan until charred. Chop them roughly, mix in the coriander, lime zest and juice, and season to taste. This salsa pairs well with charred prawns, crisp tortillas and creamy avocado as a light meal.
Grilled Wild Asian Mushrooms with Coconut Pak Choi
800g assorted large wild mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2T Chinese five-spice powder
100g soft butter, melted
2×400ml cans coconut milk
2T grated fresh ginger root
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised
2T soy sauce
Salt and lime juice, to taste
200g pak choi heads, quartered
Clean the mushrooms, slice the larger ones in half, and assemble them onto kebab sticks or metal skewers. Stir the garlic and Chinese five-spice powder into the melted butter. Braai or grill the kebabs, basting continually with the butter, until the mushrooms are cooked but still firm.
In the meantime, pour the coconut milk into a pot and add the ginger, lemongrass stalk, soy sauce and sherry. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened.
Season with salt and lime juice, add the pak choi and cook until wilted. Remove the lemongrass and serve as a side dish to the mushroom kebabs or pull the mushrooms off the skewers and toss in the sauce.
Sesame Carrots and Sweet Potatoes with Honey Labneh
500g double-cream Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
250g baby rainbow carrots, peeled
2 large sweet potatoes, washed and cut into wedges
3T olive oil
1t ground cumin
1t ground coriander
½t chilli flakes
Salt, to taste
2T sesame seeds, toasted
2T honey, or to taste
To make the labneh, line a sieve with muslin and set over a bowl. Mix the yoghurt with the garlic and pour into the sieve, then twist or tie the muslin edges together and place in the fridge overnight.
For the root vegetables, toss the carrots and sweet potatoes in the oil, spices and seasoning, and grill for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Place on a platter and scatter the sesame seeds over them.
Remove the labneh from the sieve, discarding the drained liquid, and place in a bowl. Stir through the tahini and honey and serve with the grilled vegetables.
Charred Nectarine and Citrus Sangria
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup lime juice
2 nectarines, sliced into quarters
2 small oranges or soft-peel citrus fruit, peeled and cut into halves
1 bottle rosé wine
A handful each of mint and basil, for garnish
Make a lime syrup by boiling the sugar, water and lime juice in a small pot, stirring continually until the sugar has completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Heat a griddle pan on high and lightly chargrill the nectarines and fruit, ensuring that they remain firm. Place the fruit in a large jug, add the lime syrup and rosé, and refrigerate for at least an hour. Garnish with the mint and basil, and serve over ice.
Tuna steak with Charred Apple and Fennel Slaw
4T olive oil
4 fresh tuna steaks
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 apples, cut into wedges
4 baby fennel bulbs, cut in half
2 bunches of spring onions
4 small radicchio leaves, shredded
¼ cup chopped, fresh dill
Olive oil, for frying
For the dressing
4T vegetable oil
2T apple cider/cloudy apple juice
2T fresh lime juice
Drizzle 2T olive oil over the tuna steaks and season with salt and pepper. Place a griddle pan over a high heat and allow it to reach optimal temperature. Mix the apples, fennel bulbs and spring onions with the remaining 2T olive oil and season well. Chargrill, turning frequently, until soft. Remove from the heat, roughly slice the charred fennel and spring onions, and place in a bowl with the apple. Add the radicchio leaves and dill.
Pour the dressing ingredients into a jar, shake well and toss through the slaw. Sear the tuna in olive oil to your liking and serve with the slaw.
Serve up these tangy granadilla curd doughnuts for a sweet finish.