The heat is on! When it turns up (which hasn’t been often in the 28 years I’ve lived here), summertime in London is truly spectacular. It’s really like living in a different country full of happy people desperately soaking up the sun. Our local park is always packed with picnickers, sunbathers and dog walkers all loving every moment of it.
This year it has been the hottest for seven years. Sounds very hot, but really it just hasn’t been very hot for seven years! Temperatures of 29/30C are pretty high for London though, especially if you are on the tube which can be highly unpleasant. And sleeping at night can be tricky…our houses aren’t really built for tropical weather and the thought of investing in air conditioning for those few weeks every decade you’d need it is simply ludicrous. Not that I’m moaning, I’m always happier in hot weather.
I also find I feel less like eating when it’s hot, especially heavier food. Easy solution there, time to come up with some great new salads to enjoy. This one is a mix of a lot of green ingredients topped with plump, fresh prawns. It’s wonderfully light and zesty and looks beautiful, too. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
2 little gem lettuces, quartered
150g peas, steamed and cooled
150g broad beans, peeled, podded, steamed and cooled
Small bag of pea shoots
4 spring onions
2 handfuls of fresh mint leaves, pulled off the stem
1 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, pulled off the stem
150g peeled, cooked prawns
For the dressing
3 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps white wine vinegar
1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
Once you’ve cooked and cooled the peas and broad beans, simply combine all the salad ingredients. Top with the prawns, pour over the dressing, toss and serve. Summer on a plate!
My top tips
I bought ready peeled, ready cooked prawns from the supermarket. Saves time and effort!
You could substitute different ingredients – just think green. Different types of lettuce, rocket, watercress, asparagus, green peppers would all go wonderfully. Plus you could think of adding fruit -– pineapple and prawns go together beautifully, for example.