Thrown Together Quick Summer Recipe Ideas

Image: Sara Dubler / Unsplash

All the delicious seasonal summer produce has got the Eco-Age team experimenting in the kitchen. If your menus could do with an update, try one of our tips for throwing together something a little different.


Garlic, lemon and parmesan courgette fries

Courgettes are in abundance in summer and they make for a great alternative to potatoes. Chop them into thick wedges and brush with olive oil, lemon zest and crushed garlic. Add a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, or nutritional yeast if you are avoiding dairy, over the top and season with salt and pepper. 

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes before grilling for a further 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese is golden brown.

Serve warm with a lentil salad or as a summer barbecue side dish.


Fennel seed rice salad

Use cold rice from either an over-ordered take-away or dinner the night before. 

Add chopped chilli, red pepper and finely chopped red onion, as well as lightly steamed broccoli and cauliflower left over from lunch, peeled and blanched broad beans, asparagus, salt, pepper, olive oil and a handful of fennel seeds.

Eat with baked sustainably-sourced salmon fillets or grilled halloumi, soaked in boiling water for ten minutes before grilling for extra delicious gooeyness.

Crostini two ways

Cut leftover baguette into slices and brush with olive oil. Toast under the grill for a few minutes.

Take one: Slice peaches. Spread ricotta onto the toast and drizzle with a little honey. Place peaches on top. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, sprinkle chopped basil leaves and add a pinch of salt. 

Take two: Spread the toast with soft goats’ cheese and top with thinly sliced strawberries. Drizzle with a balsamic glaze. Sprinkle with mint or basil leaves and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Morrocan spiced slaw

Mix a large glug of olive oil with a little lemon juice and apple cider vinegar to make the vinaigrette.  

Mix together your favourite spices and herbs; cinnamon, paprika, cumin and parsley work well. Season with salt and pepper.

Coat finely chopped red cabbage, a couple of grated carrots, apple pieces and mix in a handful of raisins with the vinaigrette. Keep in the fridge for a couple of days and add to lunches and salads.

Squash and lentil salad

Roast butternut squash and mix with green, black puy lentils. Toss with leaves such as rocket or spinach.

Tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado can go in to – or whatever you have going off in the fridge. Courgette can be peeled into thin ribbons.

If you eat dairy, then sprinkle some goats cheese or feta on top. Otherwise, you could top with crushed nuts using whatever you have left from other dishes. 

Innovative waste alternatives

  • Toss carrot and parsnip peels with some olive oil and salt, roast in the oven and you’ve got colourful crisps. 
  • Stir fry whole mushrooms with some onions, garlic and a grain. Serve with greens and you’ve got a delicious salad.
  • Freezing bananas before they go bad means that you can use them to make delicious smoothies or as an alternative to ice-cream. Why not try whizzing together spinach, banana, almond butter and vanilla.

Baked, marinated tofu

Create a marinade from leftover ingredients at the back of your cupboard. Honey, soy and ginger are a delicious combination, but you should opt for something resher such as lemon and mint, for example. Or use up leftover homemade pesto or sweet chilli sauces. 

Cut soft tofu into rough chunks and soak in the marinade – the longer the better, and ideally overnight.

Bake for about twenty minutes and add to stir fried noodles or salads. 

Mustard vinaigrette 

Combine olive oil, a teaspoon of mustard and vinegar – any kind is fine, but white or red works best. Mix together and season.

Keep empty glass jars for your salad dressings. Pop all the ingredients in, shake it up and off you go.


Jasmine Hemsley shares her five go-to Ayurveda spices to add to your kitchen cupboards.

Find out what’s in season this summer before planning your menu for the week.

Add charred herby gem lettucecharred asparagus or coffee, banana and almond popsicles to your plant-heavy barbecue offerings.