Having had such wonderful sun now is the time to try out some summer recipes.

Recently, I have been using harissa paste in so many ways, if you like spicy food with character this is it! Harissa paste, a North African condiment is so versatile, it can be bought ready-made, in jars at most supermarkets but I recommend you try making it from scratch. It’s unbelievably good!

But first things first, the STARTER: Baked Camembert topped with pan-roasted peaches

What I love about this dish is its simplicity and the combination of flavours. I baked 2 cheeses for 6 generous servings.

2 Camembert cheeses
3 small peaches
small knob of butter
Sprig of rosemary
Pinch of sugar

Bake the Camembert in a hot oven (200C) for about 10 minutes; in the meantime, melt a small knob of butter in a frying pan. remove the stone of 3 small peaches and chop them, add to the hot pan with the melted butter and fry for about 5 minutes over low heat, then add a pinch of cinnamon, a sprig of rosemary and a pinch of sugar and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Note that the cooking time of the cheese and the peaches will depend on their ripeness.

For the MAIN: Harissa Lamb steaks with pearl couscous and pomegranate salad

6 lamb steaks, rubbed with 2 tablespoons of harissa paste
For the salad:
1 bag of green salad leaves
1 cup pomegranate
1 cup of pearl couscous, cooked to the packet instructions,
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
I found a great recipe at https://www.feastingathome.com/how-to-make-harissa-paste/#tasty-recipes-19529

To cook the lamb: on a hot frying pan, cook the lamb steaks for about 2 minutes on both sides, or cook longer if the steaks are thick or if you prefer them well done.

For the salad, mix all the ingredients together and serve.

I also served a freshly made tzatziki along with the lamb and the salad, if you want to give it a try here is a recipe https://cookieandkate.com/how-to-make-tzatziki/

And last but not least! the DESSERT: Griddled Pineapple with vanilla ice cream and caramel rum sauce

1 pineapple cut into rings
For the caramel sauce:
100g granulated sugar
100ml water

Cook the pineapple on a griddle pan for a couple of minutes on both sides, just so that the pineapple is soft.

For the caramel rum sauce: place 100g of granulated sugar in a small saucepan, cook over medium heat to make a caramel. when the sugar has the colour and consistency of caramel, add 100ml of water. Bring to the boil allowing the sugar lump, which has formed melt. At this point add 1 tablespoon of rum and allow the sauce to cool before serving.

Stress free cooking tips

What I love about preparing this type of meal is that, although the finishing touches are last minute, most of the elements can be prepared in advance. The peach, the pineapple, the rum sauce, the elements of the salad too but don’t add any dressing until the last minute to avoid the leaves from wilting.