“Sun is Shining / the weather is sweet / make you want move your dancing feet.”
Bob Marley was right. Summer is a glorious time of year. The sun rises early and sets late, BBQs sizzle and conversation flows like fruit-ladened Pimms as work colleagues become summer-lovin’ friends. And of course, holding it together, is food; glorious, summertime food.
Good food is at the heart of being. During summer our eating habits change as we opt for lighter, fresher and healthier foods such as fruit, salads, seeds and fresh seafood. These balance our weekend indulgences of bap-wrapped burgers, sausages and steaks with the all important side helping of potatoes. Weekend breakfasts consist of eggs benedict and florentine topped with an ever-so-naughty hollandaise sauce made from egg yolks and clarified butter whisked over simmering water. Delicious.
In contrast, dessert is cool. Iced lollies, sorbets and ice creams compliment simple dishes such as an Eton mess, mixed berry pavlova, and my favourite dessert, cheesecake.
So, to get you in the summertime mood, I’m going to share one of my favourite recipes: Pan Fried Squid with Concasse Tomato
Pan Fried Squid with Concasse Tomato
Serves 4
Takes 10 minutes
  • 2 large plum tomatoes
  • 2 whole squid (ask your fishmonger to clean them)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 50g butter
  • 50ml crisp white wine (warmed up separately in pan to reduce the alcohol content)
  • 2-3 leaves basil, shredded
1. For the tomato concasse, make a slight cross in the skin of the tomato. Be careful not to cut too deep. Drop the tomatoes into a pan of boiling water for 4-5 seconds, lift out with a slotted spoon and plunge into very cold water to stop the cooking process. Peel the skin of the tomatoes, and cut into quarters. Use a teaspoon to remove the seeds and any water, placing the deseeded tomato segments onto a cloth to drain out any excessive liquid. Dice into 5mm cubes.
2. To prepare the squid, slice the squid tube so that it opens out flat. Lightly score the inside flesh in a criss-cross pattern. Cut the squid into 4 equal-sized pieces.
3. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan. Add the paprika, thyme and squid. Fry for about 1–2 mins or until the squid starts to curl up. (Don’t overcook it or it will get rubbery.) Remove the squid and set aside to rest.
4. Add the butter and wine to make an emulsion, then quickly add the diced tomato and basil for 15–30 secs just to warm through. Spoon the concasse tomato over the squid and serve.