Summer Recipe Inspiration: Cooking with Seasonal Veggies

Words: Robyn Samuels

Summer cooking doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious. All you need are seasonal fruits and vegetables, they’re better-tasting and the ripe, fresh quality ingredients will make your cooking sing. If you’re in need of summer recipe inspiration, stock up on these seasonal veggies and try these standout dishes.

Asparagus

Whether you want to make a dish look fancy or need to bulk up salads with a flavour and texture, asparagus is the way to go. Fibre-rich and high in vitamins A, C, K and folate, these asparagus-loaded summer recipes are absolutely worth making.

Grilled Asparagus, Fig & Goat Cheese Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

This summer salad is the perfect celebration of seasonal ingredients; the citrus vinaigrette brings them to life. Enjoy with a glass or two of Sauvignon Blanc and savour every bite.

Recipe for Grilled Asparagus, Fig & Goat Cheese Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Lemon & Rocket Pesto Tartines with Avo & Asparagus

As much as we love a bready sandwich, they can be a bit heavy in summer. These tartines are light, healthy and filled with fresh greens.

Recipe for Lemon & Rocket Pesto Tartines with Avo & Asparagus 

Puff Pastry Smoked Salmon Tart with Grilled Asparagus

Flaky puff pastry topped with a layer of creamy cottage cheese, delicate smoked salmon and charred asparagus – perfect for tucking into at summer social gatherings.

Recipe for Puff Pastry Smoked Salmon Tart with Grilled Asparagus

Spring Onion, Pea & Asparagus Salad with Jalapeño Vinaigrette

Asparagus is the ideal flavour canvas – simply dress it up with a drizzle of olive oil and a citrusy, spicy vinaigrette. It’s the ultimate side for almost any protein.

Recipe for Chargrilled Spring Onion, Pea & Asparagus Salad with Jalapeño Vinaigrette


Aubergine

Whether you call it aubergine, eggplant or brinjal, this veggie is incredibly delicious, versatile and has loads of health benefits. Aubergine is high in fibre and antioxidants – specifically, nasunin, the pigment that gives aubergines that gorgeous purple colour. They also help manage blood sugar and cholesterol levels, while protecting cells against damage. Try these recipes to reap the benefits of aubergine.

Aubergine, Tomato & Pumpkin Breakfast Hash

You can’t go wrong with this aubergine, tomato and pumpkin combo. Top it off with some scrambled, fried or perfectly poached eggs and you’ve got yourself a winner.

Recipe for Aubergine, Tomato & Pumpkin Breakfast Hash

Low-carb Crispy Aubergine Breakfast Stack

A low-carb brekkie that’s stacked with flavour, texture and healthy ingredients. One of our favourite summer recipes.

Recipe for Low-carb Crispy Aubergine Breakfast Stack with Smashed Avo & Poached Egg

Miso Glazed Aubergines with Vegan Miso Mayo

Vegan or not, you have to admit that sounds delicious. Best of all, it’s simple to make and delivers big, bold flavours.

Recipe for Miso Glazed Aubergines with Vegan Miso Mayo

Butternut & Aubergine Spaghetti

There’s nothing aubergine can’t do. This veggie pasta dish is not only paleo-friendly, but pretty darn delicious too.

Recipe for Butternut & Aubergine Spaghetti


Beetroot

Bright and beautiful, beetroot is perfect for adding earthiness and natural sweetness to juices, dishes, salads and more. They’re not only delicious, but also high in vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese and iron – as if we needed more reasons to love beetroot.

Open Sandwich with Goat’s Cheese, Beetroot & Poached Egg

Beetroot probably wouldn’t be your first choice when it comes to sandwich toppings, but once you try it, there’s no going back.

Recipe for Open Sandwich with Goat’s Cheese,  Beetroot & Poached Egg

Beetroot Falafel on Flatbread with Guacamole

Savour these irresistible beetroot falafel served on toasted flatbread with creamy guacamole, pickled onions, and tahini drizzle – completely vegan-friendly and perfect for midweek dinners.

Recipe for Beetroot Falafel on Flatbread with Guacamole

Succulent Lamb Noisette with Rocket, Beetroot & Citrus Salad

Beetroot is the ideal addition to this peppery rocket and zesty salad; it also pairs beautifully with this super succulent lamb noisette.

Recipe for Succulent Lamb Noisette with Rocket, Beetroot & Citrus Salad

Beetroot Cake with Meringue Frosting

Why use red food colouring when you can use beet juice? The addition of beet juice makes this cake perfectly moist, while the earthy flavour balances the sweetness of the meringue.

Recipe for Beetroot Cake with Meringue Frosting


Cucumber

Cucumbers are super hydrating and a refreshing addition to salads, dips and summer meals. They’re low in calories, and high in antioxidants and potassium – they even aid digestion and have anti-inflammatory properties.

summer recipes

Cucumber Ribbon Salad with Caramelised Feta

Refreshing cucumber ribbons and salty, caramelised feta topped with a herby and zesty green dressing – this might just be the ultimate summer recipe.

Recipe for Cucumber Ribbon Salad with Caramelised Feta

Spinach & Snoek Paté with Cucumber

Dips are a great way to infuse fresh flavours, we’ve amped up a snoek paté with two of our fave seasonal veggies, spinach and cucumber. Enjoy with celery, carrots, rice cakes or on melba toast. Yum!

Recipe for Spinach & Snoek Paté with Cucumber

vegan recipes

Aloo Chaat with Vegan Schnitzels and Cucumber & Mint Raita

Cucumber is perfect for making condiments. This raita works well as a cooling element for this spice-forward dish.

Recipe for Aloo Chaat with Vegan Schnitzels & Cucumber & Mint Raita

Cucumber & Dill Summer Salad

The best thing about summer cooking is that you don’t have to do much. Enjoy raw veggies and dress them up with this tasty salad recipe.

Recipe for Cucumber & Dill Summer Salad


Courgettes

Courgette, zucchini or baby marrow – they might have a different name depending on where you’re from, but they’re universally delicious. High in vitamin C and folate, courgettes are great for improving fatigue and regulating blood pressure. Have your pick of these versatile, tasty and nutritious summer recipes.

summer recipes
vegan recipes

Zucchini & Ricotta Lasagne

We all love lasagne, but have you tried this zucchini and ricotta lasagne? All the flavours are beautifully balanced, and it’s Banting-friendly.

Recipe for Zucchini & Ricotta Lasagne

Vegan Courgette Frittata

The beauty of frittata is that you can make it your own and add your favourite veggies – we can’t get enough of this courgette version.

Recipe for Vegan Courgette Frittata

summer recipes
summer recipes

Courgette Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing

Courgette is another versatile summer veg. It’s a surprisingly good addition to bakes, like this fluffy courgette cake with smooth lemon mascarpone frosting.

Recipe for Courgette Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing

Courgette Cupcakes with Avocado Cream Cheese

Savoury cupcakes can be just as delish as sweet ones; these courgette cupcakes topped with buttery avo cream cheese show you how it’s done.

Recipe for Courgette Cupcakes with Avocado Cream Cheese


Mielies

There are a million and one ways to enjoy corn and reasons to eat it. This ancient vegetable is loaded with vitamin C and is great for promoting eye and heart health due to the carotenoids – pigments mostly found in bright yellow, orange and red fruits, vegetables and flowers. These summer recipes remind us why we love corn.

seasonal vegetables

Elotes Mexican-style Grilled Corn

These Elotes are guaranteed to be the highlight at your next braai. Simple to make, and loaded with smoky goodness – who doesn’t love good ol’ corn on a cob?

Recipe for Elotes Mexican-style Grilled Corn

Chilled Guacamole Soup with Roasted Vine Tomatoes, Corn & Feta

Roasted tomatoes, corn and spicy guacamole – all your fave summer flavours in one bowl.

Recipe for Chilled Guacamole Soup with Roasted Vine Tomatoes, Corn & Feta

Corn Riblets with Smoky Mayo

The ultimate braai side dish or starter – just be sure to make enough, guests will be going back for seconds or thirds.

Recipe for Corn Riblets with Smoky Mayo

Chipotle Chicken on Herbed Quinoa with Charred Corn, Avo & Feta

Spicy chipotle chicken on a bed of refreshing, herby quinoa with charred sweet corn and salty feta – perfect for outdoor summer lunching.

Recipe for Chipotle Chicken on Herbed Quinoa with Charred Corn, Avocado & Feta


Mushroom

Mushrooms will always be a favourite, these summer recipes prove why. From portobello to shimeji and white button, mushrooms are umami-rich and the perfect substitute if you want something meaty without actual meat.

braai recipes
vegan recipes

Balsamic Marinated Steak & Mushrooms Kebabs

Keep everyone happy at the braai. Make a balsamic marinade, serve steak for meat-eaters and mushroom kebabs for vegetarians – simple and delicious.

Recipe for Balsamic Marinated Steak & Mushrooms Kebabs

Vegan BBQ Tofu Bao, Guacamole, Mushrooms & Pickled Onion

A fusion bao loaded with the goodness of mushrooms, guac and pickled onion. Yum!

Recipe for Vegan BBQ Tofu Bao, Guacamole, Mushrooms & Pickled Onion

summer recipes

Vegan Mushroom Taquitos

Crispy taquitos filled with meaty mushrooms – a textural delight.

Recipe for Vegan Mushroom Taquitos

Marinated Wild Mushroom Pasta with Walnut Crumble

You’ll love this nutty and umami-packed pasta, it’s utterly delicious.

Recipe for Marinated Wild Mushroom Pasta with Walnut Crumble

Check out our guide to edible mushrooms and learn how to cook them. 


Spinach

Of all the leafy greens, spinach is a definitely winner and so easy to incorporate into most dishes. These dark green are a great source of protein, iron, vitamins and minerals.

summer recipes

Spinach, Ricotta & Tomato-stuffed Chicken with Parmesan Crust

A tasty and healthy midweek summer recipe that even the kids will love.

Recipe for Spinach, Ricotta & Tomato-stuffed Chicken Breasts with Parmesan Crust

Spinach, Baby Gem & Herb Salad with Dates & Cashew Nuts

All the greens you could ask for, with a sprinkle of dates and toasted cashews – you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this one.

Recipe for Spinach, Baby Gem & Herb Salad with Dates & Cashew Nuts

summer recipes

Spring Salmon & Spinach Poke Bowl

Poke bowls are ideal if you’re looking for something filling yet healthy. We’ve added spinach to our rice, which adds plenty of flavour and nutrients. The wholesome addition of salmon makes this the perfect summer dish.

Recipe for Spring Salmon & Spinach Poke Bowl 

Tarte Flambeé with Spinach, Potato & Smoked Mozzarella

Serve friends and family this tarte flambeé, and watch it disappear in seconds.

Recipe for Tarte Flambeé with Spinach, Potato & Smoked Mozzarella

seasonal vegetables

Breakfast Tartlets

These protein-packed breakfast tarts are so simple to make and great for serving individual breakfast portions.

Recipe for Breakfast Tartlets

Spinach, Lamb & Feta Gözleme

Nothing goes together better than spinach and feta in a gözleme. This Turkish treat is perfect if you have some leftover dough – it’s even worth making dough from scratch.

Recipe for Spinach, Lamb & Feta Gözleme

For more seasonal cooking inspiration, use our Seasonal Fruit & Veg Chart

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