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Summer’s here and salad days go on for ever – more’s the pity

I want to be the man who halves pert cherry tomatoes but I’d rather dream of piesIn matters of lunch, I am not a sunny individual. I try to be. When these, the summer months, roll around I imagine myself to be one of those heat-kissed, carefree types in a loose white linen shirt, doing sensitive things with nature’s seasonal bounty. I desperately want to be the man who dreams of halving the pertest of cherry tomatoes, then showering them with the petals of purple chive flowers. Add glugs of peppery olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, a crunch of sea salt, then push the plate into the middle of the table while whispering: “When the ingredients are this good you just need to let them shine, don’t you?”I want to be the man who pairs curls of charred squid with fronds of balsamic-slicked rocket; who places ice cubes into bowls of brilliant red gazpacho with a self-satisfied sigh; who does interesting things with berries and a dollop of creme fraiche. I want to be this man but I am not. My heart and, more importantly, my stomach aren’t in it. I must acknowledge my true nature. I am a winter cook currently forced to endure the summer months.In winter there is a place for puddings and crumbles and custard. Any season that sneers at custard has to be a bad idea Continue reading…