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The essence of summer

Put Italian-born food writer Eleonora Galasso in the garden and she’ll lay the table, fill a jug with pretty flowers and set about preparing a feast fit for kings – or indeed whoever happens through the front door. Her menu is about relaxation, enjoyment and going home filled with good food and happy memories

Food writer in residence

PART 2

“When a cooling breeze and the softening shadows of twilight signal the end of a long, hot summer day, my appetite is piqued by the thought of some of my favourite dishes waiting to be served in the open air. As gathered friends eagerly share jokes and bottles of wine, all cares and worries are put off until tomorrow.

At this time of year I like to serve an al fresco spread, either on a fresh linen cloth or a rustic table – it matters not – with an array of generously laden dishes.

Never mind the crockery is mismatched – it makes it easier to welcome a last-minute friend; there will always be flowers, fresh and full of scent, and when the night draws in there are candles flickering in the breeze. That for me is the epitome of summer.

There’s an element of spontaneity and improvisation, too. The doors are thrown open to welcome everyone in – perhaps a friend just back from foreign travels bearing exotic spices and salty tales, an elderly neighbour who brings her signature apricot tart, and maybe an aunt – the one who never turns down a dinner invitation… The atmosphere is one of acceptance.

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About delicious. Magazine

Fire up the barbecue, our globetrotting August issue has burger recipes everyone will love and a spicy North African lamb from Berber & Q. Gather hungry friends for our summer menu from Provence, Olia Hercules’ recipes from Georgia and Azerbaijan, and Eleonora Galasso’s casual Italian supper. GBBO stars feature, too, with Martha Collison’s great bakes and Chetna Makan’s Indian street food. Plus, chill out with our no-cook midweek meals and a pull-out special of frozen desserts.