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Allotment Diary: Summery salad and retro pud

As she shares recipes for a refreshing salad and a retro pud, Katie Moore of Allotment says homemade food continues to be both a constant and a comfort

While the world is in flux around us, delicious homemade food continues to be one of the great comforts. At this time of year the allotment is so verdant and lush, keeping the fridge stocked with the flavours of summer. This first recipe may be super simple, but it is packed with punchy flavours and is a great accompaniment to just about anything. The crunchy cucumber is cooling and refreshing and the perfect partner to salty peanuts and fiery chilli.

Smashed Cucumber Salad

Serves 2 to 4


1 cucumber, around 350g


1 red chilli

2 garlic cloves

120ml rice wine vinegar

2tbsp fish sauce

1tbsp sugar

Salted roasted peanuts, chopped

Toasted sesame seeds

Handful coriander, roughly chopped


Bash the cucumber with a rolling pin to break the skin open and then tear into pieces. Put the pieces in a bowl and season with salt, then leave them to sit for 30-60 minutes – this will season the cucumber and also draw out the excess water.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the chilli (remove the seeds for less spice) and crush the garlic, then whisk together with the rice vinegar, fish sauce and sugar.

When the cucumbers have sat for long enough, drain in a sieve and discard any liquid. Toss the pieces in the dressing and serve topped with a scattering of peanuts, sesame seeds and chopped coriander.

Whilst the connotations of ‘peach melba’ may be a little retro, the pairing of peaches with raspberries remains utterly delicious. Baking the peaches gives them a deep caramel flavour, but I prefer to enjoy the season’s raspberries unadulterated, served simply with a scoop of ice-cream or dollop of yoghurt.

Baked Peaches & Raspberries

Serves 4


6 peaches

1tbsp thyme leaves

1tbsp honey

1tbsp brown sugar

200g raspberries

40g almonds

Vanilla ice-cream/yoghurt


Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Carefully slice the peaches in half and remove the stone from the middle. Arrange the halves cut side up on the baking tray and sprinkle over the thyme leaves, sugar and honey.

Bake the peaches for 15-20 minutes until the flesh has softened and the tops have caramelized, but they are still holding their shape. Roast the almonds on a separate tray for the final 10 minutes of cooking time.

Leave the peaches to cool slightly on the tray and roughly chop the almonds.

Spoon 3 peach halves into each bowl along with a handful of raspberries and a spoonful of ice-cream or yoghurt. Drizzle over some of the roasting juices from the peaches and sprinkle over the roasted almonds for the perfect al fresco pudding. Any leftover peaches are also delicious with yoghurt and granola for breakfast the next day.

For more information – including where to find Katie’s amazing bread – follow @allotmentbakery and see allotmentbakery.co.uk

READ MORE: Allotment Diary: Cooking can provide comfort in even the toughest times, writes Katie Moore

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