We scoured the globe for treats that would make perfect gifts, and be easy to whip up for when impromptu guests drop in over the summer holiday season. Most of them are surprisingly simple to make, and while it was hard to pick a favourite, the caramel popcorn and Sri Lankan milk toffee were real standouts for me. Turn to page 45 for some sweet inspiration.
If all that sugar has you craving something savoury, turn to page 80 for our satisfying summer salads. Packed with flavour and based around store-bought barbecued chicken and duck, easy grilled prawns and tasty kofta, our salads are quick and effortless to pull together – ideal on those hot summer days when you want to minimise kitchen time and maximise relaxation. Gourmet Farmer Matthew Evans has the same strategy this month, with his tapas-style dishes that are perfect for grazing on between holiday events (page 33).
Christmas is almost upon us and we were lucky enough to join the Dakhoul family as they celebrated with a Lebanese Christmas feast for 40 people that included everything from the national dish of kibbeh nayeh (spiced raw lamb) to a French-inspired bûche de Noël. Hostess Norma cooked the family’s traditional favourites, as well as put her own modern spin on this much-loved cuisine. Her family’s story and recipes can be found on page 69.
When you need a break from the kitchen, we’ve rounded up the best summer festivals around the country (page 122) – from food to music to film. Grab a rug and pack a picnic or pick up some delicious local offerings to be enjoyed over lazy summer days – the choice is yours.
Best wishes for the season, however you may celebrate it.