cooking on the cut – summer 24

cooking on the cut

with Lisa Munday

summer 2024


This could be a question rather than a statement because we had the occasional fire during May and only recently we were back to warmer clothing and waterproofs. But now June is promising finer and warmer weather we will be back to “al fresco” and lighter meals.

Summer has officially arrived for me when the elder-flower blossom blooms and on a warm day the sweet heady aroma of that and the nettles reminds me of a good New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc! My first batch of elder-flower cordial is made, the dandelion honey was made earlier on and this month I will be making clover honey for the first time. These sweet syrups may not be the ideal  substitute for honey but are perfect for using over fruit, natural yoghurt, breakfast muesli, in marinades and dressings etc.

stirfry Cobb BBQ

fajitas on the Cobb BBQ

fajitas on the Cobb BBQ

ELDERFLOWER DRESSING is perfect over green salads. Mix together 2 tbsp elderflower cordial, 2 tbsp white wine vinegar, 3 tbsp olive oil, zest and juice of 1 lemon.

Fridge space is always limited but there’s always a big tub of natural yoghurt in mine. It’s an all rounder for every meal from breakfast smoothies and muesli, muffin and cake recipes, then of course marinades and dressings. Feta and halloumi are synonymous with summer recipes, as are lemon, fresh herbs, chillies, seasonal fresh produce and soft fruits.

BEETROOT! Not everyone enjoys this dark purple vegetable but if you do it’s the perfect addition to summer salads, it marries well with feta, fish (such as mackerel or cod) and lentils. It also makes a wonderful salsa and has good health benefits.


Combine all the ingredients together: 2 to 4 beets, finely diced ½ red onion; finely chopped ½ each red and green chilli, de-seeded and very finely chopped; 1 tsp freshly chopped mint; (use mint sauce from a jar if you don’t have fresh) 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil; Juice of ½ lemon, or 1 tbsp cider vinegar; Pinch salt.

GREEK SCRAMBLED EGGS A lovely light meal and perfect served on toasted sourdough.

Feta cheese, about ¼ pack 2 to 3 (depending on size) tomatoes, finely chopped 4 large eggs, lightly whisked 1 tsp oregano Generous pinch of salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a pan end gently fry the tomatoes for 2 or 3 minutes until some of the juice evaporates. Add the eggs, oregano and seasoning to the pan then gently stir and fold the mixture across the pan. When the eggs are just about cooked, crumble in the feta cheese and gently fold in. Enjoy with warm toast.

beetroot salsa

Greek scrambled eggs

PESTO in a jar is a useful store cupboard ingredient to have in and makes a quick salad dressing or marinade for chicken and vegetables with added oil, lemon juice (or cider vinegar) and optional chilli. It’s also handy to stir through a pasta dish, or as a pizza or tart base.


Roll out a pack of ready roll puff pasty onto a baking sheet, using the packaging paper as a non-stick sheet. Tidy the edges with a knife to form a neat rectangle, then gently score a line all the way round, about an inch in from the edge cutting all the way the through. Brush a little beaten egg around the border taking care not to spill over the sides otherwise you wont get an even rise. Brush a thin layer of pesto over the base and pop into a hot oven for 5 minutes while you prepare the topping. Slice 1 to 2 courgettes into discs and gently fry in a little oil for a couple minutes each side. Remove the pastry from the oven and arrange the courgette pieces over the top, followed by sliced small tomatoes and salt and pepper. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes until the pastry edges are golden and crispy. Enjoy warm or cut into squares and eat cold.

When planning to barbecue we often have a plan b, which is usually involves the skillet or griddle pan and cooking over the gas hob inside! My devilled corn on the cob recipe can also be cooked in a hot pan, as can the skewers if they are small enough, and burgers of course.

Yoghurt sauce, tzatziki, hummus, guacamole etc. are all favourites and have been included in previous summer articles. My quick onion relish recipe not only works as an accompaniment but is a good binder for my meatball kebabs. Jalapeno peppers in a jar are a great addition to salsas, homemade burgers and aioli.


AIOLI works well with any type of burger:

For the aioli simply mix together (or blend in a mini chopper) 1 finely chopped garlic clove, ½ cup mayonnaise, a few sliced jalapenos, add a little juice from the jar to make a thinner sauce.

Slice the burger bun and toast on the inside, then layer the burger up, firstly spread some aioli over the base, followed by a lettuce leaf, slice of tomato, sliced onion ring, cooked burger, slice of cheese, cooked bacon rasher, sliced avocado, finally spread more aioli over the burger bun lid and place over the top!

LENTIL BURGERS 1 tin lentils, drained ½ small red onion and 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped 70g porridge oats, finely blended to fine if you have a mini chopper of food processor 1 tsp chilli flakes or finely chopped fresh chilli ½ tsp ground cumin ¼ tsp turmeric 1 tomato, finely chopped 50 ml natural yoghurt A handful of freshly chopped coriander, mint or parsley if you have it pinch salt and pepper

Start by gently frying the chopped onion and garlic, add the spices and seasoning to combine and then remove from the heat. Whiz the oats in a processor, if you don’t have one you could place them in a strong food bag and crush with a rolling pin, the finer they are the easier it is to shape the burger. Then combine everything together in a bowl and leave for 20 mins. Squeeze the mixture tightly together with your hands to form the burgers, makes about 2 or 3. Double the quantities for more, will freeze uncooked.

TIP For any homemade burgers or meatballs is always good to squeeze very firmly together when shaping to avoid too much moisture and help stick together, don’t use extra lean minced meat, 30% fat content is ideal as the fat helps keep everything together, refrigerate before cooking - if they are too “soft” they fall apart easier. Make sure the grill pan is oiled just before cooking. Finally, don’t be in a hurry to turn them over, be patient and wait for one side to cook, they should only need turning once.


1 or 2 (depending on size) red onions 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp honey 2 tbsp tomato puree 2 tbsp water Pinch salt and pepper Finely slice and chop the onions and add to a pan with the water and balsamic vinegar, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and add the tomato puree, honey and seasoning. Continue to simmer until the onions become soft and caramelised, add a little more water if needed.

pesto, courgette and tomato bake

quick onion relish


These are good to make in advance and keep in the fridge, then if the weather changes and the barbecue is cancelled, you can always have them in a sauce or pasta.

Mix together beef mince and onion relish with a sprinkling of chilli flakes. Form into meatballs large enough to go onto a skewer, squeezing together very tightly, place them on plate in the fridge to chill before they go onto the skewer.


Serve with sliced lettuce wedges, cucumber, onion, yoghurt dressing and fresh mint leaves. Also goes well with sweetcorn and spicy pitta wedges.

2 chicken breast fillets, cut into strips 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 tsp smoked paprika juice ½ lemon 1 tbsp olive oil

Mix the garlic, paprika, lemon and olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Combine with the chicken strips and leave to marinate for at least 20 mins. Brush to barbecue griddle/rack with oil and cook the chicken for about 3 to 4 mins each side. Arrange over the salad ingredients and top with a simple yoghurt dressing.

meatball kebabs

griddled paprika chicken salad


2 corn on the cob; 60g soft butter; ½ tsp Dijon mustard; ¼ tsp each cayenne pepper and paprika; 1 tsp balsamic vinegar.

Rub a little butter over the corn on the cob, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and wrap in kitchen foil with the ends sealed well. In a small bowl mash the remaining butter with the other ingredients and set aside. Cook the wrapped corn directly over the barbecue coals for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Have a peep and if they aren’t browning cook them directly over the rack until they start to char. Once cooked unwrap and smother with the devilled butter to serve. Either serve whole or slice the kernels off with a knife and scatter over a salad. This is a tasty addition over a salad of black beans, onion and tortilla.


4 pitta breads cut into wedges; 2 tsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan and crushed; ½ tsp finely chopped red chilli or dried chilli flakes; 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil; pinch salt.

Toss the pitta wedges in all the ingredients and cook over the barbeque or a dry skillet for a 2 or 3 minutes each side until golden and crispy, take care not to burn.


A quick and easy no cook dessert when you fancy something sweet!

Shop bought chocolate brownie bites; Fresh strawberries; Crème fraiche; Icing sugar.
Mix about 2 tablespoons icing to 200ml crème fraiche, gradually add the icing sugar, tasting for sweetness as you go, use more or less depending how sweet your tooth is. Place the brownie squares in the bottom of the glass or bowl, followed by the crème fraiche and icing sugar mixture, then the chopped strawberries, repeat and finish with a scattering of chocolate chips. Drizzle a little elder-flower cordial over the top and decorate with some elder-flowers or fresh mint and sieved icing sugar.

corn on the cob with devilled butter

Hopefully we will all have a good summer and make more memories, meet more lovely boaters and stay safe! Most of all make the most of every day as before we know it we will be heading into Autumn when I will be back with more recipes. In the meantime, you can see more recipes and boating adventures on my “Canal Cuisine” Facebook Page.


caprese salad with pesto


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About Lisa Munday

Lisa has a home mooring on the Chesterfield Canal, but she and her husband have been exploring the waterways for 15 years. She has a passion for food and cooks on board as much as she can. She delights in sharing her food and her recipes.