Warm sunshine has returned and with it brought an interesting discussion: do people cook less in warm weather? And, would we rather spend time preparing comfort food during cooler months? Interesting thoughts to which my answer is that I don’t necessarily cook less, but change style – dishes are relaxed, lighter and, utilizing fresh seasonal produce, are vibrantly colourful.

I particularly enjoy salads – not the limp lettuce variety but a sliced, shredded, chunked and chopped mélange of fruits and vegetables which can easily beboosted to main meal status with the addition of nuts and cheese. If you are watching calories, choose strong flavours – you require less!

A culinary journey to the bottom of my freezer began this week and along with a review of Diana Henry’s fabulous book, Food from Plenty which focuses on reducing waste by producing delicious dishes with our own ready prepared ingredients; a delightful view of leftovers which we should all adopt. This in mind, and all ingredients to hand, the remaining Waitrose chicken was transformed with the simple addition of a mayonnaise sauce – Mango Chicken Salad. The spoonful of leftovers from this complimented a tasty lunch, a sunny meal of Watermelon, Cucumber and Mint Salad, its crisp mouthwatering freshness simply perfect for a warm day.

Watermelon, Cucumber and Mint Salad

Slice and chunk (seedless if possible) watermelon and combine with thickly sliced cucumber, a generous sprinkle of finely chopped fresh mint and a sprinkle of sea salt, finishing with a drizzle of low acidity olive oil.