Eight seasonal recipes for al fresco dinner parties

These recipes are sure to brighten up alfresco dinner parties  (Ocado)
These recipes are sure to brighten up alfresco dinner parties (Ocado)

The changing of the seasons means brighter days and a whole host of new in-season ingredients that are ready for the picking.

These flavourful recipes from Ocado use a range of fresh ingredients, all in their prime when it comes to quality and freshness.

From baked ricotta cheesecake with ripe and sweet rosemary tomatoes to in-season asparagus, basil and pea salad with burrata, these tasty recipes are perfect for bright evenings of alfresco dining with friends.

Asparagus, basil and pea salad with burrata

This easy starter is perfect for BBQ season (Ocado)
This easy starter is perfect for BBQ season (Ocado)

This asparagus, basil and pea salad with burrata is great as an easy starter. Perfect for BBQ season, simply bump up the quantities and serve on a platter for everyone to dig in if you’re feeding a bigger crowd.

British asparagus is currently in season (April-July), so it’s the perfect time to make this recipe! It’s also high in fibre and a rich source of folate, which supports the immune system to function normally and plays a role in the normal formation of blood.

Recipe by: Olivia Cavalli for Ocado

Serves: 2

Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 2 mins


100g fresh or frozen peas, defrosted

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil,plus extra to serve

½ lemon, finely zested, plus a squeeze of juice

50g Ocado Fine Asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed and spears shaved into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler

1 handful basil leaves, torn

1 pinch sea salt flakes, plus extra to serve

150g burrata (vegetarian if required)


1. Bring a small pan of water to the boil, add the peas and cook for 1-2 mins until bright green. Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl.

2. Use a potato masher to lightly crush the peas. Add the oil, lemon zest and juice, asparagus ribbons and basil. Season with sea salt flakes and toss so everything is well coated.

3. To serve, place the burrata on a plate and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the pea and asparagus mixture and finish with a drizzle of oil.

Baked ricotta cheesecake with rosemary tomatoes

A savoury showstopper with a twist (Ocado)
A savoury showstopper with a twist (Ocado)

A savoury showstopper with a twist – this one is sure to impress your guests. The fresh, sweet tomatoes balance perfectly with the salty cheese and nutty base – a true crowd pleaser.

Sweet and nutritious (and perfectly in season from June-October), cherry tomatoes are a source of vitamin C, which plays a role in the normal formation of collagen and normal function of blood vessels, bone, cartilage, gums, skin and teeth.

Serves: 8

Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 1 hr 15 mins


100g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for the tin

150g oatcakes

50g digestive biscuits

30g walnuts

550g assorted Isle of Wight cherry vine tomatoes

1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp chopped rosemary

2 garlic cloves, chopped or grated

1 tsp soft brown sugar

2 (250g) tubs ricotta

150g cream cheese

4 large eggs

80g parmesan, finely grated

160g watercress

1 small echalion shallot, sliced


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 6. Grease a 24 cm round springform tin with butter. Blitz the oatcakes, digestives and walnuts in a food processor to coarse crumbs; stir in the butter. Press evenly into the tin base and a little up the sides. Chill for at least 30 mins.

2. Toss the tomatoes in a roasting tin with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, the rosemary, garlic and sugar; season. Roast for 25-30 mins to soften; set aside to cool.

3. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Put the ricotta, cream cheese, eggs and parmesan into a bowl with a pinch of salt; mix until smooth. Spoon into the base. Bake for 40-45 mins.

4. Meanwhile, put the watercress and shallot in a bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar; season.

5. Remove the cheesecake from the oven; leave to stand in the tin for 5 mins. Transfer to a plate (on the tin base); arrange the tomatoes on top. Serve warm or cold, with the salad.

Charred padrons, pickled radish and chorizo crumb with purple garlic aioli

Goodbye butter boards, hello aioli boards (Ocado)
Goodbye butter boards, hello aioli boards (Ocado)

You’ve seen the viral butter boards… now it’s time to say hello to aioli boards, the perfect picnic or BBQ sharing dish that’s sure to impress all your guests. This charred padrons, pickled radish and chorizo crumb with purple garlic aioli is full of Spanish influences and looks fresh and pretty on the plate too. It’s delicious served with plenty of toast or crusty bread to mop up the flavours.

Celebrate the peak of radish harvest (May-June) with this recipe! These vibrant veggies, with their crisp bite and peppery kick, are at their prime right now.

Recipe by: Joseph Denison Carey for Ocado

Serves: 6

Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins


250g Ocado radishes, thinly sliced

100ml white wine vinegar

100g caster sugar

18g salt

2 large egg yolks, plus 1 large whole egg

5 large purple garlic cloves, crushed or grated

400ml light olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

4 pinches sea salt flakes

260g padron peppers

½ tbsp olive oil

60g chorizo crumb

6 pieces toast or crusty bread (optional)


1. For the pickle, put the radishes in a heatproof bowl. Combine the white wine vinegar, caster sugar and salt in a pan with 100ml water; bring to the boil. Pour over the radishes; leave to pickle for at least 20 mins.

2. For the aioli put the yolks, whole egg and garlic in a food processor. Gradually add the oil, whizzing continuously, until the emulsion forms stiff peaks. Add the lemon juice and a few pinches of sea salt (if the lemon loosens it too much, add a little more oil).

3. For the peppers, heat a dry griddle or frying pan over a high heat until searing. Add the peppers; cook for 5 mins, without turning, to blacken. Turn off the heat, add ½ tbsp oil to the pan, cover and leave to stand for 5 mins, shaking occasionally. Remove the lid and season with a pinch of sea salt.

4. Meanwhile, fry the chorizo crumb in a hot, dry frying pan for 2-3 mins until crispy. To assemble, spread the aioli over the base of a serving dish, then top with the radishes and padron peppers. Scatter over the chorizo, and serve with toast or crusty bread, if you like.

Coconut and wild garlic roti

This roti is perfect for mopping up sauces (Ocado)
This roti is perfect for mopping up sauces (Ocado)

This rustic coconnut and wild garlic roti is perfect for mopping up sauces. Simple to make, it’s flavoured with wild garlic, onion and coconut, with a green chilli punch.

Wild garlic is currently flourishing in its season (March-May) so it’s the perfect time to make this recipe!

Recipe by: Karan Gokani for Ocado

Serves: 8

Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 5 mins


350g plain flour

1 tsp sea salt

1 large handful Natoora British Wild Garlic Leaves, roughly chopped

1 small red onion, diced

1 green chilli, finely chopped

1 tbsp coconut oil

150ml coconut milk


1. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix by hand, gradually adding up to 4 tbsp warm water, until it comes together in a rough dough.

2. Tip out onto a clean surface; knead for 2 mins or until soft, smooth and pliable with no pockets of dry flour visible. Cover with a damp tea towel; leave to rest at room temperature for 10 mins.

3. Divide the dough into 8 balls and roll out into rustic-looking discs that are about 5mm thick.

4. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Reduce to medium and cook the rotis for 5-7 mins, turning halfway, until golden with charred spots. Brush with melted coconut oil and serve.

Jersey Royals with herb salsa and anchovies

This dish makes an ideal partner for summer BBQs and picnics (Ocado)
This dish makes an ideal partner for summer BBQs and picnics (Ocado)

Gorgeously nutty and earthy, this side dish makes an ideal partner for spring lamb, or the perfect side dish for summer BBQs and picnics. Steam and slather in a creamy lemon mayo with basil or chives, or toss while still warm in a tarragon and dijon mustard vinaigrette.

From nutty Jersey Royals to tender new potatoes, ’tis the season for potato salad (Jersey Royals in season March-July). Despite their small size, Jersey Royals pack a punch in health benefits. They’re a source of fibre and potassium, provide complex carbohydrates and are low in fat.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 12 mins


500g M&S Jersey Royal New Potatoes, halved if larger

25g butter

2 anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped

1 small bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped

1 lemon, zest

1 clove garlic, minced


1. Cook the jersey royals in boiling salted water for 10-12 mins until tender.

2. Make the herb salsa in the meantime: mix the parsley, mint, lemon zest and garlic together.

3. When the potatoes are done, drain, then toss with the butter and anchovies. Season well, spoon into a dish and sprinkle over the herb salsa.

Black bean and sweet potato tortilla wraps

These tortilla wraps are not only delicious, but packed full of carbs, protein, fibre and plenty of nutrients (Ocado)
These tortilla wraps are not only delicious, but packed full of carbs, protein, fibre and plenty of nutrients (Ocado)

These black bean and sweet potato tortilla wraps offer a great balance of carbs, protein and fibre, as well as plenty of vitamins, says registered nutritionist Anita Bean. Load them up with smooth and zesty guacamole, crisp spring onions and a generous dollop of natural yoghurt for a healthy lunch or light supper.

High in Vitamin A and a source of fibre, vitamin C, and potassium, sweet potatoes boast a delectably creamy texture with a hint of sweetness and nuttiness, making them a must-have staple in kitchens during this season. With sweet potatoes currently in season (October-June), now is the ideal moment to whip up this recipe!

Serves: 2

Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 mins


2 Ocado sweet potatoes (approx. 200g), peeled and cut into 2cm chunks

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

400g tinned black beans, drained and rinsed

2 tortilla wraps

2 spring onions, finely chopped

2 tbsp low-fat natural yoghurt

1 avocado

½ lemon, juiced

1 small garlic clove, crushed or grated


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the sweet potatoes in a roasting tin and toss with the oil, cumin, paprika, some salt and black pepper. Arrange in a single layer, then roast for 30 mins, tossing halfway, until lightly caramelised at the edges.

2. Meanwhile, make the guacamole. Roughly mash the avocado in a bowl with the lemon juice, garlic and some seasoning.

3. When the sweet potatoes are ready, remove from the oven and stir through the black beans. Heat the tortilla wraps one at a time in a dry frying pan until warm, then spread with guacamole. Top with the sweet potato and black bean mixture, scatter with spring onion and drizzle with yoghurt. To serve the wraps, turn the bottom up, fold in the sides, and tuck in!

Apple and ginger cake

This is easy and comforting cake is work making ahead (Ocado)
This is easy and comforting cake is work making ahead (Ocado)

This easy, comforting apple and ginger cake from cookbook writer and Bake Off star Benjamina Ebuehi can be made a day or two ahead and keeps well, so it’s handy if you’ve got guests coming to stay.

Cosmic Crisp apples are currently in season (December-May), making them the perfect choice for this recipe. This apple’s flavour profile is the perfect balance of sweet and tart, making it ideal for snacking, baking, cooking, juicing (or pretty much any way you like to enjoy apples!).

Serves: 12

Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 1 hr


100ml flavourless oil, such as sunflower or vegetable oil

175g plain flour

150g light muscovado sugar

2½ tsp ground ginger (approx.)

1½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

120ml oat milk

1 tbsp golden syrup

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

3 Cosmic Crisp apples, 2 peeled, cored and cut into 1 cm chunks, 1 halved and finely sliced into half-moons

½ tbsp grated stem ginger

2 tsp demerara sugar

1 tbsp icing sugar (approx.), for dusting (optional)

300ml cream or custard, to serve (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20 cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, muscovado sugar, ground ginger, baking powder, bicarb and a pinch of salt.

3. Make a well in the centre; pour in the oil, oat milk, syrup and vinegar. Mix with a wooden spoon to make a smooth batter; fold in the apple chunks and stem ginger (add according to taste as it’s quite strong).

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and decorate with the apple slices, fanning them out and overlapping slightly.

5. Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top and bake for 55 mins-1 hr or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then transfer to a cooling rack. Just before serving, dust with icing sugar; serve with cream or custard, if you like. The cake will keep well, wrapped or in an airtight container, at room temperature for 2 days.

Blueberry and white chocolate blondies

Fancy something sweet? Try these soft and gooey blondies (Ocado)
Fancy something sweet? Try these soft and gooey blondies (Ocado)

Fancy something sweet, and want it right now? These soft and gooey blueberry and white chocolate blondies from Rosie Reynolds, author of The Short Cut Cook All In One, are ready in roughly the same time it takes to preheat the oven. This recipe is based on using an 800W microwave at full power.

BerryWorld Blueberries are at their best from April – September so why not whip up this recipe when they’re at their peak.

Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 3 mins


50g unsalted butter, plus extra for the dish

75g soft brown sugar

1 medium egg

100g plain flour

½ tsp baking powder

75g BerryWorld blueberries

50g white chocolate chunks, plus 1 tbsp to decorate

8 scoops vanilla ice cream (optional)


1. Grease a 22cm x 15cm microwave-safe dish with butter and line with baking paper. Melt the 50g butter in a microwave-safe bowl for 20 secs or until runny. Remove and leave to cool.

2. Stir the sugar into the melted butter until combined. Crack in the egg and keep stirring until smooth. Add the flour and baking powder; mix until completely combined.

3. Fold in the blueberries, then the chocolate; scrape into the dish.

4. Microwave for 2½ mins, then check – the surface of the blondie should look cooked. If not, give it another 30 secs and remove. The base will still be gooey, but it will continue to cook as it cools.

5. Dot over the reserved chocolate chunks. Stand the dish on a wire rack and leave to cool. Cut into 8 squares. Enjoy the blondies as they are or microwave them for 10-20 secs and serve with ice cream, if you like. They’ll keep wrapped in baking paper in an airtight container for 2 days.

Recipes from Ocado.com, where you can shop for all the ingredients