In clement weather I'm disinclined to spend too much time faffing around in the kitchen. I like simple meals made from fresh ingredients that can be enjoyed outdoors. A case in point are the two salads depicted. The origins of both are lost to me save that I know I can't claim any credit for them. The inspired combination of feta cheese, red onion, watermelon, mint and olive oil not only tastes fantastic it is visually arresting too. The courgette number involves a bit more preparation but nothing that will cause you to break a sweat.


I use 2-3 small courgettes per diner and slice them lengthways with a vegetable peeler. You then give them a good shaking of salt, on both sides, and leave them to wilt for 30-60 minutes. I then rinse them and pat them dry then dress them with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, toasted pine nuts and (home grown) rocket. Don't be tempted to skip the pine nuts as they add an important textural element. Some decent bread and a few olives would be a welcome support act and perhaps a modicum of cheese to follow.

Costières de Nîmes: Château Roubaud Rosé 2018

Wine-wise it has to be a pale pink scrub-scented rosé - this month's Costières de Nîmes would be just the ticket. We might not be able to get to la France profonde this summer but we can ensure, in spirit at least, that a bit of it comes to us!

July Wines of the Month: £77.00 per case (of six bottles) delivered, saving £16.90 on list prices.