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Pork and herb, salmon with lime mayo, halloumi and watercress or traditional beef burgers

HALLOUMI BRIOCHE BURGER WITH WATERCRESS, MINT AND CAPERS

Serves 4 

  • 225g pack of halloumi, cut into 8 slices 
  • Olive oil, for brushing, and extra for drizzling 
  • 4 brioche or ciabatta buns 
  • 2 large ready-roasted peppers from a jar, drained and sliced 

To serve 

  • 2 small handfuls of rocket or watercress 
  • A small handful of mint, chopped 
  • 2tbsp capers (optional) 

Preheat a grill or barbecue. Brush the halloumi with oil and cook in a griddle pan or on the barbecue for a few minutes on each side until pleasantly charred. 

Split the buns and lightly toast them. Place a slice of cooked halloumi on the bottom bun halves. Top with a spoonful of the roasted peppers and add some rocket or watercress and mint.

Sprinkle with a few capers, if using, add a drizzle of olive oil and serve with the bun tops. 

Olly Smith’s wine pairing: Halloumi hero 

G&L Moschofilero-Roditis Agiorgitiko 2021 (12.5%) £8.50, thewinesociety.com 

I love a dose of rosÊ, and paired with a heavenly halloumi burger the scented splendour of this pink from Greece takes me to paradise. Get your nose in the glass for an aroma as uplifting as lemon blossom. 

PORK, HERB AND MANCHEGO SLIDERS WITH SAFFRON MAYO

Pork and herb, salmon with lime mayo, halloumi and watercress or traditional beef burgers

Makes 6

  • 1tbsp oil 
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced 
  • 2 large ready-roasted peppers from a jar, drained and chopped 

For the burgers

  • 500g (1lb 5oz) pork mince 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
  • 1tsp smoked paprika 
  • 2tbsp parsley, finely chopped 
  • 2tbsp olives, finely chopped, plus 2tbsp extra to serve 

For the saffron mayonnaise  

  • 4tbsp mayonnaise 
  • A large pinch of saffron, soaked in 1tbsp boiling water 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve 

  • 6 mini burger buns 
  • 6 slices of manchego cheese 
  • 1 small lettuce, shredded 

Preheat your grill or barbecue. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the sliced onion and cook until soft and translucent. 

COOK’S TIP 

Manchego has a wonderful intense flavour and melts beautifully, but you could also try mature Cheddar or Monterey Jack. 

Remove half of the onion slices, chop finely, then set aside to use in your burgers. Add the chopped peppers to the pan with the remaining onion slices and heat through for 5 minutes, until sweet and caramelised, then leave to cool while you make the burgers. 

In a bowl, combine the reserved chopped onion, the pork mince, garlic, half of the paprika, the parsley and chopped olives. Mix together, then using wet hands, shape into 6 small patties. 

Grill or barbecue for 5-6 minutes, turning halfway through until cooked through to your liking. 

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the saffron and the remaining paprika. Season, stir well and spread onto the base of 6 mini burger buns. 

Add a slice of cheese, some shredded lettuce and top each with a cooked burger. Add a good spoonful of the pepper and onion relish and top with extra olives. 

Add the burger lids and serve warm. 

Olly Smith’s wine pairing: Perfection with pork

Incanta Pinot Noir 2020 (12.5%) £6.49 in a mix six deal, Majestic 

I reckon this is the best-value red wine in Britain. Silky and fruity, it’s light enough to serve chilled with your porky bun and as fragrant as a raspberry behind a perfume counter – perfect for sipping in summer. A real glimpse of Romania’s future as your one-stop shop for affordable vino. 

SALMON BURGER WITH LIME MAYO AND PICKLE ON CIABATTA 

Pork and herb, salmon with lime mayo, halloumi and watercress or traditional beef burgers

Serves 4 

  • 1 thumbnail piece of fresh ginger, chopped 
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, peeled 
  • 6 salmon fillets, skinless, chopped 
  • 2 limes (1 zested and juiced, the other cut into wedges) 
  • 1 chilli, de-seeded and chopped 
  • 1tbsp soy sauce 
  • Small handful of coriander, plus extra to garnish 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1tbsp oil

For the pickles 

  • 4tbsp white wine vinegar 
  • 2 level tbsp sugar 
  • ½ a cucumber, cut into fine lengths 
  • Âź of a small red cabbage, finely shredded 

For the mayo

  • 3tbsp mayonnaise 
  • 1tbsp sriracha, a hot chilli sauce (from supermarkets, optional) 

To serve

  • 4 ciabatta rolls 
  • A handful of shredded lettuce 

Blitz the ginger and garlic in a food processor to a paste. Add the salmon, half the lime zest, half the chilli, and all the soy sauce and coriander. 

COOK’S TIP 

You can replace the salmon in this burger with chicken mince instead – the flavours will work just as well. 

Season and blitz to a chunky mince. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and with wet hands mould into 4 patties. Chill until you’re ready to cook. 

Mix together the vinegar and sugar. Put the cucumber and cabbage into separate bowls. Divide the sweetened vinegar between the bowls. 

Mix to coat, garnish with the remaining chopped chilli and set aside. Mix the mayonnaise with the sriracha, if using, and the remaining lime zest. Add a dash of the lime juice to taste. 

Heat the oil in a frying pan, cook the burgers for 4 minutes on both sides or until golden and cooked through. Split and toast the rolls. 

Top the bottom halves with the mayo, a burger, lettuce, the pickles and coriander. Serve with the roll tops and lime wedges. 

Olly Smith’s wine pairing: Salmon sensation

Weinhaus Sauvignon Blanc Kalkstein 2020 (12.5%) £9.99, Waitrose 

For under a tenner, this German wine is a treat. Expect turbo-charged tropical zest with terrific verve to take on the spicy salmon as well as slicing through that chilli lime mayo. It’s as light and dazzling as a citrus lightning strike! 

BEEF BURGER, SPICY TOMATO RELISH & SWEET POTATO WEDGES 

Pork and herb, salmon with lime mayo, halloumi and watercress or traditional beef burgers

Serves 4 

For the tomato relish 

  • 1tbsp oil 
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped 
  • 2tsp chipotle paste (from supermarkets) 
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes 
  • 1tbsp sugar 
  • 3tbsp red wine vinegar 

For the sweet potato wedges

  • 3 sweet potatoes, cut into wedges 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 heaped tsp cornflour 

For the burgers

  • 600g (1lb 5oz) beef mince 
  • 1tbsp each thyme and parsley, chopped 
  • 4 x slices of cheese, such as Cheddar 

To serve

  • 4 burger buns 
  • Mayonnaise 
  • A handful of rocket 
  • 1 beef tomato, sliced 
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced (optional) 

For the tomato relish, heat half the oil in a pan and gently cook the onion and pepper until softened, about 6 minutes. 

Add the chipotle, tomatoes, sugar and vinegar. Simmer very gently for 20 minutes until thickened and jammy. Set aside. 

COOK’S TIP

You can prepare the tomato relish a day ahead. It will keep for up to a week stored in a lidded jar in the fridge. 

Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas 6. Put the sweet potato wedges into a bowl. Season and sprinkle with the cornflour. 

Spread onto a baking tray and drizzle with the remaining oil. Roast for 30-35 minutes or until golden and cooked. 

Preheat your grill or barbecue. Add the mince to a bowl with the herbs. Season and mix to combine, then with wet hands mould into 4 burger patties. 

Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until done to your liking. Top with the cheese, cook for 1-2 minutes more to melt the cheese. Rest them while you split and toast the buns. 

To serve, spread a spoonful of mayo over the bottom halves of the buns. Top with some rocket and sliced tomato, then add the cheese-topped burgers. 

Finish with some red onion, if using, and a dollop of the tomato relish. Add the bun lids and serve immediately with the sweet potato wedges. 

Olly Smith’s wine pairing: Cheeseburger champion

Rheinbacher Premium Pilsner, 500ml (4.5%) £1.09, Aldi 

A top-quality lager with no shortage of bite and lashings of thirst-quenching freshness, this is an absolute steal. It’s hard to get your head round how this beer can be quite so brilliant for the price. It’s also a top-notch accompaniment to a juicy cheeseburger, so take my tip and buy a few more bottles than you might think of doing – this golden treat is as pleasurable as a poolside snooze.

PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM ‘NO BUN’ BURGER WITH BASIL PESTO 

Pork and herb, salmon with lime mayo, halloumi and watercress or traditional beef burgers

Serves 4

  • 2 large red onions, peeled and sliced 
  • A small handful of thyme sprigs 
  • 2tbsp balsamic vinegar, plus extra to serve 
  • 4tbsp olive oil 
  • 1tsp brown sugar 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 8 large Portobello or large flat mushrooms 
  • 4 slices of mozzarella 
  • A handful of rocket 

For the pesto 

  • 85g pack of basil 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled 
  • 60g (2Âźoz) pine nuts 
  • 125ml (4fl oz) olive oil 
  • 40g (1½oz) Parmesan, grated 

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Place the onions and thyme sprigs in a roasting tray, and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. 

COOK’S TIP

If you’re serving vegetarians, replace the mozzarella and Parmesan with vegetarian or vegan alternatives. 

Sprinkle with the brown sugar then place the tray in the oven to roast for 15 minutes or until the onion has softened and is beginning to caramelise. 

Preheat the grill or barbecue. Season the mushrooms and cook on each side until charred and softened, about 4 minutes a side. 

Remove 4 of the mushrooms to a plate (for the lids) and add a slice of mozzarella to the remaining 4 mushrooms. Cook for an extra minute to heat the cheese, then transfer to 4 plates. 

To make the pesto, whizz together the basil, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil in a food processor. Add the grated Parmesan and whizz again briefly, then season. 

Top each mushroom with the roasted red onions and thyme and a good dollop of the basil pesto. Sprinkle with a generous handful of rocket and a drizzle of balsamic, top each with the remaining mushroom ‘lids’ and serve warm. 

Olly Smith’s wine pairing: Mushroom maestro

Co-op Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico 2021 (12.5%) £6 

This Italian white is as bright as a luminous peach and delivers incredible finesse for the price. It’s delicious with pesto and the little savoury kick also works superbly with mushrooms. It’s one of my favourite summer whites.

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