Summer blazes on. I return from the market not with a bag of lush greens however with an assortment of scarlet elements: an enormous wedge of watermelon, baggage of cherries, tomatoes, radishes and punnets of deep crimson berries.

Watermelon is one thing of a everlasting resident in my fridge all through the mid to late summer season. Hacked into thick slices, the candy crimson flesh turns up in salads with feta cheese or ricotta, as a calming gazpacho-style soup with crimson peppers and radishes, tossed with mint sprigs or, as I ate final autumn in Beirut, with pomegranate molasses, tomatoes and toasted sourdough.

I’m grateful to the earlier occupants of this home for planting a cherry tree, however do slightly want they’d chosen a fruiting selection than one purely for its blossom. Few issues fairly say excessive summer season like dipping right into a bag of cherries. I hardly ever cook dinner a cherry, tumbling them as a substitute over the graceful, creamy surfaces of tarts and trifles, or marinating them with elderflower cordial, cassis or just a bit orange juice to tease out their flavour. This week, my haul ended up on a ricotta tart with a little bit of the cherries’ muscat-scented marinating syrup.

Watermelon and tomato with grilled bread

I counsel watermelon right here, however there isn’t any motive to not use any of the ripe melons round in the summertime. Cantaloupe will work effectively right here, too.
Serves 4

sourdough or ciabatta 350g
tomatoes 450g
watermelon 750g (pores and skin on weight)
spring onions 4
radishes 8
parsley a small bunch, about 15g (weighed with stalks)
mint sprigs a small bunch, about 10g
pumpkin seeds 2 tbsp

For the dressing:
pomegranate molasses 2 tbsp
olive oil 3 tbsp
lemon 1

Tear the bread into uneven items, roughly 3 x 4cm. Place them on an oven tray in a single layer, then cook dinner them underneath a scorching grill till golden, then flip and cook dinner the opposite aspect. You need them to be toasted, however fairly dry and crisp to the contact. Take away from the warmth and switch to a cooling rack.

Lower the tomatoes in keeping with their measurement. Cherry tomatoes may be halved, something bigger wants halving and chopping into 4 or 6 segments. Take away the pores and skin from the watermelon and lower the flesh into similar-sized items, then add to the tomatoes.

Discard the robust darkish inexperienced stalks of the spring onions, then slice the remaining into skinny rings and add to the watermelon and tomatoes. Thinly slice the radishes. Decide the leaves from the parsley and mint and add to the tomatoes with the radishes and pumpkin seeds.

Make the dressing: in a small bowl or jar combine collectively the pomegranate molasses, olive oil and the juice of the lemon. Season with salt and floor black pepper, then add to the salad.

Scatter the roasted bread among the many salad and toss every thing with the dressing, then pile on to a serving dish.

Cherry ricotta tart

Cherry ricotta tart
Light flavours: cherry ricotta tart. {Photograph}: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

A quiet, dairy-based tart with the mild flavours of ricotta, vanilla and cream for a summer season’s day. That is wonderful with raspberries, too.
Serves 8

For the pastry:
plain flour 200g
butter 100g
icing sugar 2 tbsp
egg yolk 1
water a little bit

For the filling:
ricotta 500g
caster sugar 70g
orange zest of 1, medium
eggs 1, massive plus an additional yolk
vanilla extract 1 tsp
cornflour 1 stage tbsp
cherries 400g
elderflower cordial 2 tbsp
double cream 250ml
icing sugar 1-2 tbsp (non-obligatory)

You’ll need a loose-bottomed tart tin, 20cm in diameter.

In a meals processor, scale back the flour and butter to coarse crumbs, add the sugar, then the overwhelmed egg yolk and simply sufficient water to convey the dough collectively right into a agency ball – about 2 tbsp. Wrap in baking parchment or greaseproof paper and chill within the fridge for half-hour.

Roll the pastry out on a frivolously floured board and decrease into the tart tin. Push the pastry proper into the corners and up the perimeters. Trim the sides with a knife, then fill the tart case with foil and baking beans and put aside within the fridge to relaxation for 20 minutes. Set the oven at 190C/fuel mark 5.

Bake the tart case for 25 minutes, take away from the oven and thoroughly take out the foil and baking beans. Return the pastry case to the oven for five minutes till dry to the contact. Take away and put aside.

Make the filling: put the ricotta and sugar within the bowl of a meals mixer. Finely grate the orange zest. Calmly beat the egg and egg yolk then add to the bowl with the vanilla and orange zest. Combine briefly, add the cornflour and blend once more. Utilizing a rubber spatula, spoon into the pastry case and easy the floor. Return to the oven, bake for 25 minutes: the filling shall be wobbly, however will agency because it cools.

Take away the tart from the oven and let it cool. Then chill within the fridge for an hour.

Calmly whip the cream. It must be simply thick sufficient sit in tender folds. Stir in a little bit icing sugar if you want. Make the cherry layer: halve and stone the cherries, put them in a bowl then sprinkle with the elderflower cordial. Take away the tart from the fridge and gently switch to a serving plate (or depart it within the tart tin if that’s simpler). Prime the tart with the whipped cream and spoon the cherries and the juices over it and serve.

Comply with Nigel on Instagram @NigelSlater