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Al fresco meals

By August 8, 2019June 27th, 2023FinGlobal

Al fresco meals

August 8, 2019

Dining al fresco is something everyone loves during the long daylight hours when the northern hemisphere enjoys its summer. The phrase al fresco is borrowed from Italian and literally means “in the cool”. For some inspiring alfresco recipes, read on.
Braaing/barbecuing outdoors
One of the easiest ways to enjoy a hot meal while dining outdoors is by braaing – or barbecuing as most people in the northern hemisphere refer to it as. Food can be enjoyed hot off the braai or cooked and enjoyed later in the day. One of the best ways to enjoy fish is on the braai – so give this recipe a try at your next alfresco meal:

Alfresco food

Mediterranean Sea Bass recipe


  • 3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped basil
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp of dried lavender
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless sea bass fillets each about 170g and 2.5cm thick
  • Lemon wedges – optional


  1. Whisk all the ingredients (except the fish) together in a small bowl
  2. Spread the paste evenly on both sides of the fish fillets
  3. Grill over direct high heat with your braai lid closed as much possible until the flesh is opaque and starting to flake (5-7minutes turning once)
  4. Serve warm and garnish with lemon wedges

Another wonderful summer meat to enjoy on the braai is venison. Here is a recipe that your guests are sure to love:

Bacon-wrapped loin of venison recipe


  • 1 Venison loin about 1kg
  • 8-10 rashers of thick streaky bacon
  • a few sprigs of rosemary
  • For the marinade:
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • ground black pepper to taste


  1. Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until soft. Allow to cool a little, then add all other ingredients and mix well. Place the trimmed loin in a resealable plastic bag, pour marinade in and seal bag with as little air inside as possible. Marinade overnight in the fridge.
  2. Remove the loin from the marinade, and wrap with rashers of bacon, tucking the rosemary sprigs on top of the meat under the bacon. Secure the rashers along the spine of the meat with toothpicks.
  3. Prepare an indirect fire in your braai and when the coals are ready, place the wrapped meat in the middle of the grid, over a drip-pan. Close the lid and cook for 35-45 mins, depending on how well-done you like your meat.
  4. Remove from the heat, remove toothpicks and slice. Serve with sweet potato wedges and a green salad.

Get creative with salads recipes

Salads make wonderful al fresco meals and you can get experimental with your seasonal summer ingredients.

Grilled aubergine and tomato salad recipe

  • 1 aubergine, sliced lengthways
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½tsp dried crushed chilli flakes
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 200g (7oz) plum tomatoes
  • 1 ball of mozzarella
  • ½ packet (about 15g) mint leaves
  • ½ packet (about 15g) parsley
  • a few leaves of basil
  1. Cut the aubergine into thin slices lengthways. Brush each slice with olive oil and grill in a griddle pan for 2-3 minutes on each side until tender and charred. Place in a serving dish.
  2. Add garlic to griddle pan with the chilli flakes. Heat for just a few seconds then add the lemon juice and swirl through the pan. Drizzle it over the aubergine slices.
  3. Crush the plum tomatoes and scatter over. Tear up the mozzarella and add to the dish. Season well.
  4. Finely chop the mint and parsley, add the lemon zest and scatter over the salad with a few torn basil leaves.

Corn and chicken salad recipe

This salad is a meal in itself and if you want to add extra flavour to your chicken – braai it first and then add it to your salad.


  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 75g sweetcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp soured cream
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar
  • pinch caster sugar
  • 1 x 200g pack flame-grilled or other cooked chicken
  • 125g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1x400g tin kidney beans
  • 1 large spring onion
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced


  1. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil, swirl it around the pan, then cook the sweetcorn for 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Set aside.
  2. Mix the soured cream, white wine vinegar and caster sugar, and season to taste.
  3. Slice the chicken and arrange with the tomatoes and beans on two plates. Scatter the sweetcorn over, then top with the sliced spring onion and chilli.
  4. Drizzle with the soured cream dressing then sprinkle with coriander to finish.

Apple and blackberry traybake recipe

Here is a great recipe that you can make at home and enjoy as a sweet treat while dining al fresco – they are also great additions to any lunchbox.


  • 100g softened butter
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lemon rind
  • 1 s apple, diced
  • 150g blackberries


  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Line a shallow 20cm square cake tin with nonstick baking paper.
  2. Place all the ingredients, except the apple and blackberries, into a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  3. Stir in the apple and blackberries and spread into the tin. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and the centre is firm to touch.
  4. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and allowing to cool completely. Cut into squares. Keeps for three days.

Strawberry and raspberry Eton mess recipe

What says summer more than fresh berries? This delicious dessert that will be enjoyed by young and old alike and is wonderful served on hot days.


  • 280ml double cream
  • 200ml Greek yoghurt
  • 4 meringue nests
  • 100g strawberries
  • 2 tbsp lemon curd
  • 100g raspberries
  • 150g strawberries
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


    1. Pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk until you form soft peaks.
    2. Prepare the strawberries by removing the stalks and then slice along with the raspberries.
    3. Break up the meringue nests into small pieces and then fold into the cream along with the Greek yoghurt, raspberries, strawberries and lemon curd. Line the 6 ramekins with cling film and then spoon the mixture into them, making sure to firmly compact each one. Place into the freezer for 2 hours.
    4. To make the sauce put the raspberries, strawberries, lemon juice and icing sugar into a food processor and blend into a puree. Pass the sauce through a sieve so all of the seeds are removed and then place in a jug for serving.
    5. Remove the ramekins from the freezer and turn onto plates for serving with the sauce.

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