Find 3 great simple, tasty ideas for al fresco dining

Let’s get al fresco dining with 3 ideas for starters & sides.

Summer seems to have graced us again in the UK (after a long, tedious couple of months).

But let’s not get caught up in the past.

And instead, get ready for al fresco dining with friends and family under blue skies!

3 ideas for starters & sides

Check out these great ideas for adding colour to your meal.

Or for a great sharing dish.

And I’ve thrown in a recipe that is portable with the mini pizza quiches.

But for even more ideas on sides or starters, check out these links.

Slow-cooked vine tomatoes with garlic

Simple and deliciously sweet tasting. Perfect on a summers evening.

  • PREP: 5 mins
  • COOK: 1hr15 mins
  • DIFFICULTY: easy
  • SERVES: 4

Enjoy slow-cooked vine tomatoes with garlic as a summer side dish. Woody herbs like thyme, rosemary or bay can also be added to flavour the oil


  • 300g cherry vine tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 small garlic bulbs, cut in half to expose the flesh
  • 150ml olive oil
  • crusty bread, to serve (optional)


Heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Put the tomatoes and garlic in a baking dish that provides a snug fit. Season well. Pour over the olive oil and cover with foil. Bake for 1¼ hrs, then squash the garlic and stir into the oil. Eat warm with crusty bread. Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. Leave to cool first.

Mini (cheats) quiches

In a rush, like I was last Friday?

This ‘cheats’ quiche is great! No faffing, just tortilla as your base and fill them up.

  • PREP: 10 mins
  • COOK: 15 mins
  • DIFFICULTY: easy
  • SERVES: 6

Use tortilla wraps and a muffin tin to make individually portioned egg, salami and tomato bites – ideal for lunch boxes or picnics


  • 2 large tortilla wraps
  • 4 eggs
  • chopped vegetables (optional)
  • 6 slices salami
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, halved, plus extra to serve
  • handful basil leaves
  • vegetable sticks, to serve


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Using a 12cm cutter (or a small plate) cut circles from the large tortilla wraps – you should get 6. Use the circles to line 6 holes of a muffin tin, pushing them into the holes to make cases.
  2. Beat the eggs and pour into the tortilla cases (you can add some chopped vegetables too, if you like). Top each case with a slice of salami and 1/2 a cherry tomato. Bake for 15 mins until the egg has set. Top with a few basil leaves, if you like, and serve with extra tomatoes and vegetable sticks.

Recipe from BBC Good Food

Mini quiche cheats recipe

Grilled peaches with burrata

  • COOK: 20 mins
  • DIFFICULTY: easy
  • SERVES: 2-3 sharing

Juicy peaches give a sweet contrast to creamy burrata and salty serrano ham in this showstopping summer salad


  • peaches 2, ripe but firm-ish, halved and stoned
  • olive oil
  • rocket 2 handfuls
  • serrano ham 6 slices
  • burrata 1 ball
  • basil a small bunch
  • pine nuts 2 tbsp of toasted
  • crusty bread to serve, (optional)


  • olive oil 3 tbsp
  • white balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp
  • runny honey 1 tsp
  • red chilli 1, finely chopped
  • garlic ½ a clove


  1. To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and honey in a bowl then stir in the chilli and garlic. Leave while you make the salad.
  2. Heat a griddle pan over high heat. Brush the peach halves with oil then griddle until charred and caramelised on the surface.
  3. Scatter the rocket on a platter. Drape over the serrano ham, add the peaches and sit the burrata in the middle. Discard the garlic clove from the dressing then spoon over everything. Scatter over the basil and pine nuts, and serve with crusty bread, if you like.

Recipe from Olive Mag