Green for go: Skye Gyngell has just the recipes to get us all eating cucumber again

It is the time of year for cucumbers – crisp, watery and clean they are lovely either in salads or gently cooked so they retain a slight bite and vibrant colour. My personal preference is the smaller variety, for they tend to be sweeter. Look, too, for cucumbers that are free of any bruises or blemishes and that are heavy for their size. Many herbs sit happily alongside cucumbers, including mint, basil, dill and parsley.

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Summer lovin': Skye Gyngell serves up her favourite recipes for sunny days

From fresh seasonal savouries to chilled summer puddings...

Samphire with red chilli and olive oil

Serves 4

Super nature: Skye Gyngell keeps it simple and seasonal

Last weekend we did a workshop at the nursery with the Australian food writer Stephanie Alexander, whose new book is called Kitchen Garden Companion (Quadrille, £30). It was a fascinating few days, and it inspired me to put together these three simple dishes – perfect for this time of year, using ingredients that can be grown in any back garden.

Peppers piedmontese

Serves 4

The time is ripe: Skye Gyngell reveals how to cook with the freshest English produce in the simplest ways

From tomatoes and lovage grown in the garden to salmon plucked from the river...

Deep-fried pea pods with minted pea mayonnaise

Serves 4-6

Worth shelling out: Mark Hix celebrates summer's most versatile vegetable – the humble pea

It's always refreshing to see fresh British green vegetables popping up in the shops and food markets at this time of year, although I confess that I wish that our short asparagus season lasted for another month or so.

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Cherry granita

Serves 6-8

Asparagus with lemon mayonnaise

Serves 4

Bring me my spears: Skye Gyngell's asparagus tips

It may be here for only six weeks of the year, but its sweet nuttiness has Skye Gyngell singing a hymn of praise to the delights of English asparagus
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