Settle in for Wimbledon with our spicy skewers and sumptuous puds…

STRAWBERRY SMASHERS: Settle in for a bit of Wimbledon action with our spicy skewers, sumptuous puds…and a sprightly sparkling punch


Serves 8-10

  • Sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 200g (7oz) ginger nut biscuits
  • 50g (1¾oz) butter, melted
  • 400g (14oz) strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 200g (7oz) white chocolate buttons
  • 600g (1lb 5oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 3tbsp honey
  • 300ml (½pt) double cream
  • Edible flowers, to decorate (optional)

Brush the sides of a 20cm diameter springform tin with oil. Line the base with baking paper. Place the biscuits in a plastic bag and crush to a fine crumb with a rolling pin.

Melt the butter in a pan, then stir in the biscuits. Press the crumb mixture firmly and evenly into the base of the tin, then chill for 30 minutes.

Arrange the strawberries around the side of the tin, cut side facing outwards, gently pressing them against the side. You’ll need around 24.

De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon (9.5%, 37.5cl) £8.50, Asda

Melt the chocolate buttons in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, lightly whisk the cream cheese to loosen, then stir in the vanilla, honey and cooled chocolate.

In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks, then fold into the cream cheese mixture. Spoon into the tin, being careful not to disturb the strawberries. Smooth the top with a palette knife. Cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Remove the cheesecake carefully from the tin and decorate with edible flowers (if using) or any leftover strawberries.

Cook’s tip: Ginger nut biscuits add a spicy flavour to the cheesecake base, but use plain digestives if you prefer. 

Olly Smith’s wine pairing: Cheesecake champ 

De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon (9.5%, 37.5cl) £8.50, Asda

Made by one of Australia’s best-known sweet wine producers, this is a peach of a wine. Serve cold for a sumptuous pairing with cheesecake.


Serves 4

For the kebabs

  • 1tbsp chipotle paste
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes, plus extra lime wedges to serve
  • 400g (14oz) very fresh tuna fillets, cut into 2cm (¾in) cubes
  • 400g (14oz) medium strawberries, stems removed
  • 1 small red onion, ends removed, quartered and layers separated
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks

Ramon Bilbao Rioja Rosado 2022 (12.5%) £8, reduced to £7 until 26 July, Co-op

For the Strawberry salsa

  • 200g (7oz) strawberries, diced
  • A small handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the grill to medium. In a bowl, mix the chipotle with the lime zest and juice. Add the tuna chunks and toss to coat.

Assemble the kebabs on 4 large or 8 small metal or wooden skewers (soak in water for 30 minutes if wooden): alternate the tuna with a whole strawberry, a piece of onion and a chunk of green pepper.

Grill the kebabs for 5 minutes, or until the tuna is just cooked through and everything is lightly charred. Keep an eye on them as you don’t want to overcook the tuna.

In a bowl, mix all the salsa ingredients together. Serve alongside the kebabs with lime wedges for squeezing.

Cook’s tip: If you prefer less heat on your tuna, replace the chipotle paste with 1tsp smoked paprika, which is much milder.

Olly’s wine pairing: Super with salsa 

Ramon Bilbao Rioja Rosado 2022 (12.5%) £8, reduced to £7 until 26 July, Co-op

Delivering fabulously fruity scent for the salsa and textural richness for the tuna, this Spanish winner is match fit for sipping all summer long.


Serves 8

Fever-Tree Cloudy British Apple With A Twist Of Garden Mint (0%, 500ml) £2, Sainsbury’s

  • 250g (9oz) strawberries washed and left whole
  • 1-2tbsp Pimm’s, to taste
  • 1tsp caster sugar
  • 300ml (½pt) double cream
  • 2tbsp lemon curd
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 x 20cm diameter sweet pastry case (from supermarkets)
  • A sprig of mint (optional)

Place the strawberries into a large bowl. Drizzle with the Pimm’s and the caster sugar, mix gently to combine and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the double cream to soft peaks.

Gently fold the lemon curd and half of the lemon zest through the cream to create a soft ripple, then spoon the mixture into the pastry case and level off with the back of the spoon.

Top with the strawberries, sprinkle with the remaining zest, and garnish with the mint (if using).

Cook’s tip: For a child-friendly strawberry tart, omit the Pimm’s and use 1-2tbsp orange juice or the juice of ½ an orange instead.

Olly’s drinks pairing: Booze-free beauty

Fever-Tree Cloudy British Apple With A Twist Of Garden Mint (0%, 500ml) £2, Sainsbury’s

As scented as a cottage garden, this is a vibrant British alcohol-free option for the whole family to enjoy – and it’s splendid refreshment with this tempting tart.


Lanson ‘Le Black Creation’ (12.5%) £31.99 as part of a Mix Six, Majestic

Serves 4

  • 1 romaine lettuce, leaves separated and torn
  • 250g (9oz) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 100g (3½oz) marinated green olives
  • 50g (1¾oz) walnuts, crumbled
  • 250g (9oz) strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tsp pink peppercorns
  • 4tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • A handful each of fresh dill and mint leaves

Arrange the lettuce leaves in a large salad bowl. Scatter with the feta cheese, green olives, walnuts and strawberries.

Place the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and peppercorns in a jug. Whisk, then slowly add the oil, whisking constantly, until emulsified. 

Drizzle over the salad. Scatter with the dill and mint and serve immediately.

Cook’s tip: Feta works well with the strawberries, but for a different flavour combination, try grilled chicken instead.

Olly’s wine pairing: Salad sensation

Lanson ‘Le Black Creation’ (12.5%) £31.99 as part of a Mix Six, Majestic

The official bubbly of the Wimbledon Championships, this is an ace performer when served with a scrumptious strawberry salad.


Serves 8-10

  • A large handful of ice cubes
  • 300g (10½oz) strawberries, washed and left whole
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into long thin ribbons
  • 1 large orange, sliced
  • A handful of mint sprigs
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 100ml (3½fl oz) Pimm’s
  • 300ml (10fl oz) sparkling rosé wine
  • 200ml (7fl oz) lemonade

Put the ice in a large glass punch bowl or large glass pitcher. Add the strawberries, cucumber ribbons, orange slices and mint sprigs. Pour in the lemon juice, Pimm’s and rosé. Add the lemonade and stir to mix well. Serve immediately in punch or small glasses. 

Cook’s tip: For a non-alcoholic punch, replace the wine and Pimm’s with 400ml (14fl oz) sparkling elderflower pressé and serve.

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