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From slow-roasted lamb to a zingy mango salad: Rachel Allen's best dishes to serve at your summer party

Photography by Tony Gavin

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Tomato, sumac and sourdough salad. Photo: Tony Gavin

Tomato, sumac and sourdough salad. Photo: Tony Gavin

Tomato, sumac and sourdough salad. Photo: Tony Gavin

When you have unpredictable weather like we do in Ireland, you learn to be fairly spontaneous. I think, as a nation, we’re great at last-minute planning. If the sun shines unexpectedly, barbecues all over the country are whipped out and set alight in readiness for some impromptu grilling.

Thankfully, summer lends itself perfectly to casual and easy-going entertaining, and serving food buffet-style is ideal for a relaxed evening with friends and family. While there's a bit of work involved in getting the food prepared, once it's done, you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Whether you're slow-roasting a shoulder of lamb, cooking burgers and sausages on the barbecue or grilling a fish, a few delicious salads are just what are needed at this time of the year.