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From mango salsa to crispy pork chops - Donal Skehan's light summer suppers

From mango salsa to crispy pork chops, make way for the fresh taste of summer

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Juicy Jerk Chicken. Photo by Sarah Watchcorn

Juicy Jerk Chicken. Photo by Sarah Watchcorn

Crispy Pork and Fennel chops. Photo by Issy Croker

Crispy Pork and Fennel chops. Photo by Issy Croker

Donal Skehan's Hot Smoked Salmon potato salad. Photo by Sarah Watchcorn

Donal Skehan's Hot Smoked Salmon potato salad. Photo by Sarah Watchcorn

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Juicy Jerk Chicken. Photo by Sarah Watchcorn

Light summer suppers that deliver on punchy flavour is what this week's recipes are all about. Much needed in our house, if I'm honest. As we hurtle towards the summer months in some sort of relentless Covid-19 daze, I'm thankful for the change in seasons to remind us of the bounty of summer ingredients we can look forward to.

As I juggle the day job from the kitchen table with my recent appointment as chief nappy consultant and short-order cook for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the family, the routine of dinner time in our house allows for a much-needed signal to the end to the working day. I've been attempting to herald the longer, brighter days with some lighter, vibrant meals. If all the current kitchen time is driving you round the bend, you may find respite in a barbecue in the back garden to grill up some fiery jerk chicken. An old favourite in our house - to serve it with a sweet mango salsa is true Caribbean beachside escapism.

One of the first jobs I worked at was in a Swedish restaurant in Gothenburg serving up traditional Christmas fare - I credit this experience with my love of dill, an often underused herb that grows well in Ireland. While it pairs beautifully with the Scandi-inspired potato and hot smoked salmon salad here, its uses should not solely be relegated to delicate dishes - it makes a surprise appearance alongside Vietnamese flavours in the classic Hanoi dish "Cha Ca", a turmeric-spiced fish feast served with noodles and piles of green herbs. I've also started picking the fronds into dressed salad leaves with other soft herbs like coriander to bring brightness and freshness to summer salads.