15 Top Picnic Recipes To Try This Week

Crisps, dips and bottles of rosé might be picnic staples, but sometimes it’s worth elevating the spread with a few homemade extras. From cherry tomato focaccia and watercress sausage rolls to yoghurt-marinated chicken kebabs and halloumi and apricot salad, here are 15 simple recipes to make at home.

Scotch Egg & Piccalilli: Tom Westerland, The Grill at Crockers

INGREDIENTS 

  • 4 large eggs 
  • 250g of sausage meat 
  • 1 tbsp of chopped chives 
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika 
  • ½ tsp of cayenne pepper 
  • 100g of panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten 
  • 100g of flour 

METHOD

  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Place the eggs in the water and reduce to a simmer.
  2. Cook for 6 minutes. After the six minutes are up refresh the eggs in iced water to stop the egg from cooking any further.
  3. While the egg is cooling mix together the sausage meat, chives, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper.
  4. Once mixed weight the mix into 60g balls.
  5. Gently peel the eggs.
  6. Carefully wrap the eggs in the sausage meat.
  7. Once wrapped roll the scotch eggs through the flour, then the beaten egg and then finally the panic breadcrumbs.
  8. Fry for 4 minutes in a preheated fryer, or hot oil brought up to 180°C.
  9. Remove from the fryer onto a kitchen towel, cut in half and season with rock salt.
  10. Garnish with piccalilli or your favourite ketchup.

Visit Henley.CrockersUK.com

Sweetcorn Patties: Saiphin Moore, Rosa’s Thai Café 

INGREDIENTS

  • 260g of canned sweetcorn, drained
  • ½ tsp of sea salt flakes
  • ½ tsp of white pepper
  • 2 tsp of tempura flour
  • 1 tbsp of cornflour, plus extra as required
  • 3 tbsp of cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded 
  • Sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • Sweet chilli sauce, to serve 

METHOD

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the sweetcorn, salt, pepper, tempura flour, cornflour, measured water and egg. If the mixture is too loose, add a little more cornflour. 
  2. Stir the lime leaves, if using, into the batter. Fill a heavy-based saucepan or wok with oil to a depth of one-third and set the pan over a medium-high heat, to prepare for deep-frying. When the oil is hot, carefully drop a tablespoonful of the batter at a time into the oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Deep-fry for about 1 minute, then turn over and fry for a further minute, until golden brown and cooked through. 
  3. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat until the mixture is used up – the mixture will make about 6 patties.
  4. Serve the patties with sweet chilli sauce

Visit RosasThaiCafe.com

Cream Buns: Roz Bado, Gail’s

These little buns are deliciously soft and ever so slightly sweet, and thanks to the cream and the butter in them, they’re rich on the palate, with a tender crumb. They make the cutest and most luxurious sandwiches for a party or picnic and can be served with pâté, cured meats, strong cheese and salads – almost anything.

INGREDIENTS
For the buns:

  • 15g of fresh yeast
  • 50ml of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml of double cream
  • 70g of caster sugar
  • 500g of strong white bread flour
  • 100g of butter, diced and at room temperature
  • 1 tsp of fine sea salt
  • Egg wash

For the topping:

  • 2 tsp of poppy seeds
  • 2 tsp of sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp of flaked sea salt

METHOD

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, use a fork to whisk together the yeast and milk until the yeast dissolves. Add the eggs, cream, sugar, flour and butter.
  2. Knead with the dough hook at low speed for 5 minutes to bring the ingredients together into a dough. Add the salt and increase the speed to medium for a further 6–10 minutes, until the dough looks silky and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Take the bowl out of the mixer and cover with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave it to sit on the worktop for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface and cut it into 22 pieces weighing around 50g each. Shape them into little balls.
  5. Place the buns onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper and slip it inside a large plastic bag, inflated to stop the bag touching the surface of the dough. Leave to rise again for another 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Gently brush the surface of the buns with egg wash. Sprinkle over the poppy seeds or sesame seeds mixed with a little sea salt. 
  7. Bake them in the oven for around 10 minutes until they are golden in colour and their bases are cooked through – lift one with a palette knife to check. Cool on a wire rack.

VARIATIONS: For extra texture and crunch, dust the rolls with semolina or polenta instead of the seeds. For a fruity version, add 35g sultanas and 25g fennel seeds to the dough itself, at the same time as you add the salt.

TO FREEZE: If you don’t want to bake all the rolls at once, freeze them once shaped, on a baking sheet, wrapped in cling film. They’ll keep for up to a week. Defrost them overnight in the fridge, then leave to come to room temperature for 1-2 hours, then prove and bake as above.

Visit GailsBread.co.uk

Potato, Onion & Goats’ Curd Tart: Oli Martin, Hipping Hall

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g of puff pastry
  • 4 large waxy potatoes
  • 100g of goat curd
  • Sprigs of thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 large onions
  • Truffle oil
  • Rocket

METHOD

  1. Peel and slice your onions finely. Cook over a medium heat with plenty of oil and salt until lightly caramelised. Put in the fridge to chill.
  2. Roll out the pastry to 2cm thickness. Top with the caramelised onions. 
  3. Peel and slice the potatoes thinly, arrange on top of the onion overlapping but not too much and leaving a 2cm border for the crust to rise, then brush with a little truffle oil. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Top of with some crumbled goats’ cheese or curd. 
  4. Bake in the oven at 170°C for about 18 minutes, the potatoes should be cooked and pastry golden. 
  5. Add fresh rocket and truffle oil to finish.

Visit HippingHall.com

Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs: Lancashire Farm

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tsp of crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp of paprika
  • 3 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • 225g of Lancashire Farm greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 6 peeled garlic cloves
  • 2 unpeeled lemons
  • 1kg of chicken breast, cut into 1 ¼ inch cubes

METHOD

  1. Using the dried, crushed pepper and paprika combination, place in a large bowl and stir in 2 tbsp of warm water. Let it stand until a paste forms, which will be approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Add yogurt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, 2 tbsp of salt and 1 tbsp of black pepper to the pepper and paprika spice mixture already in the bowl. Whisk to blend.
  3. Stir in the garlic followed by the lemon slices. Finally, add the chicken cubes. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. These can be made a day ahead of a BBQ or picnic (keep chilled).
  4. Thread the chicken pieces on metal skewers, dividing equally. Sprinkle each skewer with salt, pepper and paprika. Grill chicken until golden brown and cooked through, turning skewers occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes total. Cool and serve up for a picnic.

Visit LancashireFarm.com

Asparagus, Pea & Bacon Mini Frittatas: British Asparagus

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g of bacon lardons
  • 3 large eggs
  • 75ml of crème fraîche
  • 30g of parmesan, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g of asparagus, chopped and blanched
  • 50g of frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp of chopped chives

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a muffin tin with six cases.
  2. Heat a small frying pan and cook the bacon lardons until they are golden and crispy. Allow to cool.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, crème fraiche and Parmesan and add a little salt and pepper. Add the asparagus, peas, bacon lardons and chopped chives and stir together.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin case and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Serve warm or cool completely and pop in a storage box for picnics.

Visit BritishAsparagus.com

Mixed Cherry Tomato Focaccia: The Tomato Stall

INGREDIENTS

  • 840ml of warm water
  • 15g of fast-acting dried yeast 
  • 500g of strong bread flour
  • 800g of mixed cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 8g of Maldon sea salt 
  • 25g of oregano

METHOD

  1. Pour the warm water in to a large bowl and add the yeast. Whisk this together then add half the flour to form a very wet dough. 
  2. Place the bowl in a warm area to prove. After 40 minutes the dough should have risen, and you should now be able to see small bubbles within the mixture. 
  3. Add the remaining flour, salt and one tbsp of olive oil and mix together thoroughly. 
  4. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead well until nice and smooth (about ten minutes). Place back into a bowl, drizzle over a little olive oil and cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove once more (about 40 minutes). 
  5. When this is done turn out again on to a floured surface and stretch it to a large rectangle and then fold over on itself into thirds. Now there should be three layers. 
  6. Place on an oiled non-stick tray and drizzle with more olive oil. Push your fingers into the dough to spread it out and to make the ‘holes’. Pop a cherry tomato and oregano into each hole, pushing them down into the dough. 
  7. Allow it to prove once more until almost doubled in height (about 30 minutes) and then sprinkle over some Maldon sea salt. 
  8. Cook in a preheated oven at 220°C for 10 minutes. Turn down the oven to 200°C and turn the tray around. Cook for a further 15-20 minutes. 
  9. Remove from the oven and drizzle with a little more olive oil and fresh oregano. 

Visit TheTomatoStall.co.uk

Scandi Open Sandwiches: Carole Poirot, AO Life

INGREDIENTS

  • Dark rye bread, around 3-4 half slices per person
  • 3-4 eggs, hard boiled
  • 6 radishes, finely sliced
  • ½ cucumber, finely sliced
  • 80g of watercress
  • 200g of Jarlsberg cheese
  • 250g of smoked salmon or gravadlax
  • Fresh dill
  • A little butter

For the mustard & dill sauce:

  • 1 tbsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of dill, finely chopped

METHOD

  1. Whisk the mustard, honey, vinegar and olive oil together. Add the chopped dill and mix.
  2. Butter the bread slices.
  3. Add the toppings to your liking making sure there’s a little green with each slice. Top with some of the mustard and dill sauce. Garnish with a little fresh dill.

Visit AO.com

Chestnut Mushroom & Watercress Sausage Rolls With Tomato Chutney: Watercress.co.uk

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 puff pastry sheets
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 500g of chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 85g of watercress
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp of English mustard
  • 100ml of white wine
  • 80g of fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 50ml of milk
  • Sesame seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the chutney:

  • 250g of red onions, finely sliced
  • 500g of tomatoes roughly chopped – squishy ones are fine
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and diced
  • 75ml of red wine vinegar
  • 140g of dark brown soft sugar
  • Large pinch of salt

 METHOD

  1. First make the chutney by combining all ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir well then simmer on a low heat for 30-40 minutes before setting aside to cool.  
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  3. Heat a good splash of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, then add the diced onion and celery. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently.
  4. Add in the chopped mushrooms and garlic, then cook for another few minutes or until the mushrooms have softened. Add the watercress, mustard, and wine, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low then cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until the liquid has cooked off. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary, then set aside to cool.
  5. Add the cooled mushroom mixture and breadcrumbs to a large bowl. Stir well to combine, then taste again to check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  6. Lightly flour a clean work surface, then cut the puff pastry sheets in half lengthways so you have four pieces in total. Spoon a quarter of the mushroom and watercress mixture along the middle of each length of pastry, using the spoon to mould it into a sausage shape.
  7. Whisk together the egg and milk, then brush it along the edges of the pastry. Carefully fold one side of pastry up and over the filling, then press down firmly on the other side to seal. Use a fork or paring knife to crimp the edges, then trim for a neat finish.
  8. Cut each length into four pieces, then place on the lined baking tray. Brush with the remainder of the egg and milk mixture then scatter with sesame seeds.
  9. Cook in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Serve warm with a generous amount of tomato chutney.

Home-Made Watercress Tortilla Wraps  

INGREDIENTS

  • 750ml of boiling water
  • 180g of watercress
  • 260g of plain flour
  • 50ml of olive oil
  • Large pinch salt
  • 50-100ml of water, room temperature

 METHOD

  1. Place the watercress into a large bowl and cover with the boiling water. Carefully cover the bowl with cling-film and leave for 2 minutes, or until the watercress is completely wilted but still retains its bright green colour. Drain the watercress in a colander, using a large spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible
  2. Set up a food processor and add in the flour, olive oil and salt. Pulse until fully combined. Add in the wilted watercress and process on high speed until fully combined. You may need to stop the machine a couple of times and scrape down the sides with a spatula to make sure everything is blended together fully. Once the watercress is combined with the flour and well blended, slowly add the room temperature water into the processor while it is running.  Don’t add all the water at once as you may not need it all. 
  3. Once the mixture comes together to form a dough then check its consistency using your fingers, it shouldn’t be dry and crumbly or too sticky. If it is too dry, then add a splash more water or add some flour if the dough seems sticky and too wet.  
  4. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead it for around one minute. It should be smooth, firm and springy.  Cover the kneaded dough with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
  5. Cut the dough into 10 evenly sized balls. On a flat, clean surface (no flour) roll out each ball to create a thin circle 20cm in diameter. We recommend getting a ruler out if you want to be precise.
  6. Place a large (minimum 20cm diameter) frying pan over a medium heat. Once the pan is hot (not too hot or the tortillas will burn), cook each tortilla for around 30 seconds on each side. Light brown spots should appear on the second side, showing that the tortilla is cooked through. Once each tortilla is cooked, place it on a place and cover it with a clean tea towel. The tortillas can be tightly wrapped and kept refrigerated for up to one week before using.
  7. Serve your delicious, healthy watercress tortillas with any fillings you like. We recommend using brightly coloured vegetables and hummus to make beautiful rainbow wraps that kids will love.

Visit Watercress.co.uk

Crustless Tomato Quiche: Maple From Canada

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 125g of natural breadcrumbs
  • 4 eggs
  • 175ml of whole milk
  • 2 tbsp of pure maple syrup (preferably golden colour for its delicate flavour) 
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 courgette, grated and squeezed to remove excess water
  • ½ leek, thinly sliced
  • 150g of mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and pepper, for seasoning

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
  2. Lightly oil a 25cm round non-stick dish and coat with breadcrumbs. Set aside
  3. In a bowl, beat together eggs, milk, maple syrup and stir in the grated carrots, grated courgette and the sliced leeks.
  4. Add in the grated cheese, season with salt and pepper and thoroughly stir together
  5. Pour mixture into the non-stick dish and scatter with cherry tomatoes.
  6. Bake for 45-60 minutes until the middle has set then allow quiche to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a green salad.

Visit MapleFromCanada.co.uk

Spiced Tofu Bhajis With Mint Raita: The Tofoo Co

INGREDIENTS

  • 280g of Naked Tofoo
  • 250ml of natural yogurt
  • Lemon wedges
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp of mint jelly
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 10cm piece of cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 tsp of ground coriander
  • 1½ tbsp of fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 large green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g of gram flour
  •  Oil for frying

METHOD

  1. Place the Tofoo, onion, cumin seeds, coriander and chilli in a food processor and blitz, add the egg and flour and blitz again to bring the mixture together.
  2. Heat oil to 190°C, drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until golden and crispy. Drain onto absorbent kitchen paper.
  3. Mix together the yogurt, mint jelly cucumber and mint leaves and serve with the bhajis for dipping.

Visit Tofoo.co.uk

Halloumi & Apricot Salad: Sarah Ann Macklin

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 broccoli stalks
  • 6 fresh or dried apricots
  • 4 handfuls of rocket leaves
  • 1 handful fresh mint 
  • 1 fresh chilli
  • ½ block of halloumi
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 2 tbsp of pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp of French mustard
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp of capers, chopped 

METHOD

  1. Wash and slice the fresh mint leaves. Remove the pip and slice the apricots into segments. Add the mint and apricots to a large salad bowl along with the rocket leaves, drained cannellini beans, thinly chopped chilli.
  2. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for a few minutes until browned. Remove and put aside.
  3. Gently steam or blanch the broccoli, being careful not to overcook.
  4. Slice the halloumi and dry fry on a medium heat for a few minutes each side until browned. Once the halloumi and broccoli are both cooked. Add to the salad bowl and mix through.
  5. To make the dressing whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Add half of the dressing and half of the pine nuts into the salad bowl and mix.
  6. Serve the salad into two bowls and sprinkle, dress with the remaining toasted pine nuts on top, dressing, a little more chopped chilli, mint and the sliced halloumi.

Visit SarahAnnMacklin.com

Almond Energy Balls: Justine Murphy, MyMuyBueno

INGREDIENTS

  • 50g of jumbo rolled oats
  • 150g of almonds 
  • 300g of Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp of almond butter
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt

METHOD

  1. Place the oats and almonds into a food processor and whizz until they form a chunky flour, then add the remaining ingredients and blend everything until well combined. 
  2. Roll the mixture into 15 balls. Refrigerate the energy balls until ready to serve.

Visit MyMuyBuenoPrivateChefs.com

Picnic Egg Salad: Ligia Lugo, The Daring Kitchen

INGREDIENTS 

  • 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp of radish, minced
  • 1 tbsp of dill, minced
  • 1 tsp of spring onion, minced
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 18 of thin baguette slices, toasted

METHOD

  1. In a medium bowl stir in the chopped eggs, mayonnaise, radish, dill, scallion, and salt and combine well. 
  2. Spread 1 rounded tbsp of egg salad on each toasted baguette slice and enjoy.

Visit TheDaringKitchen.com

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