13 Great 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 smoked chicken and pesto quiche and puff pastry and apricot harissa rolls to raspberry blondies and a tasty Italian salad, here are 13 simple recipes to make for your next outing.
Smoked Chicken & Pesto Quiche: Camilla Stephens, Higgidy

Serves

6

Total Time

2 Hours

Ingredients

For the shortcrust pastry:
200g of plain flour
A generous pinch of salt
100g of butter, well chilled and cut into small cubes
30g of parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
1 medium egg yolk, beaten
About 3 tbsp of ice-cold water
For the filling:
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely sliced (white and green parts)
200g of skinless cooked smoked chicken breast, torn into pieces
1 small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
1 small bunch of fresh chives, snipped
Grated zest of 1 lemon
250ml of double cream
3 medium eggs and 1 egg yolk, lightly whisked
2 tbsp of roughly chopped hazelnuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh rocket leaves, to serve

Method

Step 1

To make your dough by hand, sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter cubes and use your fingertips and thumbs to lightly rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the parmesan (if using) and rub again until the cheese is mixed in evenly. Now add the beaten egg yolk and water and use a round-bladed knife to combine the wet ingredients with the dry until the pastry comes together. Gather it up with your hands and knead very briefly into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Try not to handle it too much at this stage, or the fat will get warm, and the pastry will become tricky to use and may turn out tough and chewy. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes before use.

Step 2

Making shortcrust pastry in a food processor takes just minutes. Process the flour, butter and cheese (if using) until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk beaten with the ice-cold water. Pulse until the mixture just comes together to form a dough, adding a tiny bit more water if you think it’s needed. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

Step 3

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick and line your tart tin with it, making sure the edge of the pastry stands just a little proud above the rim of the tin. Trim the edges, then prick the base with a fork and return it to the fridge for 30 minutes. Don’t be tempted to skip this step – it will help prevent shrinkage in the oven.

Step 4

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6 and put a baking sheet in to heat up. Remove the tart tin from the fridge, line with crumpled non-stick baking paper, fill with baking beans and bake on the hot baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and return the tart tin to the oven for 5-8 minutes or until the base has dried out.

Step 5

Reduce the oven to 190°C/170°C Fan/Gas Mark 5. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the onion for 5 minutes to soften, then stir in the spring onions and cook for another minute. Remove to a large bowl and cool. Mix in the smoked chicken, herbs and lemon zest and spoon into your cooked pastry case. Whisk the cream and eggs together and season well with salt and pepper. Pour into the pastry case and scatter the chopped hazelnuts over the top.

Step 6

Carefully transfer to the hot baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the filling has just set and the pastry is golden brown. Serve warm, scattered with fresh rocket leaves.
Barley Couscous Tortilla With Zhoug: Henry Russell, Belazu

Serves

10

Total Time

45 Minutes

Ingredients

6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
Salt and pepper
1 large aubergine
200g of barley couscous
1 veg/chicken stock cube
4 eggs
5 tbsp of zhoug, plus more to serve on the side if desired
Mayonnaise to serve, optional

Method

Step 1

Heat your oven to 220°C/200°C Fan. Slice the aubergines into 1cm slices, season with salt then drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil and toss to coat. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, or until soft and cooked.

Step 2

Place a medium frying pan (non-stick ones will be handy here) on a medium to high heat and when hot add 2 tbsp of olive oil, followed by the onions. Season with salt and cook till soft, sweet and coloured, around 10 minutes, stirring frequently to stop them burning. Remove from the pan and place in a mixing bowl. Wipe the pan clean and re-use for the tortilla.

Step 3

While the onions are cooking, make up the stock by dissolving the stock cube with 400ml of boiled water. Put the couscous in a heat proof bowl, pour over the stock, stir to mix and cover. Leave for 5 minutes so that all the liquid has been absorbed, then use a fork to break the couscous apart, spreading apart to allow the couscous to cool faster.

Step 4

Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork until well combined then add to the onions. Add the couscous, zhoug, a good pinch of salt and a good dose of black pepper. Mix well to combine everything. Taste and add more salt if desired. Add the aubergines, and gently mix to combine but don’t overwork, as the aubergines will fall apart.

Step 5

Place the frying pan on a medium heat and when hot, add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Pour the mixture into the pan, push to the edges and smooth the top. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until a crust starts to form, giving the pan a shake to stop it sticking and turning the heat down if the bubbling looks a bit intense. A steady stable heat will give you a golden crispy crust whilst cooking the inside.

Step 6

Place a large plate on top of the pan, then using both hands, invert the pan. Put the pan back on the heat, slide the frittata back into the pan and cook for around 5-10 minutes, or until the frittata feels firm.

Step 7

Remove from the pan and allow to cool for 5 minutes so that it sets, then cut and serve with mayonnaise and extra zhoug on the side. It is also excellent when eaten at room temperature and its sturdy construction makes it perfect to take to a picnic.
Puff Pastry Rolls With Apricot Harissa Potato & Feta

Serves

6

Total Time

1 Hour 5 Minutes

Ingredients

750g of new potatoes
Salt and pepper
2 red onions, peeled and diced
4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
400g of spinach
4 tbsp of apricot harissa
½ lemon, squeezed
200g of feta
Handful of chopped mint or parsley
2 eggs
Splash of milk
400g sheet of puff pastry

Method

Step 1

Place the potatoes in a pan big enough to fit, cover with water and season well with salt. Bring up to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes, until they are soft, but not mushy, in the middle. Drain and allow to cool.

Step 2

Place a large pan on a medium to high heat and when hot add 3 tbsp of olive oil and the red onion. Season with salt, stir to coat, then cook till soft and sweet, around 8-10 minutes, turning the heat down if they are turning dark brown. Remove from the pan to a large mixing bowl.

Step 3

Return the pan to the heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil. When hot, add all the spinach, season with salt and cook until it has just about wilted. Remove from pan and place in a colander to drain excess liquid.

Step 4

Crumble or roughly chop the potatoes into large chunks, add to the bowl with the onions. Add the spinach and 2 tbsp of apricot harissa. Season with salt and pepper and use your hand or a large spoon to gently combine. Crumble the feta into the mix in large chunks and the herbs. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl and beat till combined, then add this to the mix. Mix everything together so it’s quite big and chunky but try not to over mix. If still warm, allow to cool or place in the fridge (this makes it easier to roll).

Step 5

With the remaining egg, separate the yolk from the white, add to a small bowl or ramekin and add a splash of milk and a pinch of salt, then stir till well combined.

Step 6

Tear a piece of baking paper off that fits the size of a large baking sheet and place on top. Remove the puff pastry from its packaging and roll out onto the baking sheet. Form the filling along the length of the puff pastry in a large sausage shape, leaving 5-6cm clear at the edge nearest to you. Brush this edge with the egg wash then fold the pastry over the mix, using the paper to pick it up and bring it over. Press down on the edge to seal, then use a lightly floured fork to crimp the edge. Make light diagonal incisions along the top of the pastry all the way along (this allows the pastry to expand when cooking and not crack).

Step 7

Cook for 30 minutes and leave to cool before serving.

Visit Belazu.com

Walnut & Chestnut Sausage Rolls: California Walnuts

Serves

24

Total Time

25 Minutes

Ingredients

1 tbsp of oil
1 onion, finely chopped
450g of sausage meat
50g of dried cranberries
100g of walnut pieces, roughly chopped
100g of whole chestnuts, chopped
6 sage leaves, chopped
50g of fresh breadcrumbs
500g pack of puff pastry
1 medium egg, beaten

Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.

Step 2

Heat the oil in a small frying pan and fry the onion for 3-4 minutes until golden, allow to cool slightly then mix into the sausage meat with the cranberries, walnuts, chestnuts, sage and breadcrumbs, season well.

Step 3

Divide the pastry into 3 and roll each into a 34cm x 15cm rectangle. Place a third of the filling in a sausage shape along the long length of each pastry. Brush one of the edges of pastry with egg and roll up to seal in the filling. Brush the rolls all over with the egg. Finely chop the remaining walnuts and roll the logs in to evenly coat.

Step 4

Cut each roll into 8 sausage rolls and place on 2 large baking trays, pastry seal side down. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Visit Walnuts.org

Asparagus Tortilla: British Asparagus

Serves

4

Total Time

25 Minutes

Ingredients

1 bundle of asparagus
1 courgette, thinly sliced
15g of unsalted butter
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
200g of Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and diced
1 red onion, sliced
6 medium eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper

Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 200°C and bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Fill another dish with iced water, large enough to fit the asparagus.

Step 2

Drop the asparagus into the boiling water, bring back to the boil then cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the boiling water with a slotted spoon, then plunge into the iced water to preserve the bright colour of the asparagus.

Step 3

Meanwhile, in a non-stick pan fry the sliced courgettes in the butter then add the garlic and cook over a medium heat for around 6-7 minutes until almost sticky.

Step 4

Using the same boiling water used to cook the asparagus, parboil the potatoes and cut into cubes, then add the potatoes and the onion to the pan and cook until softened.

Step 5

Place the asparagus into the pan, season the beaten eggs with salt and pepper and then add to the pan. When the eggs have just set around the edges, transfer to the preheated oven for around 6-8 minutes or until the tortilla is set.

Step 6

When cooked turn out onto a plate.

Step 7

Cut the tortilla into slices then serve with some dressed salad leaves.
Raspberry Blondies: Sophie Richardson, Pique London

Serves

8

Total Time

45 Minutes

Ingredients

250g of white chocolate chips + 100g extra to fold through
150g of salted butter
200g of soft light brown sugar
3 eggs
180g of plain flour
Good pinch of salt
For the raspberry coulis:
Punnet of raspberries
Juice of 1 lemon
150g caster sugar

Method

Step 1

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C Fan.

Step 2

Heat a pan of water until it’s simmering (this is to place a mixing bowl over, so make sure it’s the right size).

Step 3

Melt the butter and white chocolate in a mixing bowl above the simmering water, keep the heat low and stir – the white chocolate can split if it's overheated.

Step 4

Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the sugar.

Step 5

Stir in the eggs until the mixture is thick and glossy – it shouldn’t be grainy.

Step 6

Mix in the flour, then add the extra white chocolate chips. Pour into a brownie tray and even out.

Step 7

Put the raspberries in a small pan with the lemon juice and a small splash of water, heat gently until they’re completely soft and broken down – mash them about a bit.

Step 8

Add the caster sugar and dissolve, let it simmer until it's slightly thickened.

Step 9

Take a teaspoon and drizzle or splash the coulis over the blondies, then, with the handle of a teaspoon, drag it through in a swirl to make a marble effect.

Step 10

Place blondies in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. They should have a slight wobble as will continue to set while they cool.
Frittedda Siciliana Salad: Nina Strazzanti, Strazzanti

Serves

4-6

Total Time

45 Minutes

Ingredients

200g of frozen peas
300g of frozen broad beans (600g fresh if available)
200g of artichoke hearts, cut in half or quarters in oil & vinegar
1 shallot
15g of fresh mint
25ml of white wine vinegar
2 tsp of sugar
Olive oil and extra virgin olive oil

Method

Step 1

Begin by cooking the broad beans. If you are able to find fresh broad beans in their pod, then pod the beans from their outer shell and cook for 2-3 minutes in salted boiling water. Immediately drain and immerse in ice cold water and pop the outer tougher skin of the broad beans to reveal the bright green beans and place them to the side.

Step 2

If cooking from frozen place the broad beans in salted boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes, immediately drain and immerse in ice cold water and pop the outer tougher skin of the broad beans to reveal the bright green beans and place them to the side.

Step 3

Next, cook the peas in salted boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes, immediately drain and immerse in ice cold water and place to the side.

Step 4

Finely slice the shallot to give long elegant strands and fry in a pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil on a low to medium heat. Once the shallot begins to turn lightly golden add 100ml of cold water to the pan and gently simmer until the water has evaporated.

Step 5

Once the shallots are tender and golden turn off the heat and add the vinegar and sugar, mixing well until the sugar has dissolved.

Step 6

In a bowl, mix the cooked and drained broad beans and peas together adding in the halved or quartered artichoke hearts. Tip: we use both for different textures. Tear in half of the mint and add in the shallot, vinegar and sugar mixture and combine all the ingredients well together.

Step 7

Place the frittedda in a bowl and scatter with the remaining fresh mint and drizzle with a good quality Sicilian extra virgin olive oil. Serve with flatbread or crostini.
Savoury Watercress Scones With Goats’ Cheese Mousse & Pear Chutney: Keri Astill-Frew, V. Dorset

Serves

6

Total Time

1 Hour 20 Minutes

Ingredients

For the scones:
225g of self-raising flour
2 pinches of salt
1 tsp of baking powder
55g of butter, diced
25g of watercress, finely chopped
150ml of full fat milk
For the chutney:
250g of pears, peeled, cored and chopped
75ml of red wine vinegar
25g of caster sugar
25g of dark brown soft sugar
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of ground white pepper
Pinch of allspice
Pinch of cinnamon
For the mousse:
100g of soft goats’ cheese, rind removed
30-50ml of double cream, cold

Method

Step 1

Combine all ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the pears are soft. Cool down before using.

Step 2

While the chutney is cooling, make the scones. Lightly grease a baking tray and preheat the oven to 180°C. Whisk together the dry ingredients, then rub in the diced butter until a breadcrumb-like consistency is reached. Mix in the chopped watercress, then add the milk and mix until a soft dough is formed.

Step 3

Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead lightly until the surface is smooth. Roll out to approximately 2cm thick and use a 5cm cutter to stamp out rounds, then place onto the baking tray.

Step 4

Brush the tops of the scone with a little milk and bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden.

Step 5

For the goats’ cheese mousse, crumble the cheese into a blender. Blend on high speed, slowly adding the cream until smooth.

Step 6

To serve, spread the mousse onto warm scones and top with the chutney.
Hazelnut Crunch Flapjacks: Whole Earth

Serves

12

Total Time

25 Minutes

Ingredients

200g of Whole Earth peanut butter with hazelnut crunch
80g of soft light brown sugar
120g of golden syrup
2 tbsp of coconut oil/sunflower oil
60g of raisins
200g of jumbo oats

Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment.

Step 2

Put the peanut butter, sugar, golden syrup and oil in a saucepan and heat over a low-medium heat for a few minutes until the mixture is combined and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the raisins and oats.

Step 3

Transfer the mixture to the tin and use the back of a spatula to press down and push the flapjack mixture into all four corners.

Step 4

Bake in the hot oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and use a sharp knife to cut into 12 pieces while still warm. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Maple, Pear, Walnut & Blue Cheese Tart: Maple From Canada

Serves

6

Total Time

1 Hour 20 Minutes

Ingredients

375g of pre-rolled short crust pastry
1 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of olive oil, plus an extra 1-2 tsp
200g of rainbow chard, stalks finely chopped and leaves roughly chopped
2 pears, halved, cored and sliced
3 large eggs
Grating of nutmeg
150g of crème fraîche
150g of blue cheese
50g of walnut halves
75ml of maple syrup
100ml of double cream

Method

Step 1

Pre heat the oven to 180°C.

Step 2

Heat the butter and 1 tbsp oil in a heavy-based frying pan or skillet over a medium heat, chard stalks for 5-8 minutes until soft and starting to caramelise. Add the chard leaves and continue to cook until wilted, then remove from the heat.

Step 3

Line a 20cm tart with the pastry and fill with baking beans.

Step 4

Toss the pear slices in 1-2 tsp of oil and place on a baking sheet.

Step 5

Bake both in the oven for 15 minutes then remove both from the oven.

Step 6

Remove the baking beans from the pastry case and continue to bake for a further 8-10 minutes until the bottom is golden and crisp.

Step 7

Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl, then season with some nutmeg and whisk in the crème fraiche maple syrup and double cream. Stir in the cheese then pour half the mixture into the tart case.

Step 8

Add half the chard and the rest of the custard. Then add the remaining chard.

Step 9

Top with the roasted pear slices and the walnuts and bake for 28-30 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

Step 10

Leave to cool for 20 minutes, then slice and serve.
Maple & Blueberry Muffins

Serves

12

Total Time

45 Minutes

Ingredients

100g of softened unsalted butter
3 ½ tbsp of pure maple syrup
2 eggs
50g of chia seeds
150ml of natural yoghurt
250g of self-raising flour
½ tsp of baking powder
½ tsp of bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp of salt
100g of blueberries

Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4

Step 2

Beat the butter and maple syrup together. Add eggs and beat for a further minute

Step 3

Mix in chia seeds and yoghurt.

Step 4

In a separate bowl, blend flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and ½ tsp of salt together.

Step 5

Add this to the wet ingredients, stir to combine and fold in blueberries.

Step 6

Line a 12-mould muffin tray with paper cases and divide muffin mix evenly.

Step 7

Bake for an initial 5 minutes then reduce temperature to 160ºC/Gas Mark 3 and bake for a further 18-20 minutes until risen and a skewer comes out clean.

Step 8

Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Smoked Salmon Maki Rolls: Petrossian

Serves

6

Total Time

1 Hour 15 Minutes

Ingredients

500g of wild salmon fillet
1 raw beetroot
½ black radish
2 ripe avocados
8-10 sheets of rice paper
For the dressing:
10ml of rice vinegar
200ml of sesame oil
1 dash of lemon juice

Method

Step 1

To make the maki rolls, cut the beetroot and radish into thin strips. Cut salmon into ½-inch wide strips. Cut the avocado into slivers about 2 inches thick.

Step 2

Gently soak the sheets spring roll wrappers in warm water, one by one. Once they’re thoroughly softened, lay them out flat on a clean cloth.

Step 3

Towards the bottom of each rice paper wrapper, place a few edible flower petals in the middle with some strips of raw vegetables and wild salmon, and finally some avocado. Fold over the left and right sides towards the middle and roll upwards, pulling slightly to compress the filling as you wrap the roll.

Step 4

Leave to rest in the fridge, uncovered, for 30 minutes, then cover with clingfilm until it’s time to serve.

Step 5

When you’re ready to serve, whisk the rice vinegar, lemon juice and sesame oil together to make the dressing. Cut the rolls into evenly sized makis. Serve the makis with the dressing.
Parmesan Shortbread With Truffle Pesto

Serves

6

Total Time

40 Minutes

Ingredients

1 pot of Petrossian Pesto & Summer Truffle Sauce
200g of cream cheese
Salt and pepper
For the shortbread:
100g of grated parmigiano reggiano
130g of flour
1 egg yolk
100g of room-temperature unsalted butter
2 pinches of table salt
2g of cracked black pepper

Method

Step 1

To make the shortbread, mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the egg yolk.

Step 2

Work the dough until you can form it into a ball, then cover in clingfilm and leave it to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.

Step 3

Preheat the oven to 180°C. In the meantime, take out the dough and roll it out onto a floured work surface or between two sheets of baking paper. It should end up about 5 mm (just under ¼ inch) thick.

Step 4

Use a cookie-cutter to cut out shapes from the dough and put them on a sheet of greaseproof paper on top of a baking tray. Make sure you space them far enough apart, so they don’t fuse together as they’ll swell slightly during baking. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, then leave to cool on a wire rack.

Step 5

Mix the cheese with 1/3 of the pesto sauce. Adjust the amount of sauce to get the texture and taste you want. Put a spoonful of this pesto on each shortbread biscuit. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and grinds of pepper and serve.

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