The Perfect Picnic

11b4b92572ac6c4c5833a4b6b568a2c5Ah, picnics. How do I love thee. They combine two of life’s greatest joys: finger food and eating outside in the fresh air. Glorious. These recipes are from dear friend David Herbert‘s (food writer and editor, collector of Bloomsbury pottery – you can visit his pop-up tearoom  in London) wonderful book, Picnics - catering for pretty much any picnicking eventuality.

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Jam tarts (makes 12)

250g readymade short-crust pastry

6 tablespoons good quality berry jam

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C (gas mark 6). Lightly grease a 12-hole tartlet tin.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll it out between two sheets of baking paper. Cut out 12 circles with a 7cm (3in) pastry cutter and line the tin with the pastry circles. Spoon approximately 2 teaspooons of jam into each pastry case, being careful not to overfill or the jam will boil over.

Chill the tarts for 15 minutes before baking.
Bake the tarts for 10-12 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

picnicChicken and chive sandwiches (serves 4-8)

1 small chicken

2 teaspoons olive oil

6 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chopped chives

12 slices white bread and 50g butter, softened

Method

Rub the chicken with the olive oil and place it in a roasting tin in an oven preheated to 200C (400F, gas mark 6). Cook the chicken for 20 minutes per 500g, plus an extra 20 mins. Alternatively. place it whole in a large saucepan, cover with water and simmer gently for one hour.

Pull the meat from the chicken and shred or cut into small pieces. Place in bowl and add enough mayonnaise to bind it. Mix in the chives and season well with salt and pepper.

Butter the bread and spread with the chicken. mixture. Wrap in plastic or greaseproof paper and store into airtight container. Cut sandwiches into fingers upon arrival at the picnic.

Tomato and mint salad (serves 4)

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250g (8oz) ripe cherry tomatoes

4 large sweet ripe tomatoes

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 and 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped

1 tablespoon shredded fresh mint leaves

salt and pepper

Method

Halve the cherry tomatoes and place in a bowl. Cut the large tomatoes into wedges and add them to the bowl. Pour over oil and balsamic vinegar, then stir in the garlic and mint. Season well. Transfer to a lidded container to transport.

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Peach and white wine sangria (serves 10)

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 orange

250ml (8fl oz) peach nectar

500ml (17fl oz) lemonade

60ml (2 fl oz)  vodka (optional)

750ml (1¼ pints, 1 bottle) fruity white wine

2 fresh ripe peaches, sliced

1 orange, sliced

Combine the fruit juices, lemonade and vodka, if using, in a large, screw-topped container. Chill, along with the wine, until needed. Pour the chilled juice and wine into a large jug or bowl. Serve with the sliced fruit and ice.

Iced tea with lime and mint (makes approx. 900ml (1½ pints)

1 mint tea bag

2 Ceylon tea bags

100g (3½oz) caster sugar

750ml (1¼ pints) boiling water

Juice of 2 limes

Juice of 1 lemon

Lime slices

Fresh mint leaves

Place the tea bags and sugar in a large teapot or heatproof jug and pour in the boiling water. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and leave the tea tpo infuse for 8-10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and leave the tea to cool. Stir in the lime juice and lemon juice and chill or freeze until ready to transport.

Serve in tall glasses garnished with lime slices and mint leaves.

Raspberry lemonade

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250g (8oz) fresh or frozen raspberries

250g (8oz) caster sugar

300 ml (1/2 pint) freshly squeezed lemon juice

chilled water, to dilute

Method

Puree the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Strain and store in a large bottle. (It will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge.) To serve, pour the chilled raspberry lemonade into a large jug, dilute to taste.

Images; David Loftus, Southern Living

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