Who doesn’t love a picnic? Although sometimes it feels like they’re restricted to sandwiches and scones!
If you’re looking for something to make dining alfresco a little different, we’ve got some simple ideas to add some pizzazz to your picnic platter!
July marks National Picnic Month – woohoo(!) and we’ve pulled together 5 fabulously simple recipes perfect for the occasion. So, dig out your basket and blanket and call your friends, because we’ve got some tasty treats to make lounging in the sun surrounded by your favourite people even more appealing…
Mozzarella & Prosciutto Skewers
6 slices of prosciutto
12 mini mozzarella balls
12 small basil or rocket leaves
Wrap each mozzarella ball in a basil or rocket leaf, top with half a slice of prosciutto and push a skewer through it. Ta da – so fancy yet so simple!
10 tacos (we like Mex Chilli & Lime flavour)
4 grilled peppers sliced (from a jar or grilled beforehand)
2 large avocados sliced or mashed
1 small tin of sweetcorn
1 cup of plain soya yogurt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
Handful of chopped coriander to garnish
Firstly, mix the plain soya yogurt, salt and lemon juice together. This makes a good alternative to sour cream.
Next, zap each taco in the microwave for around 12 seconds, then load them with all the vegetable ingredients as you wish. Top with some of the soya yogurt mixture and sprinkle a little coriander on the top. Hey presto, you have a delicious, easy vegan snack!
Note: These are so simple and you can add whatever ingredients you like, as long as you’ve got the tacos. Black beans make a nice addition, and if you like some spice, slice up a fresh chilli and scatter it on top.
Roast cauliflower and chickpea salad
1 whole cauliflower
1/2 red onion
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp salt
1 can of chickpeas
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
A pinch of cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
A handful of pomegranate seeds
A handful of parsley
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Chop the cauliflower into small florets, slice the red onion and place them on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Toss the cauliflower and onions so they’re coated in the oil and seasoning.
Roast the cauliflower and onion for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time. The cauliflower should be tender and browned on the edges when cooked.
Once the cauliflower and onion are in the oven you can make your dressing. Add the tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt to a blender. Blend until smooth. If you don’t have a blender just put the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Add them to a frying pan or skillet along with the olive oil, smoked paprika, cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the chickpeas over a medium heat for about five minutes, or until they sizzle and become slightly crispy. Remove the chickpeas from the heat.
Combine the roasted cauliflower and onions in a bowl with the spiced chickpeas. Drizzle the tahini dressing over the top and toss to combine. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds and parsley over the top. Serve warm or cold.
Coconut chicken noodle salads served in a jar
2 small or 1 large chicken breast
3 slices of ginger
1 stalk lemongrass
400ml coconut milk
150g egg noodles
1-2 tbsp peanut butter
handful green beans, trimmed and sliced lengthways
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 handfuls of baby spinach
Pop the chicken, ginger, lemongrass and coconut milk into a pan and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering for around 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Once cooked, leave to cool.
Cook the noodles. Take the cooked chicken out of the coconut liquid and shred it. Stir the peanut butter into the coconut liquid until it becomes a thick dressing.
Grab four jars (or tupperware if you prefer) and divide the noodles between them. Next spoon over the coconut and peanut dressing. Add the tomatoes and green beans followed by the chicken and spinach. Seal the jars or containers and chill in fridge until you’re ready to go on your picnic.
And for dessert…
Brilliant Butterscotch Bars
140g butter (plus a little extra for the baking tin)
2 large eggs
350g light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g self-raising flour
100g bar of milk chocolate
100g of chopped nuts (we like to use macadamia or pecan)
Icing sugar for dusting
In preparation set the oven to 160C fan/180C/gas 4 and use a little butter to line a shallow tin (around 20 x 24cm).
Melt the butter over a low heat or in the microwave and leave to cool.
Grab a mixing bowl and beat the eggs. Next add the melted butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix the wet ingredients together and then add the flour, chocolate and around three-quarters of the nuts. Make sure not to over-beat!
Pour the mixture into the tin and scatter over the rest of the nuts. Bake for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes stick a skewer in the middle of the traybake. If you pull the skewer out clean then it’s fully cooked. If it still has some mixture on it leave the traybake in for a little longer. Once cooked, cut into 12 squares, dust with icing sugar and enjoy!
And that’s it! Pack up your picnic basket and don’t forget the Pimm’s!
If you’d like some more simple recipes to follow you can find them here!
If you'd like to check out some simple cocktail recipes you can find some here!