Along with sudden hail storms, Wimbledon and beer gardens, picnics are a British summer institution and, now that the sun is shining, we can’t wait to get out there! However, uninspiring sandwiches and crisps that have been crushed to bits simply won’t cut it this year, so we’ve teamed up with Sydney-based food writer Katy Holder and her recipe ideas from A Moveable Feast to bring you some delicious picnic food ideas! Whether you are planning a romantic champagne soaked picnic for you and your other half or a family trip to the beach, we have picnic food ideas that will suit every palate!
01.Perfect for… A picnic with family
When it comes to family picnics, it’s all about finding dishes that everyone loves and this savoury take on the tarte tatin is sure to become a firm favourite!
Tomato and Shallot Savoury Tarte Tatin
250g French shallots
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
6 Roma tomatoes (halved)
1 tbsp thyme leaves plus extra to garnish
1 tsp sugar
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (24x24cm) thawed in fridge
- 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C if fan assisted).
- 2. Simmer the shallots in water for 5 minutes then drain. Cool slightly then peel - the skins should slip off easily.
- 3. Heat the oil in a 20cm ovenproof frying pan (ensure the handle is ovenproof too), add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes until starting to brown. Set aside and remove the oil from the pan.
- 4. Put the butter in the pan over low heat then add the garlic and stir briefly. Add the tomatoes cut-side down and sprinkle with the thyme and sugar. Cook over medium heat for 1 minute, remove from the heat and add the shallots, ensuring that everything is in a single, compact layer.
- 5 If your pastry is a square sheet, snip off the corners to make them rounded and carefully place it over the shallots, tucking it inside the pan.
- 6 Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden. Remove from the oven, cool for 5 minutes then carefully turn out onto a large serving plate. Serve warm or cold, scattered with the extra thyme.
02.Perfect for… A picnic with Friends
Smoked Salmon and Roasted Red Pepper Pate on Toast
1 small red pepper (halved and deseeded)
200g smoked salmon
200g cream cheese
100g sour cream
3 tbsp dill (finely chopped)
3-4 tbsp lemon juice
8 thin slices of wholemeal bread
- 1. Preheat grill to high. Squash the pepper halves to flatten them, then put them under the grill, skin side up. Grill until the skin is blackened. Transfer the pepper to a plastic bag, seal and leave for 15 minutes. Peel off the skin and finely dice the flesh.
- 2. Put the smoked salmon, cream cheese, sour cream, dill and 3 tbsp of the lemon juice into a food processor and blend for about 20 seconds. Taste, then season with salt and pepper and add the extra lemon juice if needed.
- 3. Transfer the pâté to a bowl and stir in the pepper, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow it to firm up slightly.
- 4. Preheat the oven at 180°C and put a baking sheet into the oven to heat up. Remove the crusts from the bread then, using a rolling pin, roll it out thinly and cut each piece into four triangles. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the toast is golden and crisp. Allow to cool and serve.
03.Perfect for … A romantic picnic for two
Romantic picnics require something a little more sophisticated than soggy sandwiches and this simple prawn cocktail is delicious and looks the part too!
Prawn Cocktail in a Jar
20 medium king prawns (cooked peeled and deveined)
150g mixed salad leaves
Paprika to dust
Lemon wedges to serve
40g good-quality egg mayonnaise
2 tbsp sour cream
2 heaped tsp tomato sauce
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Couple of shakes of Tabasco sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1. Cut each prawn into bite-sized pieces.
- 2. Combine all the dressing ingredients, taste and add extra lemon juice, Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce as desired.
- 3. Divide half the salad leaves among the jars then add half the prawns. Top with the remaining salad leaves and remaining prawns. Put a spoonful or two of dressing on top and sprinkle with paprika. Pop on the lids and screw them tight.