I, for one, adore a picnic; grazing on food all day, sipping wine – and at the end there is minimal washing up. Sometimes we can become a bit unadventurous with our picnic contributions – crisps, stale sausage rolls and some squashed supermarket strawberries seem an easy option a lot of the time. However, if you think ahead a bit and quickly cook something up the night before, it makes the picnic experience even better! Therefore I have put together a couple of recipes that are quick and easy to make and transport to your favourite destination. Henley Regatta next week, anyone?
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Broad bean and pea hummus
400g shelled broad beans
300g shelled peas
1 tbsp. tahini
2 coves of garlic
100-150ml olive oil
½ juice of lemon
Salt and pepper
1 small bunch dill, chopped
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Taste and season with more lemon, salt or pepper as needed. Stir the chopped dill through to taste. Serve with spring vegetable crudités, pitta or crostini.
Jersey Royal Focaccia (Makes 4 x 450g loaves)
675ml lukewarm water
1 ½ tbsp. active dry yeast
1 ½ tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. extra virgin oil
900g strong white bread flour
500g jersey royals cut into slices or quarters
handful of wild garlic
Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, oil and water in a bowl, or a large Tupperware with a lid. Next, mix in the flour until full incorporated, yes it is a wet mix! Cover the bowl, or place the lid on the Tupperware and close all but one side. Place in the fridge to allow it to rise overnight. Alternatively, allow it to rise in the warm. Once this is done, the dough can be used or refrigerated and used whenever you like over the next 7 days.
When you’re ready to cook the bread, preheat the oven to 220oC. Cut off some of the dough and stretch into an oiled baking tin. Cover and allow to rise for 20 mins. While this is rising, boil the jersey royals with salt and 2 wild garlic leaves, drain and allow to cool.
When the bread has risen, drizzle with olive oil and place the potatoes and garlic over it. Press into the dough and then sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for 25mins until ready, serve warm.
3 Meyer Lemons
4 white asparagus spears
6 green asparagus spears
150g jersey royals
100g of fresh peas and broad beans (podded weight)
100g Italian fine beans
Large handful of salad leaves
Dressing: Juice of 1 lemon, 1tsp salt, 70ml extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp honey, 1tsp Dijon mustard – shake well to combine
Start by zesting the skins of the lemon and reserving this for later. Next remove the skin from the lemon and slice the flesh into segments for the salad.
Place the potatoes in a pan with cold water and salt and bring to the boil. Leave for 15mins or so, or until cooked. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
While the potatoes are cooling, bring a pan of salted water to the boil, and blanch and refresh the asparagus first and then, beans, and peas and lastly broad beans. Place all of the vegetables in one bowl.
Slice the potatoes into ¼, season with salt, lemon zest and olive oil.
Lastly combine all of the ingredients in the bowl, except the lemon segments, along with the vegetables. Drizzle oven the salad dressing. Stir to coat and arrange on a platter, placing over the lemon segments.