Rather than a bog standard picnic of pork pies and scotch eggs, why not spice things up a bit with this three course picnic menu.
Get your lunch box packed with these yummy picnic-friendly snacks; the perfect treat for the whole family.
Tomato And Pancetta Mini Quiches (makes 10)
300g shortcrust pastry
Plain flour, for dusting
400g cherry tomatoes on the vine
Olive oil for drizzling
90g thin pancetta rashers
100g grated parmesan
3 eggs, plus 5 egg yolks
250ml double cream
½ small pack basil finely chopped
You will also need 10 tartlet tins
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the tomatoes in a roasting tin, drizzle with a little olive oil, season well and roast for 25-30 minutes until they start to shrink and darken. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
Fry the pancetta in a pan until crisp, then leave on a plate to cool.
Roll the pastry onto a lightly floured work surface until very thin (about the same thickness as a lasagne sheet). Then, cut out circles which are 1cm larger than the tartlet tins. Line the tins with the pastry circles, making sure to press into the edges and up the sides. Once you have lined all the tins, place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line each pastry case with baking parchment or foil, then fill with baking beans or uncooked rice and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and baking beans and bake for a further 5 minutes until lightly golden.
Scatter half the grated cheese and crumble the pancetta into each tart case. Nestle in the roasted tomatoes then top with the remaining cheese.
In a jug, beat together the eggs, cream and some black pepper. Add the basil and mix well until combined. Place the quiches on a baking tray, then carefully pour the egg mix into over the filling until each pastry case is full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are golden and puffed up.
Allow to cool then chill in the fridge until they are ready to serve.
Lamb Kofta Kebabs with Homemade Mint Yoghurt Dip
For the Lamb Koftas
500g lean mince lamb
1 tbsp mint sauce
1 crushed garlic clove
6 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp sunflower oil
You will also need skewers to thread the lamb koftas on to
For the Mint Yoghurt Dip
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 crushed garlic clove
200g natural yogurt
2 tsp mint sauce
1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Juice of half a lemon
Place the lamb, mint sauce, garlic and spring onions into a large bowl and mix together. Use your hands to ensure all ingredients are fully combined. Then, shape the mixture into even-sized kebabs.
Pour the oil into the frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the koftas and fry for around 8-10 minutes, turning continuously, until golden brown all over and cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper and once cooled, thread on to skewers. The kebabs can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
For the dip, place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together until combined. Season well and serve. The dip can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Blueberry And White Chocolate Muffins (makes 12)
300g plain flour
225g caster sugar
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate soda
Pinch of salt
100ml soured cream
3 eggs, beaten
5 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g frozen blueberries
100g white chocolate chips
You will also need a 12-hole muffin tin
Preheat the oven to 190C/180C Fan/Gas 5 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases
Sift the flour, sugar, bicarbonate soda and salt into a large bowl and mix to combine.
Whisk the milk, soured cream, eggs, sunflower oil and vanilla together in a bowl until well combined.
Pour the milk and egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix, using a large metal spoon or spatula, until just combined. Add the frozen blueberries and chocolate chips and mix until only just combined - do not over-mix or the blueberries will break up.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases. Bake for around 25 minutes or until the muffins are well risen and golden brown.
Allow to cool before eating.
Cherry Cooler Cocktail
Cherryade (100ml cherryade)
Lime (50ml lime juice)
Screw top jam jars with lids
This one is easy - just add the vodka, cherryade and lime juice into each jar and give a good shake.
Then add ice and top with fresh cherries and a lime wedge.
And if you want a non-alcoholic cocktail, just take out the vodka!
Picnics are always better with the right gear to make it that little bit more gourmet. We have a range of outdoor living and al-fresco dining equipment that will up your dining experience from ho-hum to YUM!