7 simple recipes for a gourmet picnic that won't break the bank
Pack your picnic basket with these affordable, crowd-pleasing snacks, grab a blanket and head outdoors to soak up the last rays of summer
1. NOODLES AND ROAST CHICKEN
Cook Chinese egg noodles or instant noodles and drain well. Toss with sesame oil, peanut butter (or tahini), sugar, soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, black pepper (lots) and chilli oil (optional). Sprinkle with roasted peanuts or sesame seeds and finely chopped spring onions.
Serve with shop-bought roast chicken, cut into portions.
2. GRAPES AND CHEESE
Mix cubes of feta cheese - or any cheese of choice - with green or black grapes removed from the stalk. Add baby tomatoes and cubes of watermelon with fresh mint, salt, pepper and olive oil.
Serve with a crispy loaf and some ready-made hummus.
3. BEEF AND BLUE
Cut wholewheat rolls and smear one side with blue cheese (or use cream cheese) and creamed horseradish on the other side. Add a thin slice of roast or corned beef (or replace with meat of choice). Add thinly sliced onion that has been steeped in a little white vinegar and a pinch of sugar then well drained. Add a good sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper.
4. THAI GAZPACHO
Combine chopped fresh tomatoes and cucumber in a blender with the white part of a stick of chopped lemon grass, a clove of garlic, a handful of fresh coriander, a dash of fish sauce, a grinding of pepper and a generous squeeze of lime. Process till just chunky, pour into glass jars with lids and serve with large straws - not plastic of course.
5. MOROCCAN SALAD MIX
Peel and finely grate a couple of carrots. Add a handful of chopped dates, a sprinkling of ground cumin and coriander, 1 finely chopped clove of garlic, 1 seeded and sliced chilli, a handful of toasted sesame seeds and the juice of 1 large orange or lemon with a handful of pomegranate seeds, if you have.
Mash a large avocado with the juice of one lemon and seasoning in a portable container. Add a jar of ready-made salsa and mix through. Seal and pack with a big bag of corn chips.
7. MEDITERRANEAN BEANS
Toss together a can of drained and rinsed white beans, lentils or chickpeas and add chopped tomato, some finely chopped anchovy, a large handful of pitted and chopped olives. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, lots of black pepper, a sprinkling of salt and a handful of chopped parsley.