Roll Out the Picnic Rug
It's national Picnic Week, and with the weather set fair for the week, what better way to spend your time than gathering up the family and heading out to your favourite picnic spot.
www.nationalpicnicweek has loads of hints and tips for great places to go, fun facts and foodie ideas.
But if you want to ditch the soggy sarni and limp pastries and get your creative juices flowing, read on and try out our recipes below.
Here's a few quick, simple and healthy ideas with something for all the family to enjoy!
Pesto Share & Tear whirls
450g strong white bread flour, plus a little for dusting
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
1 tsp golden caster sugar
2 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle
150g tub Lincolnshire Drizzle Vegan Garlic Pesto (or Spicy Chilli for a bit of a kick)
75g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and 1 1/2 tsp fine salt in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a tabletop mixer. Measure out 300ml warm water and add roughly 280ml to the flour, along with the olive oil, and start mixing until the ingredients start to clump together as a dough. If the dough seems a little dry, add the remaining water. Once combined, knead for 10 mins by hand on your work surface, or for 5 mins on a medium speed in a mixer. The dough is ready when it feels soft, springy and elastic. Clean the bowl, drizzle in a little oil, then pop the dough back in, turning it over and coating the sides of the bowl in oil. Cover with some oiled cling film and set aside in a warm place to double in size – this will take 1-3 hrs, depending on the temperature.
Line a baking tray with parchment. Uncover the dough and punch it down a couple of times with your fist, knocking out all the air bubbles. Tip out onto a floured work surface and dust the top with a little flour too, if it is sticky. Roll the dough out to a rectangle, roughly 40 x 30cm. Spread the pesto over the dough, then scatter over the Paremsan cheeses. Roll the dough up from one of the longer sides, into a long sausage.
Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 12 even pieces. Place on the baking tray, cut-side up, in a 3-by-4 formation, making sure the open end of each roll is tucked in towards the centre on the arrangement – this will prevent them from uncoiling during cooking. Leave a little space between each roll as they will grow and touch as they prove. Loosely cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove for 30 mins–1 hr until almost doubled in size again. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Uncover the bread when it is puffed up. Bake on the middle shelf in the oven for 35-40 mins until golden brown and the centre looks dry and not doughy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 10 mins.
Roasted Veggie Wraps
Makes 4 generously filled wraps
Wraps are brilliant for a picnic as they hold all the delicious filling in, here's a healthy veggie option. Would be lovely with Cheddar in it as well, or any strong cheese.
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 green pepper
1 large portabello mushroom, or baby portabellas (about 8 oz.)
1 red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tsp.)
3 Tbsp Lincolnshire Drizzle Balsamic Dressing
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 200 C/400 F. In a large bowl, toss mushrooms, peppers, onions and garlic with the dressing. Spread on baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then place in oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until vegetables are softening and starting to brown.
On a separate surface, place cheese in center of tortilla. Spoon roasted vegetables in center of wrap and on the cheese. Tuck both sides in and roll wrap like a big cigar. Serve whole, or cut in the center on a diagonal.
These roasted veg would work well in a layered salad (see recipe below)
Sweet Chilli Chicken Wraps
1 large flour tortilla
2 tbsp Sweet Chilli Dressing
juice ½ lime
1 tbsp sliced jalapeños, plus 1 tbsp of vinegar from the jar
handful crisp salad leaves
½ avocado, stoned & cut into chunks
1 tomato, chopped
½ small red onion, sliced
2 thick slices cooked chicken, shredded
tbsp cheddar, grated
soured cream, to serve (you may want to leave this out if you are having these on a picnic, and take along a sourcream dip to go with them).
Mix the leaves, avocado, tomato, onion and turkey and toss with the Sweet Chilli Dressing. Pile onto the tortilla and top with the cheese, jalapeños and a dollop of soured cream. Roll up and enjoy!
Vegetarian Sausage Rolls
200g chestnut mushrooms
3tbsp Sweet Chilli Dressing
2 leeks , finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp sage , finely chopped
1 tbsp brown rice miso
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
30g hazelnuts, very finely chopped
60g mature cheddar , grated
70g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 x 320g sheet ready rolled all butter puff pastry
1 medium egg , light beaten to glaze
Put the mushrooms in a food processor and pulse until they're very finely chopped. Put half the Sweet Chilli Dressing in a large frying pan and add the leeks along with a pinch of salt. Fry gently for 15 mins or until softened and golden brown. Scrape the leeks out of the pan and into a bowl. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and fry the mushrooms for 10 mins over a medium heat. Add the garlic, sage, miso and mustard and fry for another minute, then leave to cool slightly. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Combine the mushroom mixture with the leeks in a bowl, add the hazelnuts, cheese and breadcrumbs. Season lightly to taste (the miso and leeks will add salt, so don’t add too much) and work everything together until you have a slightly stodgy mixture. 4. Unravel the puff pastry on a floured surface, then roll out so one side measures about 40cm. Push the mushroom mixture down the centre of the pastry. Bring the pastry around the mixture and seal the edges with a fork, then cut into 8 pieces. Lay on a lined baking sheet and brush each one with the beaten egg. Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins until deep, golden brown. Allow to cool a little before eating.
Layered Rainbow Salad Pots
Serves 4-6 depending on size of pot
275g Cous Cous
500ml hot veg stock
Cherry Tomatoes halved, cucumber sticks, grated carrot, red onion sliced (or any combination of your favourite salad veg)
Cook the cous cous according to pack instructions using the hot veg stock and stir in 2 tbsp of your favourite Dressing, Sweet Chilli works well, or Balsamic if you don't want the spice.
Layer the veggies with the cous cous in a jar, drizzling more dressing to taste. Add cheese layers, or chicken if you like. Cover and chill until you're ready to eat.
Sticky Chicken Drumsticks
Make 3 slashes on each of the drumsticks. Mix your favourite marinade with the chicken and coat thoroughly. If you like sweet & sticky try BBQ, for a spicy kick use Cajun, or for a delicious, deep spice use our Moroccan style. Leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
Tip the chicken into a shallow roasting tray and cook for 35 mins, turning occasionally, until the chicken is tender and slightly charred on the outside.