Did you know that National Picnic month is in August? This summer is all about celebrating the Great British Staycation and the perfect staycation companion is a delicious picnic hamper to take with you! Where are you spending the Summer Holidays this year? For a lot us picnics are about sandwiches, mini sausage rolls, delicious pastries and sweet treats. But sometimes its nice to mix it up and throw something new into the picnic spread. So here are a few our treats that we think you might like, get ready to pack up the picnic bag and head to your favourite sun spot.
200g puy lentils
1 bunch of spring onions
200 g ripe cherry tomatoes
1 large bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large bunch of fresh mint
extra virgin olive oil
Rinse the lentils, then cook in plenty of salted water until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
Trim and finely slice the spring onions, halve the tomatoes, then pick and finely chop the herb leaves.
Mix the cooled lentils with the spring onions, tomatoes, herbs and 4 tablespoons of oil. Add the lemon juice to taste, season with sea salt and black pepper, then serve.
Sweet Potato Spinach and Feta Tortilla
3 sweet potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
100g baby spinach
6 large eggs
100g feta , crumbled
Pierce the potatoes a few times on each side. Microwave on high for 5-8 mins until soft, then set aside to cool a little.
Heat the oil in a 20cm ovenproof frying pan and wilt the spinach for a minute or two. Cut each potato in half lengthways and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, keeping it in big chunks. Whisk the eggs.
Add the sweet potato to the pan and stir to combine with the spinach – don’t break it up too much.
Pour in the egg and swirl around so it fills any gaps in the pan. Scatter over the feta and cook for 4-5 mins over a low heat until the bottom and sides are set.
Place under the grill for 1-2 mins to cook the top – poke a knife into the centre to ensure it’s cooked through. Cool before slicing into wedges.
Healthy Griddled Chicken and Peach Salad
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tbsp mint, finely chopped, plus a few leaves to serve
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 skinless chicken breast fillets (300g)
160g fine beans, trimmed and halved
2 peaches (200g), each cut into 8 thick wedges
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 large Little Gem lettuce (165g), roughly shredded
½ x 60g pack rocket
1 small avocado, stoned and sliced
240g cooked new potatoes
Mix the lime zest and juice, oil and mint, then put half in a bowl with the garlic. Thickly slice the chicken at a slight angle, add to the garlic mixture and toss together with plenty of black pepper.
Cook the beans in a pan of water for 3-4 mins until just tender. Meanwhile, griddle the chicken and onion for a few mins each side until cooked and tender. Transfer to a plate, then quickly griddle the peaches. If you don’t have a griddle pan, use a non-stick frying pan with a drop of oil.
Toss the warm beans and onion in the remaining mint mixture, and pile onto a platter or into individual shallow bowls with the lettuce and rocket. Top with the avocado, peaches and chicken and scatter over the mint. Serve with the potatoes while still warm.
A picnic isn’t complete without a little sweet treat is it? Try out our delicious Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, the perfect way to finish a fabulous picnic in the glorious sunshine.
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
30g white and milk chocolate, roughly chopped (optional)
Cut a strip of baking parchment and leave to one side. To melt the dark chocolate, fill a small pan with 2cm water and bring to a simmer. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and rest it on top of the pan, ensuring the bowl isn’t touching the water. Stir the chocolate to gradually melt it. Or, melt the chocolate in 20 second blasts in the microwave, stirring after each blast until melted. Put the melted chocolate in a small deep bowl.
Gently hold the strawberries by the leafy top and dip into the chocolate. Tap off any excess chocolate and put on the parchment to set. If you have any leftover chocolate, pour it onto another strip of parchment and leave it to set, it can be used again.
If you’d like to decorate the strawberries, melt the white and milk chocolate and drizzle lightly over the fruit.
Whatever you are doing this August we hope these recipes help serve as an inspiration for you!