A selection of light, relaxed dishes is the perfect recipe for feel-good feasting over the warmer months. Ditch the stodgy sandwiches this Summer and, instead, allow nutritional therapist – and one of our new ambassadors – Amelia Freer to inspire a simple, crowd-pleasing picnic menu. These guilt-free, yet delicious, alternatives are best-enjoyed stretched out on the grass or at the beach, accompanied by a cool glass of something lovely to quench your thirst.
Italian Tuna Salad
For this tasty, protein-packed salad, our Mango Wood Bowl and Salad Servers are essential pieces for an easy-sharing experience. Don’t forget our Everyday Board Collection to present a sliced loaf and butter, or use as a steady surface for Acrylic Glasses.
For the salad base:
100g sugar snap peas (or fine green beans)
1 tbsp pine nuts (you could also use sunflower seeds)
1 tbsp capers
100g responsibly sourced tinned tuna or fresh tuna steaks
8-10 black olives
½ red pepper, deseeded and sliced
¼ red onion, peeled and very finely sliced
3 sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
A big handful of salad leaves (I love little gem or rocket here)
A few extra basil leaves, for flavour (optional)
For the quick pesto:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves
1 tbsp pine nuts (you could also use sunflower seeds)
A good pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Zest and juice of ½ a lemon
1 small clove of garlic, peeled (optional)
- Put all the pesto ingredients into a small blender and pulse for a minute or so, until well combined. If it looks a little dry, add an extra squeeze of lemon juice. This step can be done ahead of time – just put the pesto into a little jar, screw the lid on and leave in the fridge overnight.
- Blanch the sugar snap peas by cooking them in boiling water or steaming for one to two minutes. Drain immediately, then place them under cold running water to stop them cooking.
- If you like, you could also toast the pine nuts for a minute or so in a dry frying pan over a medium heat to give them a little extra colour, although you can skip this step if you are pressed for time.
- If you have opted for tuna steaks, sear in a really hot griddle pan – or on the barbecue – for one to two minutes on either side, until cooked to your preference. Roughly chop into pieces and allow to cool.
- When you are ready to make the salad, pile all the salad ingredients on to a plate,top with the tuna, sprinkle with the capers and pine nuts and finally drizzle over the pesto.
“This super-simple salad is the type of thing that I eat most days. It can be thrown together in minutes from ingredients I almost always have lying around, and yet still packs both a nutritional, and a flavour, punch. Delicious.” Amelia Freer
Roasted Stuffed Peppers with Bean & Sweet Potato Chilli
Carry all your alfresco essentials inside our Handwoven Picnic Basket and Rattan Dining Basket, as you find your picnic spot. Lay a glorious lounging area with our Scatter Cushions, Outdoor Mattress and Picnic Rug, then eat these tasty morsels with fingers for a truly relaxed feasting style.
1 large red or yellow pepper
1 tsp light olive oil
For the chilli:
1 tsp coconut oil or olive oil
½ small red onion, peeled and sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
1 small stick of celery, diced
½ long green or red chilli, diced
100g sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-2cm pieces
2 tsp Toasted Spice Mix, or 1 tsp ground cumin and 1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp paprika
A small bunch fresh coriander stems finely chopped, leaves reserved
½ 400g tin of black beans or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful of salad leaves of your choice (rocket and spinach both work well)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
- Heat the coconut or olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion, garlic, celery, chilli and sweet potatoes for five minutes, then stir in the Toasted Spice Mix, paprika and coriander stalks until everything is well coated.
- Add the water and cover with a tightly fitting lid. Turn the heat down to its lowest setting and cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop it sticking.
- Meanwhile, cut the pepper in half straight through the stalk and carefully take out the seeds and pithy white bits from inside. Pour half a teaspoon of olive oil inside each half pepper, and use your hands to rub this all over both sides. Place on a baking tray, skin side down, and put into the oven for 12-15 minutes, to soften. Remove from the oven when the peppers are soft and slightly caramelised around the edges, and set to one side.
- After the filling has had 25-30 minutes simmering, add the beans, tomato purée and tamari. You may need to add another splash of water if it looks dry, although you are aiming for quite a thick mixture. Bring back to a simmer for another 5-6 minutes, to warm the beans through. Stir in half the coriander leaves, then taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
- Spoon the mixture into your prepared pepper halves, sprinkle with the remaining coriander leaves and serve over a bed of salad leaves of your choice.
“This bean and sweet potato chilli is a very easy recipe to make a big batch of and freeze in portions, so you could always double up the quantities and put some away for another day (which will also prevent you from being left with half a tin of beans looking sad in the fridge!).” Amelia Freer
Simple Tahini Dressing
Our Clip-Top Storage Jars are perfect for this delicious dressing. Spread crostini or big, flavourful salads over our Mango Wood Platters for extra-easy sharing, and protect food with a Metal Cloche once everyone is full (for now). As the sun sets, light lanterns around your picnic spot for an atmospheric end to the day.
4 tbsp tahini
2 tsp tamari or coconut aminos
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
80-100ml cold water
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
Juice of 1 lime (lemon works just as well)
A pinch of sea salt (optional)
- Using a small whisk or blender, combine all the ingredients, apart from the lime or lemon juice, until smooth.
- Add the lime or lemon juice, then check the consistency and add more water if it is too thick for your liking. Season to taste.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for four to five days. It will thicken slightly as it cools.
“I just love this dressing and have been making versions of it for a good few years. It will bring to life the dullest of dishes, and I encourage you to always have a jar of this in your fridge.” Amelia Freer
What goes in your perfect picnic? We’d love to see your alfresco lunches at #MyWhiteCo
To win a signed copy of Amelia Freer’s new cookbook Nourish & Glow: The 10-Day Plan, enter our competition.