With Wimbledon, Henley and a host of other Summer sporting events fast approaching, what better time to plan the perfect alfresco feast to accompany these outdoor occasions?
For picnics, it’s always important to pick fuss-free food you can prepare in advance. But that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on flavour. Discover these three delicious recipes and ensure your menu stands out.
1 Royal Gala apple
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
500g minced pork
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
500g puff pastry
1 large free-range egg
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
- Wash, trim and dice the leek, core and dice the apple, then pick the thyme leaves.
- Combine the pork, leek, apple, thyme leaves and mustard seeds in a bowl. Season and set aside.
- Roll out the pastry to 1cm thick and 34cm x 30cm. Halve lengthways and place a strip of mince down the centre of each.
- Brush the edges with beaten egg, roll up and seal. Brush with more egg, then cut each strip into three rolls.
- Score the tops and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
1 x 500g ready-made puff pastry
Plain flour, for dusting
4 teaspoons pesto
1 handful of mixed, ripe cherry tomatoes
8 asparagus spears
4 baby courgettes
2-3 jarred roasted peppers
½ bunch of fresh basil
8 black olives, optional
1 x 100g ball mozzarella
20g Parmesan cheese, optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/400°F/gas 6. Carefully cut the pastry block in half with a table knife. Wrap the other half and refrigerate, or freeze for later.
- Dust a little flour onto a clean work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry into a square, measuring 26cm x 26cm. Cut into four equal squares.
- Place the pastry squares on a baking tray, leaving a space between each.
- Using the back of a spoon, spread the centre of each square with pesto, but don’t go as far as the edges.
- Squash the tomatoes into a large mixing bowl, then snap the asparagus spears into 3cm pieces. Keep the pointy tips and a little of the stalk, but discard the ends.
- Using a peeler, carefully shred the courgettes into ribbons. Tear the roasted peppers into strips and add to the bowl.
- Pick the basil leaves, reserving the pretty ones for later. Place the large ones in the mixing bowl.
- Mix the vegetables together in the bowl, adding a splash of oil. Pile a little of the mixture on each tart and top with two olives.
- Break up the mozzarella and place small pieces on top of each tart – this will make it gooey, like a pizza. Grate over some Parmesan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
- Once the tarts are ready, allow them to cool slightly, then sprinkle with the reserved basil leaves.
50ml Pimm’s No.1
25ml sparkling wine
1 spring mint
- Fill a large wine glass with ice cubes.
- Pour in Pimm’s No.1.
- Add the lemonade and stir.
- Top with sparkling wine.
- For garnish, add a few slices of cucumber and a sprig of mint.