As the weather starts to get warmer, there’s only one thing on our mind: picnics! There’s nothing better than spending a sunny afternoon with your friends and family, surrounded by delicious food and drink in the great outdoors. So grab yourself a picnic hamper, plenty of paper plates and a picnic rug, like this Tartan Waterproof Picnic Blanket , and get ready for summer (well Spring any way)! Forget the cheese and pickle sandwiches or the Scotch eggs – here are a few unique recipe ideas to leave your picnic guests suitably impressed…
Picnic food has to be easy to eat without a fork and knife, so why not swap the traditional sandwiches for a more exciting filled pitta instead? Soak a couple of chicken breasts in a peri peri marinade for a couple of hours. Grill the chicken and, once cooked through, leave to cool. Meanwhile, toast your pitta breads lightly under the grill and slice each one in half.
Fill up with a handful of rocket, a few slices of cucumber, and a drizzle of natural yoghurt. Finally, slice up the peri peri chicken and add a few pieces to each pitta. Top with a little bit of chilli sauce if you like it spicy!
Leave the bottled juice at home, and make your own fruit infused water instead for a healthy and refreshing drink to cool you down on a hot day. The night before your picnic, fill up a large jug with water and add in half a punnet of raspberries, one lime (halved and then sliced), and a good handful of mint leaves. Put the jug in the fridge and leave the flavours to infuse overnight, give it a good stir (strain if desired), then decant into a bottle or flask ready to enjoy at the picnic.
Save your empty jam jars as they can come in pretty handy for picnics! Prepare individual salads for each guest by layering up their favourite ingredients in their own jar. This means there’s no mess trying to serve them up and they’re really easy to transport – just screw on the lid and you’re ready to go! Why not try a Mexican inspired salad with layers of crunchy romaine lettuce, sliced avocado, sweetcorn, tomato salsa, and sliced sweet red onions and peppers.
Homemade popcorn is really quick to prepare and makes a great snack for picnics. Heat a drop of oil in a large pan or wok and add a handful of popcorn kernels. Put on the lid and wait for the magic to happen! Once you hear the popcorn beginning to pop, shake the pan occasionally to prevent it burning. After the popping has finished, remove the pan from the heat and add a generous amount of sea salt and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Mix thoroughly to combine the flavours, then store in an airtight container.
What are your favourite simple picnic recipes?
Fay Gourlay from madefromscotland.com is passionate about design-led contemporary products and supporting Scottish designers and producers.