My top 5 picnic recipes (perfect for spring!)

My top 5 picnic recipes (perfect for spring!)

Top 5 Picnic Recipes for Spring and Summer Pinterest via @BryJaimea bryjaimea.com #recipe #recipes #salads #salad #light #healthy #foodie #food #turkish #italianIt’s been a while since I posted a new recipe or two, so with the weather finally warmer (let’s ignore the snow earlier this week, shall we?), I thought I’d not only post one or two, but five.

I know I know, this is no longer a food blog, and hasn’t been since the rebrand in June last year. Yet, that has never stopped me from expressing my love of food has it? Exactly. Just because your blog’s niche may be this, that or the other, every blog has room for food! Plus, I was a wee bit inspired by my visit to Alla Turca in Glasgow last week 😉

But anyway, it’s officially spring whether you follow the astronomical or meteorological seasons, and daylight savings does its thing on Sunday meaning it’s time to freshen up not only our skincare, but our kitchen.

The food being cooked in our house over the past few weeks has already shifted dramatically, and it’ll be shifting even further in the weeks to come. No more roast dinners every weekend, and thick, stodgy soups and stews are far behind us.

Now, with the warmer weather of course means picnics, and I love picnics. The second the weather hits double digits, I start planning picnics left right and centre. I have what is possibly the cutest picnic basket and matching rug too! Also, it’s a chance to look for and acquire some brightly colour wedges because, well, what else would you wear on a picnic?

And whilst these picnic recipe inspirations may be simple to make, their flavours are anything but. Expect rich, delicious food here guys! Plus, there is literally something for everyone – even vegans 😉

Before we continue though, a (not so quick) note about a couple of these recipe first, though!

One thing I’ve noticed when preparing dishes like kofte or meatballs is the fact that sometimes, depending on the quality of the meat, it can end up quite bland – no matter how many spices you add.

One quick trick around this is to add concentrated stock to the minced mixture. I was lucky enough to be sent some gorgeously rich concentrated stocks recently by Essential Cuisine, and these have really helped boost the flavours in my cooking recently.

See, I’m not a fan of stock cubes (too fake tasting) and stock pots are great for creating a liquid stock. But neither of these allow you to add just a little bit here or there to boost flavour – concentrated stocks though put the power of flavour in your hands. So, if you’re a foodie and you haven’t got any concentrated stocks in the pantry, I highly recommend you adding some to your next shopping list.

Anyway – on to the recipes!

Top 5 Picnic Recipes for Spring and Summer Pinterest via @BryJaimea bryjaimea.com #recipe #recipes #salads #salad #light #healthy #foodie #food #turkish #italian

My top 5 picnic recipes

Lamb Kofte

What Will I Need?

500g lamb mince
1 brown onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp concentrated lamb stock
Salt

1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil

What Now?
  1. Rinse brown rice under running water for about 30 seconds, then transfer to a small saucepan.
  2. Add olive oil and fry the rice over high heat for 30 seconds or until sizzling hot.
  3. Add water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover with lid and leave for 30-45 minutes, or until no excess liquid remains.
  4. Remove lid and allow to rest for 10 minutes so the rice continues to absorb extra moisture.
  5. Using a food processor, blitz together lamb, onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, parsley, stock, plain flour and salt until completely combined and smooth.
  6. Using a spoon, stir through cooked rice.
  7. Preheat oven to 200C and lightly grease a baking tray.
  8. Using wet hands take about 1-2 tbsp of mince and form into a small sausage shape and place on tray.
  9. Cook for 20-30 minutes in the hot oven until dark golden brown, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Tabbouleh

What Will I Need?

2 tbsp bulgur wheat
4 tbsp hot water
1 continental cucumber, finely diced
5 salad tomatoes, finely diced
1 red onion, finely diced
1 tsp sea salt
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

What now?
  1. Add tomato, cucumber and onion to a colander or sieve and stir through salt. Set over a bowl and allow to sit for an hour, stirring occasionally. Discard excess liquid.
  2. Cover bulgur wheat in hot water, cover, and allow to soak for an hour.
  3. In a large salad bowl, combine tomato, cucumber, onion, parsley and bulgur wheat.
  4. Stir through extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Season with additional salt to taste.
  5. Serve with warm pitta bread and hummus.

Cucumber and Feta Salad

What Will I Need?

1 cucumber, thinly sliced
50g feta, crumbled
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
½ tsp salt

What Now?
  1. Toss cucumber, white wine venagr and salt together and allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain cucumber in a sieve for 30 minutes, or until majority of liquid has drained out.
  3. Toss drained cucumber through feta, and serve.

Chinese Shredded Chicken Salad

What will I need?

Salad
500g cooked chicken, shredded
250g white cabbage, shredded
250g red cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, grated
3 peppers (different colours) finely sliced

Dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ginger, minced
1/2 tsp sesame oil
60ml soy sauce
30ml rice vinegar
30ml honey
3 spring onions, finely diced
1 tbsp sesame seeds

What Now?
  1. In a large bowl, toss together chicken, cabbage, carrot and peppers.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy, rice vinegar, honey, spring onions and sesame seeds until well combined.
  3. Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss through.
  4. Serve.

Rustic Tomato Salad with Crunchy Croutons

What Will I Need?

Salad
500g mixed tomatoes, diced
1/2 bunch fresh basil, chopped roughly
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Croutons
100g rustic bread, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

What Now?
  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Pour olive oil into a baking tray and add sea salt.
  2. Add diced bread to the baking tray and lightly rub into the oil and salt until coated.
  3. Bake in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden. Set aside
  4. Add the onion to a small bowl and cover with ice water. Set aside for ten minutes, before straining to remove all excess water.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, add tomatoes, basil, onions, oil, salt and pepper to taste, and croutons, and toss gently to combine.
  6. Serve.

What are your favourite recipes for Spring and Summer?

xx Bry Jaimea

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