There are two ways to picnic I guess. You can of course sweep the supermarket, but then you run the risk that everyone takes the same and you end up with four quiches and a kilo of carrots. The other option is to go ridiculously big: divide and conquer by asking everyone to be responsible for one thing – and that that thing is miraculously supreme.
Muffuletta (picture above)
Go big or go home with this, my version of the epic New Orleans sandwich. If you’re eating it at home (ie near an oven), skip the first toasting stage and place the stuffed bread in the oven for a perfectly melting sandwich.
Preparation 20 minutes
Press 2 o’clockr+
1 sourdough bread (600g-700g)
95 ml olive oil
4 cloves of garlicpeeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp za’atar
8 anchovy filletsdrained and finely chopped
2 red peppersseeds and pit removed, flesh finely chopped (30 g)
2 shallots (80g), peeled and cut into thin rounds
200 g pitted nocellara olivesdrained and coarsely chopped
450 g canned red peppersdrained, patted dry and halved (350 g)
3 tbsp fine capersdrained (or rinsed, if salted; or plain capers, chopped)
10g parsley leavescoarsely chopped (about 2½ tbsp)
30g basil leavescoarsely chopped (about 5¾ tablespoons)
Salt and black pepper
1½ tbsp English mustard
1 tbsp liquid honey
70 g thinly sliced salami
100 g sliced gouda
2 balls of buffalo mozzarellacut into 2 cm thick slices and patted dry (250 g)
100 g thinly sliced mortadella
Preheat the oven to 240C (220C Fan)/475F/Gas 9. Cut the top third of the loaf lengthwise to become the lid later. Use your hands to gently hollow out the bread, removing as much crumb as you can (save it to make breadcrumbs), leaving the crust intact. Set the hollowed out bread and lid aside on a baking dish, bake for three to five minutes, until crisp and lightly golden on the inside, then remove and set aside.
Meanwhile, make the salsa. Place 50ml oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and, once hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring often, for three minutes, until soft. Stir in the za’atar and anchovies and remove from heat. Pour the za’atar mix into a medium bowl, allow to cool, then stir in the chilli, shallots, olives, paprika, capers, parsley, basil, well-ground pepper and a quarter teaspoon salt.
Place the mustard and honey in a small bowl with the remaining three tablespoons of oil and blend until very smooth. Using a pastry brush, spread the mustard mixture evenly over the inside of the bread and on the underside of the lid.
To make the muffuletta, spoon two-thirds of the olive salsa on the bottom of the bread and spread it evenly. Place the salami on top, followed by the gouda, mozzarella and mortadella, pressing down firmly on each new layer. Spoon the remaining salsa on top and put the lid on.
Wrap the bread tightly (ideally in reusable kitchen foil) and place on a tray. Weigh it out with a heavy wooden board (or a container filled with tins) and let it sit at room temperature for two to three hours (or refrigerate overnight).
Cut the bread into thick slices and serve at room temperature.
Pea-horseradish dip with pickled ginger
Serve this with some raw vegetables or crackers. With these amounts you will make more pickled ginger than you need here; store the excess in an airtight container in the refrigerator, ready to serve with rice or steamed fish.
Preparation 10 minutes
Cook 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves 4 as part of a meze
400 g frozen peasthawed
2½ tbsp olive oil
2 banana shallots (80g), peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp thyme leavescoarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlicpeeled and crushed
Salt and black pepper
1 tsp sherry vinegaror white wine vinegar
100 g soft goat cheese
20 ml lemon juice (ie from 1 lemon)
2 tsp fresh horseradishfinely grated, plus extra for garnish
4 spring onionstrimmed and thinly sliced at an angle
5g mint leavescoarsely chopped (about 2¾ tbsp)
For the pickled ginger
50 g fresh gingerpeeled
1½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
3 twigs fresh thyme
60 ml white wine vinegar
30 g caster sugar
First brine the ginger. Thinly slice the ginger (use a mandolin if you have one), stack and slice into thin strips. Put these in a pan with 250 ml cold water and a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Let it bubble for three minutes, then drain and discard the water. Place the blanched ginger in a sterilized heatproof jar and add the lemon zest and thyme. Pour the vinegar and sugar into the same saucepan, bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then pour directly into the ginger jar. Set aside to cool, then screw on the lid and refrigerate.
Now for the dive. Place the oil in a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat, then add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes until softened. Stir in the thyme, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and well-ground pepper and cook for three to five minutes, until fragrant. Stir in the peas and sherry vinegar, remove from heat and let cool.
Place the mix in a food processor, add the cheese, horseradish, lemon juice and a quarter teaspoon salt and pulse to a coarse paste. Transfer to a bowl (or plastic container, if you’re packing it for a picnic).
Place two tablespoons of the pickled ginger and one tablespoon of the brine in a small bowl and stir in the scallions, mint, remaining teaspoon and one-half oil, and one-eighth teaspoon salt. Spoon this over the pea dip, grate over some fresh horseradish and serve at room temperature.
Yuzu and lime brown butter mochi madeleines
Freshly baked madeleines, warm from the oven, are one of life’s little joys, but they also make a delicious picnic treat. These are a bit of a hybrid and are inspired by Japanese mochi, using glutinous rice flour and tapioca starch in place of regular flour. Not only does this make them gluten-free, but it also gives them an irresistible, slightly chewy texture. Look for small bottles of yuzu juice in the world food aisle of larger supermarkets, but if you can’t get one, use a mix of lemon and lime juice; Asian food stores are the best choice for crystallized yuzu peel, although mixed citrus peels will also work well if needed. The batter can be made up to the day before; in fact, letting the batter rest in the refrigerator is an important step of the process, and part of what gives madeleines their pronounced hump.
Preparation 15 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
135 g unsalted butterroughly in cubes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
20 g honey
130 g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean extract
100 g glutinous rice flour
60 g tapioca flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp finely grated lime zest
For the yuzu glaze
100 g icing sugar
20ml yuzu juice (or 20 ml mixed lime and lemon juice)
1 tbsp crystallized yuzu peel (or mixed skin)
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, about five minutes, until the butter is a deep amber color and smells nutty. Pour into a small bowl, whisk in the vegetable oil and honey, and set aside for about 15 minutes to cool slightly.
Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl/bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, then mix over medium heat for about two minutes until creamy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the rice flour, tapioca flour, baking powder and salt, add to mixer and work on low speed until well blended. With mixer still on low speed, pour brown butter mixture in a steady stream, followed by lime zest, and blend until well blended. Place in the fridge for at least an hour to rest.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 190C (180C Fan)/390F/Gas 6 and butter a 12 cavity non-stick madeleine mold. Pipe or spoon about 25-30g of the madeleine mixture into each cavity using a piping bag or teaspoon, then bake for 10 minutes, until just set and spring back when you poke with a finger (you don’t want to overcook them). Unmold the madeleines while they are still hot and let them cool slightly on a wire rack while you make the glaze. Wash, dry and butter the madeleine mold again, fill with any remaining batter and bake (or refrigerate and bake later).
In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar and yuzu juice until smooth. Finely chop the crystallized yuzu, place in a second small bowl and mix in the lime zest. Dip the narrow scalloped end of each madeleine into the yuzu icing, sprinkle over some of the yuzu zest/lime zest mix and serve immediately.