There’s something very special about a picnic. Eating wholesome, well-prepared food in the fresh air surrounded by good company just makes everything taste better.
Here are some delicious recipes for the ideal picnic fare from Allison Brand and Debbie O’Flaherty’s Let’s Celebrate cookbook.
- 1 packet/8 medium courgettes
- 1 x 200g pouch Danish-style feta cheese, drained
- ½ packet spring onions, finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 9 large eggs, beaten
Tip: Replace the feta cheese with blue cheese or a strong cheddar cheese. These mini frittatas are delicious served hot, at room temperature, or cold, so they are perfect for packing in a picnic basket.
- Preheat oven to 190°C.
- Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick spray.
- Shave half the courgettes into ribbons using a potato peeler.
- Grate the other half of the courgettes and set aside.
- Line the muffin cups with the shaved courgette ribbons.
- Divide the grated courgette, crumbled feta cheese, spring onions and oregano evenly between the muffin cups.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour over the beaten eggs.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until puffed up and golden.
- Makes 12 regular muffin-sized frittatas.
Olive-and-Rosemary Farm Bread
- 2½ cups cake flour
- 1 sachet (10g) instant dried yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- Extra flour for dusting
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 6 black olives (for the bread), plus 3 extra (for the cook!)
- Coarse salt, to sprinkle
- Mix together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the lukewarm water and mix with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough.
- Sprinkle a little flour on a board.
- Turn the dough out onto the floured board and knead for about 5 minutes to form a smooth, elastic dough. It might be necessary to add a little extra flour while kneading to prevent the dough from sticking to the board or your fingers.
- Place the ball of dough into a floured bowl and cover with cling wrap to prevent it from drying out.
- Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and place the bowl in a warm spot to allow it to rise.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and knead for a couple of minutes.
- Jam the olive pieces and rosemary sprigs into the dough randomly.
- Shape into an oval and then sprinkle on the coarse salt.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes 1 loaf.
Marmite-and-Parmesan Cheese Straws
- 1 x 400g roll ready-bought puff pastry, defrosted
- 1 tbsp Marmite
- ½ cup (1 x 50g packet) finely grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 220°C.
- Unroll the puff pastry sheet.
- Spread the Marmite evenly over the entire pastry sheet.
- Sprinkle the parmesan over the Marmite.
- Cut the pastry in half and place one half on top of the other, Marmite sides together.
- Press down firmly.
- Cut the pastry stack in half widthways and then into 18 strips ±1.5cm wide.
- Pinch the ends of each strip and twist before placing on a greased baking tray.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes 18 straws.
Include something sweet on your picnic menu
- 1 cup (100g packet) finely ground almonds
- ¾ cup icing sugar, sifted
- 2 large egg whites
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 1⁄3 cup castor sugar
- A drop of pink food colouring
Butter icing filling:
- 65g icing sugar
- 60g butter
- Preheat oven to 150°C.
- Mix together the ground almonds and icing sugar and sift.
- Whisk the egg whites until frothy.
- Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until the egg whites create stiff peaks.
- Stir the icing sugar mixture into the egg whites and add the food colouring.
- Pipe (if you have a piping bag) or spoon 4cm rounds of the mixture onto a grease-proof paper-lined baking tray.
- Bake for 12–15 minutes or until set.
- Switch off the oven and leave in the cooling oven for 30 minutes to dry out completely.
- Remove from the oven to cool completely.
- For the butter icing filling, beat the icing sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
- Sandwich the cooled macaroons together with the butter icing.
So now you’ve got the food sorted, there’s nothing left to do except find a great picnic spot to enjoy a relaxed meal with your family or friends.
About the book
In this coffee-table book, Let’s Celebrate (Logogog Press), Allison Brand and Debbie O’Flaherty share their inspirational ideas for 16 different occasions – from a one-year-old’s birthday party to an elegant high tea. They recommend a menu for each event, offer décor ideas and even suggest invite and gift options. The beauty is in the detail and care that the authors have put into every menu and table setting. The recipes are easy to follow with helpful tips for even the novice entertainer. Photographer Kate Miller brings the ideas to life with her beautiful images. This book is guaranteed to have you reaching for the calendar so that you can plan your own unforgettable event. It can be ordered from lets-celebrate.co.za or Kalahari, and is available at In Good Company in Parkhurst, Macaroon in Greenside, and the Baker’s Warehouse in Johannesburg.
Allison Brand and Debbie O’Flaherty