4 Easy Summer Recipes For Your Next Picnic
It’s the thick of summer, nobody wants to be in the kitchen when there’s sun to be soaked up! And picnics! So rather than taking a tub of Tesco hummus and some bread to my next one, I’ve whipped up some easy summer sides, sauces, slaws and cocktails, to make ahead and take to the park this weekend.
Coriander & Mint Mojito
For a new mojito moment, give your minty drink a citrus hum with coriander. It’s so good, even the haters will love it. If you’re heading to the park, store your cocktail in an insulated water bottle (like a Chilly’s) to keep it ice cold for hours.
Top tip! Store your tender herbs upright in water in the fridge so they last longer. For other fruit and vegetable storage hacks, click here.
Prep time: Under 5 minutes
3 sprigs mint
1/2 -1 tbsp agave syrup (to taste)
Juice of half a lime
Step 1: Tear the leaves from two sprigs of mint and add them to a tall glass. Roughly chop the coriander into the glass and then using a muddler (or the end of a wooden spoon) crush the herbs until bruised.
Step 2: Add the agave, rum and lime to the glass and stir.
Step 3: Fill the glass with ice and top up with soda water. Garnish with your remaining sprig of mint.
Don’t let that half-bag of rocket in your fridge go to waste! Instead, perk up pastas, salads or salmon fillets with a peppery alternative to your traditional basil pesto.
Cook time: 5 minutes
3 tbsp pine nuts, or blanched almonds
60g grated parmesan cheese
130ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
Pinch of salt to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice
Step 1: Add the rocket, pine nuts and cheese to a pestle and mortar and grind into a paste, or whizz them up in a food processor.
Step 2: Stir through the olive oil and lemon juice, taste and add more salt or lemon if needed.
Green Bean Fries
For a side that’s healthy, easy and, I’m just going to say it: better than potato fries, make these. They’re the ideal picnic snack with some harissa hummus or rocket pesto. Or give it a buffalo wings-twist by smothering it in hot sauce and blue cheese dressing.
Serves 2 as a side
Cook time: 35 minutes
For the green bean fries:
200g green beans
4 tbsp flour (and more if needed)
50g panko breadcrumbs
20g pre-grated parmesan cheese
For the blue cheese dressing:
100g sour cream
3 tbsp mayonnaise
50g blue cheese
For the buffalo hot sauce:
2 tbsp sriracha
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp cider vinegar
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cornflour
Here’s how to make the green bean fries
Step 1: Preheat the oven to gas mark 7/220ºC/200ºC fan. Wash your green beans.
Step 2: Add the flour to a plate. Crack the egg into a separate shallow bowl and beat with a fork. Add the panko breadcrumbs and grated parmesan to a third plate and mix to combine. You should have three plates in front of you.
Step 3: Dip the green beans in the flour and shake off the excess. Then dip them in the egg, and finally press it into the breadcrumbs firmly to coat all over. Repeat with the rest.
Step 4: Drizzle a baking tray with 1 tbsp vegetable oil and add the coated green beans with another drizzle of vegetable oil.
Step 5: Put the tray in the oven for 10-12 minutes until your green bean fries are golden brown and crunchy.
Now for the blue cheese dip:
Step 1: Crumble the cheese into a bowl, stir through the mayonnaise and sour cream until combined. Refrigerate covered until serving.
And for the the buffalo hot sauce:
Step 1: Add the Sriracha, tomato ketchup, soy sauce, cider vinegar and cayenne pepper (can’t handle the heat? Go easy!) to a pot with 100 ml cold water. Add the pot to a medium heat and cook for 1-2 min or until warmed through
Step 2: Meanwhile, add the cornflour to a small bowl with 1 tbsp cold water and mix until you’re left with a smooth paste. Add the cornflour paste to the pot and cook for 1-2 min more, or until the sauce has thickened. Serve warm.
Little gem coleslaw
Swap wintry cabbage for the cool, sweet, crunchy tang of this picnic-perfect slaw. If you have any leftover tender herbs in the fridge, they’d be great in this too.
Top tip! This slaw tastes incredible with our Loaded Beef Chilli Cheese Fries
Serves 2 as a side
Cook time: 5 minutes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 little gem lettuce
Handful of soft herbs, such as coriander, parsley and chives (optional)
Step 1: Combine the mayonnaise with the zest of 1/2 lime, juice of 1/2 lime, olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl.
Step 2: Top, tail, peel and grate the carrot. Shred the little gem lettuce and soft herbs finely. Combine the grated carrot, shredded lettuce and herbs with the mayonnaise dressing and give everything a good mix up. Serve straight away.