Easy Picnic Recipes

9199041539_2336c62bfb_b

Make the most of the longer and warmer days with a lazy afternoon enjoying the countryside and enjoying a vintage inspired picnic. Here are some simple easy to make recipes that will taste as good as they look. 9199041539_2336c62bfb_b

Asparagus Tart

250g pre rolled puff pastry - 15cm x 30cm - thickness of a £1 coin

Bunch of English asparagus

1 Egg - beaten

200g lardons

250g ricotta

2 tbsp chopped chives

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

salt and pepper

100g grated parmesan

Pre heat the oven to 180c

Roll the puff pastry out just a little with a rolling pin into a rectangle, 30cm x 15cm and about the thickness of a £1 coin. Score a 1cm border around the pastry, making sure you don't cut all the way through. Using a fork, prick inside the edges of both sheets about every 1/2 inch. Place the sheet on a floured baking tray and brush the border with the beaten egg. Bake for 15 minutes.

Trim tough ends off  the asparagus. Steam the for about 4 minutes until crisp-tender. Place on a kitchen towel to drain. Cook the lardons until crisp. Set on paper towels to drain. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta with the chives, parsley, and lemon zest. Taste and add salt and pepper. Take the pastry out of the oven and squash down the middle.  Spread the  ricotta mixture, and sprinkle over the lardons. Place the asparagus across lengthways and grate half the parmesan over the top. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.

Grate over the remaining Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil. Serve hot with a fresh green salad.

9201823098_19cbd5c5c6_b

Pickled cucumber

One cucumber

50g caster sugar

50ml white wine vinegar

Using a peeler slice the cucumber into strips. Season it with salt and leave for a few minutes. This allows the water content to reduce. Rinse and squeeze the cucumber and leave to one side.

Place the sugar and vinegar in a pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved.

Place the strips of cucumbers into a preserving jar, pour in the sugar and vinegar mixture over the cucumber and leave to cool before putting on the lid and placing in the fridge.

9199042659_afa56b909b_b

Fresh green salad

Baby courgettes - quartered

Fine green beans - topped and tailed

Juice of one lemon

4 tbsp of good quality olive oil

Handful of fresh leaf parsley - finely chopped

Handful of fresh mint

Salt and pepper

Cut up the greens and steam for 4 minutes, plunge into ice cold water to retain colour and freshness Meanwhile prepare the dressing, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Drain the greens and place in a large bowl, pour over the dressing and mix well. Tear the mint and zest the lemon over the greens and serve with fresh bread and homemade hummus.

Photography by Andrew Boyd & Styling by Claire Morgan. Taken from the Summer 2013 Issue of Heart Home magazine.