What is it about eating outdoors that makes food taste so good? Maybe it’s the added enjoyment of feeling the warmth of the sun on your face or the nostalgic experience of sitting cross legged on a picnic rug stuffing your face with homemade sandwiches and sweet treats. Whatever it is, when the summer arrives the first thing on the to-do list is to plan a picnic.
To put together the ultimate picnic hamper, you have to strike the right balance between snacks, something more substantial, something sweet and something refreshing to drink. Plus, for us, you can’t beat a picnic spread that celebrates the season’s best ingredients.
Luckily Summer is a month when all that hard work you put into the garden in spring comes to fruition. Early new potatoes are ready, the tops of the beetroots are starting to show, and it’s a rush to pick the berries on the bushes before the birds or any little people you might have living with you. So, there’s plenty of tasty, fresh ingredients to choose from.
Below we’ve gathered together dishes from some of our favourite foodies to give you an idea of what the dream picnic hamper menu could look like [and taste like!]. We’ve included directions to the recipes where we can so you can have a go at making some of these for your next Summer picnic.
Ottolenghi Bean, Lentil & Courgette Salad
A one-off offering from Ottolenghi’s deli in Notting Hill, this dish celebrates the bright-green savoury flavours of the season. You wouldn’t even need a fancy picnic basket. Fill a Tupperware, pack a fork and you’re good to go.
Focaccia by Benjamina Ebuehi
Every picnic needs great bread, and nothing beats an oily, salty Focaccia with healthy scattering of Rosemary on top. We spotted this delicious recipe from @bakedbybenji on Instagram. You’ll find the recipe in her highlights reel.
THE SEASONAL STAPLE
New Potatoes with Elderflower and Lemon Thyme by Gill Meller
A beautiful seasonal recipe from Gill Meller's new book Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower that makes the most of Summer’s early crop of new potatoes and a hedgerow favourite, Elderflower. Make it now before the fragrant flowers fade for another year.
FOR CHOCOLATE FIENDS
Fudgy Chocolate Brownies by Honey & Co.
If you’re planning to tuck into a picnic after a long walk, these flourless brownies will be exactly what you need to pick your energy back up. Look at all those nuts! They’re available for pickup or delivery from Honey & Co’s online shop.
Strawberry & Yoghurt Cheesecake Jars by Daylesford Farm
Nothing says British Summertime like Strawberries and cream but the yoghurt in this recipe introduces a lightness to this classic combination. The jars make this recipe easily packable and they look stunning. One to make when your picnic is marking a special occasion.