Time for a picnic!

I am a bit of a romantic, or perhaps just nostalgic, but I love a good picnic. A tartan picnic rug, white linen napkins, old fashioned cutlery. Just add sunshine, a grassy field and some lovely food. Heaven!

One of the many things I love about Luxembourg is the variety of bread and rolls you can buy. So try to incorporate a couple of different types of bread or rolls to match different fillings, here are some suggestions:

Smoked salmon, cream cheese and cress

√Rare roast beef, rocket and sundried tomatoes

√Cream cheese, mango chutney and watercress

√Thin strips of pan fried steak, mustard and fresh spinach

√Cheese and apple

√Sardines in tomato sauce mashed with sliced red pepper

The list is endless!

But picnics are not just sandwiches. Quiches always go down well, try this low fat one:

Quiche du soleil (Sunshine quiche)

  • 1 roll shortcrust pastry
  • 200g lardons
  • 300g courgettes washed, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g fromage blanc 20%
  • 20cl milk
  • 30g freshly grated parmesan
  • handful of fresh basil
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 200°c
  2. Sauté courgettes in frying pan with a little olive oil until golden with the thyme leaves from the sprigs. Season, add chopped basil and remove from heat.
  3. Place pastry in your quiche tin/dish and prick with a fork all over the base without going through the pastry
  4. Fry off the lardons until crisp and discard the fat
  5. Beat together eggs, fromage blanc, milk and parmesan
  6. Spread the courgettes and lardons over the pastry then pour over the egg mix
  7. Cook for 30 minutes

This can also be served as a canapé by cutting into mouth sized squares, topping with half a cherry tomato, basil leaf and thin piece of parmesan, all speared with a wooden stick.

Picnic at home! Photo: Lisbeth Ganer. © 2013 Lisbeth Ganer

Picnic anywhere…at home… Photo: Lisbeth Ganer. © 2013 Lisbeth Ganer

...or in the streets... Photo: Lisbeth Ganer © 2013 Lisbeth Ganer

…or in the streets… Photo: Lisbeth Ganer © 2013 Lisbeth Ganer

And to wash it all down:

Homemade pink lemonade

Recipe – makes one large jug:

  • 8 lemons, plus extra slices to serve
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 140g raspberries plus extra to serve
  • ice
  1. Remove the zest from the lemons with a sharp knife or peeler, removing as little of the white pith as possible – cut away any pith you can from the strips.
  2. Juice the lemons and mix the juice, zest, sugar and raspberries with 1.2 litres of boiling water.
  3. Leave to cool then sieve, pressing through juice with the back of a spoon.
  4. Add extra sugar to taste, then chill.
  5. To serve add a lemon slice, a couple of raspberries and lots of ice
Lemon drizzle cake

Photo: Alison Korter-Lacki © 2014 Alison Korter-Lacki

It wouldn’t be a picnic without a slice of cake. This is one of my favourites – easy to transport, and you certainly won’t be bringing any back:

Lemon drizzle cake

  • 100g softened unsalted butter plus extra for greasing
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 3 tbsp whole milk
  • 2 lemons zest and juice
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C, grease and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. In a bowl use a mixer to cream butter and golden caster sugar for 3-4 minutes until fluffy and very pale, beat in the eggs slowly, sift in the flour and mix well to combine. Stir in the lemon zest and milk
  3. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for about 45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  4. Ten minutes before the cake is ready, heat the lemon juice and granulated sugar in a pan until the sugar has dissolved and set aside.
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and while still hot prick the surface all over with a skewer. Drizzle over the lemon syrup and then leave to cool completely in the tin.

 Now, where’s your favourite picnic spot?   

 

Text and photo by Alison Korter-Lacki, June 2014

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