Bec Hewitt: My five favourite picnic recipes

Food2 min read

What to pack for the perfect day out with your family

My family and I love nothing more than spending time together and what better way is there to do that on the weekend, outdoors at an afternoon picnic? The kids love having space to run around and play, while we get to chill out in the shade.

Picnics are all about preparation and being organised. You don’t want to leave anything at home! Some of the most important things to pack are hats and sunscreen. It’s also a good idea to bring along some outdoor games such as frisbees, cricket bats and totem tennis (our favourite!).

Then, of course, there’s the food. These are some of my go-to picnic lunch ideas.

1. Potato salad

Nothing says picnic like potato salad!

Choose waxy, thin-skinned potatoes that will hold their shape better than starchy spuds. A chef’s tip is to start them in cold, not boiling water – this will allow them to cook more evenly. Add some salt to the water and you’ll get a better flavour.

Let your potatoes cool before you add the other ingredients and then get creative! My favourite potato salads include hard-boiled eggs, chives and cooked bacon bits along with whole-egg mayonnaise. Some other ideas for ingredients to add include:

  • Chopped spring onion
  • Dill
  • Chopped parsley
  • Pancetta
  • Peas
  • Gherkins
  • Vinaigrette dressing instead of mayonnaise

2. Kabana and roasted vegetable couscous

Just because it’s a picnic doesn’t mean you can’t bring gourmet food. This recipe ticks all the boxes with filling couscous, healthy vegetables and delicious Kabana.

Prepare in advance by roasting sliced Kabana, seasoned chopped onions, capsicum, eggplant, zucchini and dried apricots. The next step is to add cooked couscous, season further with lime juice and garnish with fresh coriander and toasted almond slivers.

The best thing about this dish is that it’s easy to transport and tastes as good cold as it does warm!

For the full, step-by-step recipe click here.

couscous SI 3

3. Mini sandwiches

Kids often like to nibble throughout the day at a picnic rather than sitting down to a full meal. Make up a batch of sandwiches using a range of fillings including sliced ham, salami, shredded chicken, avocado, cucumber, lettuce and hard-boiled eggs. Instead of spread, go for mustard, mayonnaise, pesto and yummy hummus to make your sandwiches something special.

Mix up your bread selection with white, rye, multi-grain and brown. Cut the crusts off if you have fussy kids and want to make sure everything gets eaten.

4. Chorizo and saffron paella

Nowadays you can get insulated carriers that will keep food hot until you’re ready to eat. Prepare a paella, and one thing is for certain – nobody will go hungry!

I like to make a paella with medium-grain rice, chorizo and a dash of white wine in the cooking process. Add fresh vegetables and homemade chicken stock for an extra-delicious flavour.

Try this recipe – it’s quick, easy and will be a hit at your picnic.

paella SI 2

5. Olive oil cake with candied orange

Cakes and slices are a great option at a picnic because they’re easy to serve on a napkin instead of a plate. For a Mediterranean picnic dessert, grab your olive oil (make it mild or fruity) and get baking! Olive oil cakes are deliciously moist, especially when they’re made with yoghurt.

Epicurious has a lovely recipe, or search the web for one that’s a winner, and keep it bookmarked for future reference.

Don’t forget to pack cutlery, plates, napkins, wet wipes and of course – an extra-large picnic blanket!



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