Sunday 29 July 2012

Pack the perfect picnic

Well, many of us are now returning from our holidays and, at least here in Copenhagen, the weather is changing. But what beautiful sunshine it was while it lasted and we definitely made the most of it with daily trips to the beach and the picnic blanket now wears the tell tale signs of our al fresco dining. Even if the longer summer days are behind us, this is Denmark and so on any day the weather can turn again and it's never too late to pack up the blanket and head outside again for a few hours of unexpected late summer sun.

If you have exhausted your picnic recipes and are looking for a little inspiration, here are a couple we have translated from the Aarstiderne collection. I remember reading once that when planning a picnic you only need one main dish but the more side dishes, the better. Here we have chosen a delicious light spinach tart, a coleslaw, bean salad and a couscous salad. Add your favourite potato salad too and don't forget to pack a refreshing drink - Aarstiderne's recipe for lemonade couldn't be easier.

Enjoy! And here's hoping the sun obliges and makes an appearance...

Spinach tart

Seive the flour into a bowl and rub the diced butter into the flour until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the water and press it flat and wrap it in clingfilm.
Leave the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to bind then roll the dough out and lay it in a tart dish. Cover the dough with foil and place a handful of rice or dried peas on top so that the dough doesn't rise during baking. Then bake the tart in the oven at  200° C until it is golden.

Steam the spinach until it collapses (about 2 mins). Sauté the finely chopped shallot with the cubed bacon in a pan. Add the spinach and add nutmeg to taste.

Whisk the eggs and the cream together, fold in the spinach mixture and add it all to the prebaked tart. Bake the tart in the oven at 160° C until the egg mixture sets (about 30 minutes)

You will need:

100 g bacon
200 g flour
125 g butter
3 eggs
150ml whipping cream 38 %
500 g spinach
1-2 tbsp. water
fresh grated nutmeg
1 shallot

Cabbage Coleslaw

Finely chop the cabbage. Peel the carrots and grate them with a large grater. Combine the yoghurt, cumin and mayonnaise and season to taste. Mix the cabbage and carrots with the dressing.

You will need:

2 tbsp natural yoghurt 10%
1 cabbage
100 g carrots
salt and pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp mayonnaise

Bean and avocado salad

You will need:

1 avocado
olive oil and lemon dressing garlic
2  spring onions
1 green chilli
300 g cooked kidney beans
2 tomatoes

Pour any water off the beans. Chop the tomato and the spring
onions. Peel the avocado, remove the stone and dice it. Finely
chop the chilli. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and add the
dressing then let the salad sit for 15 mins before serving.

Couscous with pepper and asparagus

Pour 500 ml boiling water over the couscous and let it sit for 15 mins until the water is soaked up. Add the olive oil and vinegar and stir them through the couscous.

Slice the peppers into strips and cut the courgette into half lengthways and then slice them up. Break the bottoms off the asparagus.

Warm a grill pan with a little olive oil in it and them grill the peppers and the courgette for 2-3 mins and the asparagus for 1-2 mins. Finely chop the shallots and mix all the vegetables with the couscous. Add the chopped nuts.

You will need:

1 red and 1 yellow pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 courgette
almonds or pinenuts
1 tbsp vinegar
sea salt
250 g couscous
100 g asparagus
1-2 shallots
Dijon mustard


Peel 2 of the lemons with a thin peeler and place the peelings in the blender. Peel the remaining lemons and remove the white pith from all of them.

Add the peeled lemon flesh to the peelings already in the blender and blend to a smooth puree. Add the water and sugar to taste. Pour the lemonade out into a jug and cool before serving with lots of ice. 

You will need:

6 lemons
1L water
sugar to taste

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