Friday, July 19, 2013

Lazy days and beach blankets

So goes the title of the latest addition to my ever-growing cookery book collection.  As with all Rylands, Peters and Small books, it's beautifully photographed and presented and as the name suggests is full of recipes for picnics, barbeques and outdoor meals of pretty much every description.  I read it as others would read a novel.  Anyway, having just recieved it last week, I've already made two things from it and both were easy and delicious.  The first was a stuffed picnic loaf, which I took on a picnic funnily enough!  Chocka with roasted veg and creamy goats cheese, it's a healthy alternative to the mayo-loaded sarnies I usually go for.  Then, for our evening meal I made a Turkish salad (a variant on Taboulah salad) and it was so refreshing that I know it's going to become a staple.  I made double quantities too, so we're definitely going to be eating it all this week!
I don't know about you but when I see all these lovely pics in food magazines of beautifully presented picnics  I'm all enthused, but the reality is I often can't be bothered with the faff of it all.  This stuffed picnic loaf is pretty easy as I just chopped all my veg and put it in the oven for half an hour (recipe recommended using stove top griddle)  However, don't do what I did (fall asleep!) or you'll end up having to do it all over again...

Stuffed Picnic Loaf

1 round loaf
2 courgettes sliced thinly lengthwise (I used a cheese slicer for this)
2 red onions sliced into wedges
2 red peppers
1tbsp olive oil
1tbsp basil pesto
goats cheese

1. Cut a lid off the top of the loaf and carefully scoop all the bread from the inside. (retain bread and make crumbs and freeze)
2.  Mix the oil and pesto together and brush around the inside of the loaf
3.  Preheat the oven to 190c and place your veg on the middle shelf
4. Layer roasted veg in the loaf; the middle layer should be the goats cheese; top layer more veg
5. Replace the lid on the loaf, wrap in cling and sandwich between two plates, topping with a weight or a tin and leave in the fridge overnight.

You could fill your loaf with other things eg salami, tomato and mozarella...

Kisir Salad

This Turkish salad uses bulgar wheat - although I used a mixture of bulgar and couscous which worked really well.

160g of bulgar wheat
1 large bunch of flat leaf parsley
half a cucumber finely chopped
4 large tomatoes, skins removed, finely chopped
1tsp cumin
pinch of chilli flakes
olive oil
1tbsp pomegranate juice or syrup

1. Soak your wheat and couscous for recommended time
2.  Finely chop all other ingredients and combine in a bowl with your dressing ingredients.
3.  Add the bulgar wheat and stir until well mixed
4. Serve at room temperature

I think next time I might well add some pine nuts, or hazlenuts, just for some added texture and crunch.
 Then all that's left, is to take your picnic along to the nearest river/beach/park and enjoy....


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