26 November 2011
Posted in Picnics and Barbecues
I love a picnic, and it doesn’t have to be a special occasion to joins friends for a late summer gathering. Our picnic blankets were covered with a splash of bright colours and with fitting food to match. Our outdoor meal consisted of a Potato Salad, Baby Rocket & Parmesan Salad, Nutty Bean Salad, Sausages on the grill followed by toasted marshmallows and an upside-down plum cake. We didn't pack our finest china, but we did bring real dishes for the setting and to reduce the rubbish. After the feast, it was time for the children to sail their colourful paper boat on the lake with the company of nosey swans.
Baby rocket & Parmesan salad (serves 10)
120 g Parmesan cheese
350g baby rocket leaves
120g semi-sundried tomatoes, halved
80g Pine nuts, toasted
80g, balsamic vinegar cream
80g, extra virgin olive oil
Shave the Parmesan into wide pieces with a vegetable peeler.
Combine rocket leaves with tomato and nuts in a large bowl; add the Parmesan, and drizzle in the combined balsamic and oil. Toss gently.
Potato Salad (serves 10)
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
6 green onions, finely chopped
4 Hard boiled eggs, chopped coarsely
100ml sour cream
1 tablespoon seeded mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon, tarragon
2 Tablespoons chives, chopped
Peel and chop potatoes into bite size pieces (2cm). Boil until tender and leave to cool.
Place potato in a large bowl with onions, tarragon, egg and remaining ingredients and toss gently. Garnish with chives.
Bean salad with walnut pesto (serves 10)
250g dried white beans
300g Green beans, blanched
4 Black stripped tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh savory herb (bonnenkraut), chopped finely
2 tablespoons mint, chopped finely
60g Walnut seeds, crushed
3 tablespoons, berry vinegar
4 tablespoon, walnut oil
Black pepper and sea salt
Boil the beans for 30 minutes in salted water, then drain.
Rinse the green beans and chop into 3cm pieces. Put both bean types in a bowl. Cut the stems out of the tomatoes and cut the tomatoes into cubes.
Add the tomatoes in with the beans.
Place the garlic, savory herb and walnuts in a mortar and crush. Stir the mixture together with vinegar and oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix the Walnut pesto with the beans and tomatoes. Let it stand for minimum 15 minutes, then again season to taste with salt and pepper.
Upside-down plum cake
850g plums (I used the oval prune plums)
60g butter, unsalted
120g sugar, superfine
2 tablespoon lemon juice
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon, vanilla extract
150g flour, plain
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Créme fraîche for serving
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Prepare the plums by slicing in half and discarding the stones. For the caramel sauce: melt the butter in pan over a low heat then add the sugar, lemon juice and stir until dissolved. Turn up the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes in the pan until caramelized. Add the plums to the pan and cook gently for 2 minutes watch not to tear apart. Transfer to an ovenproof 28cm round baking tin.
To make the cake: whip together the butter, cream and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time beating well between eggs, and then add the vanilla extract. Sift the flour, baking flour, cinnamon and salt into the mixture and beat well together. Beat the egg whites together in a separate bowl until stiff. Fold the mixture together with a spoon then spoon over the plums in the pan smoothing the surface with a spatula. Bake for 45 minutes. Leave to rest for 2 minutes before carefully turning over the pan and serve with Créme fraîche.