The first picnic of the year! (with recipes)

At the weekend we were spoilt with fantastic weather; blue skies, steady sunshine and not a cloud in sight. To celebrate this rare occasion Laura and I (and the rest of London) made our way to Hampstead Heath to picnic.

Since it was the first picnic of the year I went a little crazy with the food, because I was positively dying to try some new recipes.

I made some breakfast rolls with spelt, after this recipe (but substituted half the wheat flour for spelt flour), and made two spreads to go with them. One I have made before and it consists of chopped fried aubergine, red onions, dill and caviar. But not being able to find any caviar, I used some finely grated parmesan for saltiness which worked well. The next spread is a simple egg salad flavoured with dijon mustard, but with the nice addition of avocado, that I found on a Swedish food blog (called Tre tjejer i köket [Three girls in the kitchen]). Really yummy!

On Miss Meister’s blog I found a recipe for white beans with a tarragon dijon dressing. Absolutely lovely!

We also had some Pimm’s and snacked on strawberries, grapes and marinated olives. For dessert I had made some Key lime melt aways, that I found on the Smitten Kitchen blog.

Egg salad with avocado

Translated from Elin’s recipe.

4 hardboiled eggs, cold and chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp sourcream
1 tsp dijon mustard
season with salt and pepper
finely chopped salad onions (optional)

Butter beans with tarragon dijon dressing, serves 2-4
Translated and adapted from Åsa’s recipe.

1 tin butter beans
a few centimeters finely chopped leek (I used spring onions)
1-2 tskp fennel seeds
1 tsp tarragon dijon mustard (or 1 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon + 1 tsp ordinary dijon mustard)
1 tsp white wine vinegar
olive oil
black pepper (optional)
dried tarragon (optional)

Rinse the beans and drain. Toast the fennel seeds in a dry frying pan. Remove to a plate and leave to cool. Wash and chop the leek, then start with the dressing. Combine vinegar and dijon then add the oil in a fine trickle while whisking to form an emulsion. Once the dressing has thickened, season to taste. Add the beans and leek followed by the fennel seeds.

Key lime melt aways, 1 batch

After Smitten Kitchen’s/Martha Stewart’s recipe.

170 g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
Grated zest of 4 tiny or 2 large key limes
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp plain flour (a.k.a. 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until fluffy. Add lime zest, juice, and vanilla; beat until fluffy.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add to butter mixture, and beat on low speed until combined. Roll dough into two 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Chill at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 175C. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Place remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart.

Bake cookies until barely golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly, just three or four minutes. While still warm, place cookies in the sugar-filled bag; toss to coat. Bake or freeze remaining dough. Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

One thought on “The first picnic of the year! (with recipes)

  1. Pimm’s and strawberries! Now that brings a big smile on my face: how very English 🙂 ! Sounds like you had a very happy day out and your bean recipe truly has attracted my attention and been bookmarked for ‘try soonest’!

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