Ultimate Summer Picnic

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So, the weather brightened up meaning it is time for a picnic! As it has been grey for the last 6 weeks, I really wasn’t expecting this, so the following recipes are made from store-cupboard ingredients plus a few leftover fruit and vegetables from the previous week’s shop that I jazzed up a little. All of the recipes are designed not to leave halves of things such as tins of sweetcorn or peppers, but don’t be scared to play around with the quantities of ingredients so you don’t waste anything.

Jill’s Rice Salad

This salad is a. mazing. I could actually eat it forever.

Ingredients

3 cups (just approximately, these are not standard ‘cups’) of wild rice
4 spring onions, finely sliced
handful of walnuts, chopped
small bag of cranberries (the kind you buy for a lunchbox)
honey and mustard dressing (or make your own – see below for recipe)
1 granny smith apple, chopped into small cubes

Method

Boil the rice until it is slightly undercooked. Meanwhile, you can prepare the fruit, nuts and vegetables. Take the rice off the boil and drain. Add the honey and mustard dressing whilst still warm and allow to cool. When the rice is cool, add the fruit, nuts and vegetables. Mix and serve.

Honey & Mustard Dressing

Mix 2 tsp french or Dijon mustard, 2 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp balsamic or white wine vinegar, 2 tsp honey, salt and pepper together in a cup. Serve with salad.

Jill’s Pasta Salad

So with the lashings of thousand island dressing, this one shouldn’t really qualify for the title ‘salad’, but after a few spoons, you won’t even care any more.

Ingredients

4 cups of pasta such as penne or conchiglie
1 tin of mixed bean salad
3/4 tin sweetcorn
1/2 red pepper, chopped
3 tbsp approx thousand island dressing

Method

Cook the pasta and allow to cool. Mix in the other ingredients.

Greens & Carrot Salad

This salad is big on iron, perfect for all you anaemics out there.

Ingredients

2 handfuls of green stuff: lettuce, spinach, pak choi, rocket, a mixture, whatever you’re in to
1 large carrot, grated
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 satsuma

Method

Throw all except the satsuma into a bowl. Chop the satsuma in half. Peel and chop one half into small pieces and scatter into the salad. Cut the other half into two and squeeze the juice over the salad just prior to serving.

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Salad

Ingredients

1 small punnet of cherry tomatoes
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 ball mozzarella, chopped or sliced as you like it
loads of fresh basil/oregano

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp dried basil

Method

Mix the tomatoes, pepper, mozzarella and fresh herbs in a bowl. Mix the ingredients for the dressing together in a mug and pour over the salad just before serving. Ideally serve with lots of fresh bread to mop up the excess dressing.

Enjoy!

W

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