Pack a healthy picnic with these recipes

Grab a blanket and a group of friends, pack a basket and head into the great outdoors for an afternoon of fun and food.

Pan Bagnat Picnic Sandwich

Le Picnic, Chic Food For On-The-Go by Suzy Ashford. Published by Smith Street Books. RRP $29.99. Out now.

Serves 6

  • 1 x 20cm round rustic bread loaf
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 free-range eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and sliced
  • 180g tin of tuna
  • 40g black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced

Use a serrated knife to cut the loaf horizontally, all the way through — it helps to make the base thicker than the top. Remove a little of the inside of the bread to create a cavity. Sprinkle both cut sides of the loaf with the olive oil and vinegar.

Scatter the anchovies evenly over the base of the loaf, then top with the onion and egg slices.

In a small bowl, break up the tuna chunks with a fork. Add the olives and capsicum and stir to combine. Spread the tuna mixture over the egg slices. Lay the tomato slices over the top and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the cucumber slices, then place the bread lid on top.

Firmly press the loaf back together, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Place on a tray or cutting board, and place another tray or board on top and press down for a few minutes, or place some tins of food on top to compress the loaf.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to 8 hours. Unwrap and slice into six wedges to serve.

Goat Cheese Crostada

Curd and crust, New Holland Publishers RRP $35.00. Available from all good book retailers or online at newhollandpublishers.com.

Serves 4-6

Filling

  • 4 large red onions
  • 2 red capsicums
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 250g goat cheese of your choice

Pastry

  • 300g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 2 tbsp polenta
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 240g cold butter, diced
  • 2 tbsp cold water

To make the filling, slice the onions into thick rounds or wedges. Slice the capsicum flesh into wedges, discard the seeds.

Toss the onion and capsicum pieces with the oil, rosemary, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar and bake at 190°C for 50 minutes, tossing during the cooking period. When the vegetables are golden and soft, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

For the pastry, in a food processor pulse the flour, salt, rosemary, polenta and baking powder to mix. With the motor running, add the butter cubes and process briefly. Add just enough water to help the mixture hold together in a ball. Remove from the processor and flatten to a disk. Chill until required.

To assemble, roll out the dough to a 4mm thick round. Pile the filling in the centre of and gently spread to within 6cm of the edge. Sprinkle the goat cheese over the filling. Lift up the pastry edges and fold inwards to encase some of the filling, leaving an opening, and pinch to create a freeform crust.

Place on a non-stick baking tray and bake at 220°C for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C. Bake for 45 minutes, or until pastry is crisp and golden. Serve hot, warm or cold in wedges with a salad.

Roast Beef Picnic Baguette with Duxelles

Le Picnic, Chic Food For On-The-Go by Suzy Ashford. Published by Smith Street Books. RRP $29.99. Out now.

Serves 4-6

  • 40g pine nuts
  • 1 sourdough baguette
  • 6 thin slices rare roast beef
  • 2 handfuls rocket leaves

Duxelles

  • 40g butter
  • 40g French shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 500g brown mushrooms, ends trimmed, finely chopped
  • 60ml white wine
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

To make the duxelles, melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 3–4 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the wine, then cover and cook, stirring now and then, for 15 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms have the consistency of a paste. Stir the parsley through and allow to cool before using.

To toast the pine nuts, heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts to the hot pan and cook, shaking the pan occasionally to turn them, for about 4 minutes, or until the nuts become golden. Remove from the pan to cool.

To assemble the baguette, slice it in half lengthways. Fold the roast beef slices onto the base, then pile on the rocket leaves and toasted pine nuts. Spread the inside of the lid with the duxelles and press the baguette halves together.

Cut the baguette into four or six portions. Wrap each one in greaseproof paper or baking paper, then tie with kitchen string or raffia. Keep in the fridge and transport to your picnic destination in a chilled container. These are best enjoyed on the day of making.

Asparagus, Pea & Feta Tart

Hummus & Co by Michael Rantissi and Kristy Frawley (Murdoch Books, RRP $49.99). Photography by Alan Benson.

Serves 6

  • 350g frozen peas, thawed
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 sheet frozen butter puff pastry, thawed
  • 12–14 asparagus spears, peeled and trimmed
  • 150g feta cheese
  • 3 soft-boiled eggs
  • Micro herbs, to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 190°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Put the peas in a bowl and crush them. Stir in the lemon zest, juice and 3 tbsp of the olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.

Put the pastry on the prepared tray and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown, puffed up and firm. Remove and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Heat a pan or grill plate to high. Drizzle the asparagus with 1 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 1–2 minutes, until grill marks appear.

Top the pastry with the crushed pea mixture. Crumble the feta evenly over the tart. Tear the eggs in half and arrange them on the tart. Top with the grilled asparagus and sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter over herbs.

Sardine and Zucchini Frittata

Low Carb, Healthy Fat by Pete Evans is published by Plum, RRP $39.99.

Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or good-quality animal fat, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 5mm thick angled slices
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 silverbeet or chard leaves, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
  • 4 good quality sardine fillets from a jar
  • 1 handful watercress
  • ½ radicchio, leaves torn
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1–2 pinches of chilli flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 220°C. Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Cook the onion for 5–8 minutes until translucent. Set aside.

Wipe the pan clean, return to the heat and add the remaining coconut oil. Add the zucchini slices and cook on one side for 1 minute until just golden. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl.

Grease an ovenproof frying pan with a little coconut oil. Scatter on the silverbeet and cooked onion in a single layer. Pour over the egg mixture, then arrange the zucchini and press down lightly. Cook the frittata over medium heat for 30 seconds, then transfer to the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, arrange the sardines on the frittata, then return to the oven for 3 minutes until the eggs are lightly golden and the sardines are cooked through. Allow to rest for a minute in the pan, then slide onto a board or plate.

Place the watercress and radicchio in a small bowl, add the olive oil and lemon juice and toss to combine. Season with a little salt and pepper. Top the frittata with the salad and chilli flakes and serve with some mayonnaise and lemon wedges.

Roasted Beetroot Salad with Persian Feta

Curd and crust, New Holland Publishers RRP $35.00. Available from all good book retailers or online at newhollandpublishers.com.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

  • 1kg fresh purple beetroot, trimmed and scrubbed or peeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 small Spanish onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 180g green beans, trimmed
  • 1 handful baby English spinach leaves
  • 120g toasted walnuts or pine nuts
  • 120g marinated goat feta

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil the beetroot in salted water for 30 minutes until barely tender, then drain and quarter. Place in a baking dish with the onion, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 220°C for 30 minutes or until cooked. Add the green beans and cook for 5 more minutes. Toss salad with spinach leaves and dressing. Sprinkle over feta and nuts and serve warm or cold.

Feed Me Now Frittata

 

Healthy Made Easy by Luke Hines is published by Plum RRP $39.99

Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 2 zucchini, grated and squeezed to remove excess moisture
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 eggs
  • 125ml coconut cream
  • 400g roast chicken or roast vegetables, cut into small chunks

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Melt the coconut oil in an ovenproof frying pan over medium heat and sauté the garlic, onion and chilli until softened and slightly caramelised, about 3–5 minutes. Add the grated zucchini, parsley and your choice of chicken or vegetable filling and sauté for another 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and coconut cream until smooth and creamy. Pour this over the filling mixture in the pan, transfer to the oven and bake for 20–30 minutes, or until the frittata is golden on top and the egg is cooked all the way through.

Leave to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, then cut into portions and serve.

Pistachio, Lemon Thyme & Chicken Terrine

Le Picnic, Chic Food For On-The-Go by Suzy Ashford. Published by Smith Street Books. RRP $29.99. Out now.

Serves 12

  • 200g thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 50g pistachio nuts
  • 1 tbsp lemon thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Finely grated zest of ½ orange
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 60ml brandy
  • 2 free-range egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • Baguette, to serve
  • Cornichons, to serve

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Lightly grease a 20cmx10cm loaf tin. Line the tin with rows of prosciutto, overlapping each slice slightly and leaving enough hanging over the sides to wrap back over and enclose the top of the terrine. Chop up any remaining prosciutto.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the onion, garlic and leftover chopped prosciutto. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 4–5 minutes, or until the onion is tender. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, working in two batches, place the chicken in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Don’t over-process, you want varied textures left in the chicken. Transfer the chopped chicken to a large bowl and stir in the pistachios, herbs, orange zest, salt, brandy, egg yolks and sautéed onion mixture. Mix well.

Transfer the mixture to the prosciutto-lined loaf tin, pressing down firmly. Smooth the top and fold the overhanging prosciutto over the mixture. Cover with foil.

Place the terrine in a deep roasting tin and fill with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the terrine. Bake for 1¼ hours, or until the terrine is firm when pressed and the internal temperature has reached 75°C.

Remove the terrine from the oven and carefully pour out and discard any liquid. Place the terrine on a tray and weigh it down with several tins of food, or a brick covered in foil, to compress the terrine. Refrigerate overnight.

Serve sliced with baguette and cornichons. The terrine will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Peach Tartlets

Mr & Mrs Wilkinson’s How It Is At Home by Matt Wilkinson and Sharlee Gibb published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $49.99.

Serves 4

  • 2 large ripe peaches, quartered, or 4 small peaches, halved and stones removed
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 8 small thyme sprigs
  • 1 frozen butter puff pastry sheet, thawed

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Put the peach pieces skin-side down in a saucepan with the honey, half the thyme and 2–3 tbsp boiling water and cook over a low heat, with the lid on, until slightly softened, about 5–6 minutes.

Cut the puff pastry sheet into quarters and lay them out on the prepared baking tray. On each of the pastry squares gently score a line about 1cm in from the edges using a small sharp knife.

Lay two peach pieces skin-side down in the centre of each puff pastry square and drizzle over a little of the syrup from the pan, then fold over the edges of the pastry to the scored line to form a raised border (this will stop the honey from spreading during cooking). Repeat with the remaining peach pieces and puff pastry squares and top each with a thyme sprig.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.