So did you know that Sunday was International Picnic Day? Luckily the weather was absolutely gorgeous so it was easy to get outside and do some alfresco snacking. Of course planning the perfect picnic really shouldn’t include limp sandwiches and sweaty salads – I think the key to an impressive picnic is to mix a few things you’ve made yourself with a selection of ready made bits and bobs, blurring the edges so nobody quite knows which is which. I’ve been trying out a few items from Tesco’s brand new Mediterranean-inspired Deli range, and they fit the bill perfectly: you can eat many of the items hot or cold, and there are loads of tasty little bits and pieces perfect for eating with your fingers.
What we loved:
Our favourites included: meatballs in a delicious smoky, sweet red pepper sauce; crispy mushroom arancini; sweetcorn fritters baked with red peppers, herbs and a little bit of chilli (Sam stuffed his into a baguette and it was epic); the little pastries stuffed with Moroccan lamb, chicken and chorizo, or feta and herb spinach. All of these can be served hot or cold, so they make great picnic items or party nibbles.
The little cold picky bits were just delicious, nibbled while sipping wine and dipping our toes in the water: chorizo and Gouda cheese rollitos, tiny mozzarella balls in a delicious herby oil with slow roasted tomatoes and little peppadew peppers stuffed with feta.
Some tips for planning the perfect picnic:
- Have a rough count up of the number of people you’re feeding and think about portion sizes per person. Look out for mix and match deals (all these Deli range items are currently three for £5 at Tesco). Bulk up with baguettes and maybe a couple of different cheeses (we forgot the cheese).
- If it’s going to be a hot day, freeze bottles of water the night before. When you’re travelling down to the picnic spot, they’ll keep your food cold, and once you get there you’ll have ice cold drinks.
- Pack a frisbee or a football, and make the most of being outdoors together (check out www.tescoliving.com for some inspiration.
- Pack your picnic basket upside down, so the items you need first are the last thing you pack, or pack three different cool bags: one with food, one with wine and drinks and one with soft stuff like fruit and salad.
- Keep your picnic basket in the shade, and pop your bottle of wine into the water (if you’re lucky enough to have some nearby), just don’t let it float out of reach!
What we added:
Some baguette slices, fresh tomatoes, a few dips like aioli and guacamole, fresh berries for dessert, and a delicious, chilled bottle of Cheval de Mer rosé, which is such a great wine for the price (Just £7): deliciously dry, with loads of strawberry and raspberry flavours and perfect for picnics – just don’t forget the corkscrew!
And actually, I’ve just realised that I didn’t make a single thing myself. How’s that for planning the perfect picnic?! Thanks to Tesco for sending me items from their delicious Mediterranean-inspired Deli range.