Food

9 Recipes Guaranteed To Level Up Any Picnic

Sausage rolls, scotch eggs & other classic picnic dishes, made fancy.

Picnic with friends
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Dear reader, we may be in the midst of a cold and rainy spring, we may finally be able to eat inside, and we may be well and truly sick of park meet ups, but would it really feel like the start of a British summer if we didn’t have at least one picnic? The answer is no, no it would not. So, it’s time to dust off that hamper, pick up some gins in tins, and head to your closest grassy area.

When it comes to packing for a picnic, it really is dealers choice. For some, it’ll just be about throwing a few bags of crisps in a bag. For others, it’s a more lavish affair. But whatever your spread of choice, there are some picnic staples that we can all agree on: sausage rolls, scotch eggs, sweet treats, and the like.

With this in mind, I’ve gathered together a list of recipes that promise to give a new lease of life to your classic picnic dishes. Ham and cheese sandwiches, you say? Why not jazz it up by trying mozzarella and salami baguettes with sun-dried tomatoes?

Now all you need to do is dig out the Tupperware and get ready to wow your pals with your culinary delights. Just don’t forget to pack your cagoule.

Sausage Rolls

True to my word, this is a list of picnic hamper staples. And, my god, are sausage rolls important for a picnic. For the most reliable recipe, I turn to the institution that is the BBC for their mini sausage rolls. They are cute, bite-sized morsels that are perfect for packing into a picnic hamper. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could play around with the recipe, perhaps adding in some spicy nduja? Or if meat’s not your thing, then try swapping the sausage for your favourite veggie option.

Scotch Eggs

What would a British picnic be without a scotch egg? The king of proper grub himself, Jamie Oliver, has blessed us with his fail-safe scotch egg recipe. They can be a little fiddly — peeling the eggs and coating them in flour, egg and breadcrumbs can get messy — but they are so definitely worth it. After you taste the finished result, you’ll never want to buy a sad one from the snack aisle at Sainsbury’s ever again.

Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

A sandwich at a picnic is a no brainer. Far be it from me to tell you how to make your favourite sandwich, but if you are looking for some inspiration, this mozzarella and salami baguette from the BBC is a delicious combination. If you’d rather stay away from meat then it works just as well without the salami – trust me. If you’re looking for some more longevity in your sandwich, then substitute fresh tomatoes for sun-dried tomatoes.

Pie

Hold on to your hats – this one’s impressive. Jamie Oliver has gifted us another showstopper — this one in the form of a picnic pie. It’s a dramatic centrepiece of layered up vegetables and cheese that tastes like the rainbow that it looks like. It’s a labour of love, so enjoy the methodical process.

Cheese & Onion Pasties

Like most recipes in this list, these cheese and onion potato pasties are wrapped in pastry. But it’s so much more than the sum of its parts. Think soft, cheesy onions and potatoes inside crisp pastry, perfect for eating while sat out under the (tepid) British sun.

Rocky Road

Now onto the desserts. Rocky roads to picnics are what hot dogs are to BBQs. Essential. Nigella has worked her magic to create these rocky road crunch bars. They’re everything you want a sweet treat to be: soft, chewy, chocolate-y with crunchy bits. I’m actually getting hungry thinking about them. Make sure to pack them next to your cold drinks to stop them from melting.

Shortbread

Olive magazine’s recipe for butterscotch and pretzel millionaire shortbread is manna from heaven. These sweet treats hit that addictive combination of sweet and salty, making them absolutely possible to say no to. The only thing you must say no to is your friend who asks for seconds — any leftovers are for you and you alone.

Flapjacks

Tesco’s recipe for soft, sweet flapjacks are so packed full of seeds and dried fruit that you might be able to kid yourself they’re good for you. Make sure to cut them while they’re hot and yielding, otherwise it’ll be a difficult, messy job.

Cookies

The last recipe in this list, and potentially my favourite. These NYC chocolate chip cookies from Jane’s Patisserie are phenomenal. They’re so good that you should make them now, even if you’re not going to a picnic any time soon. They’re massive, insanely delicious and taste like the real deal. Right, I’m off to make them now.