A perfect Picnic and a lovely vegetable salad

I have been asked what to take for the perfect picnic by a Swiss newspaper this week. I don't do proper picnic that often, but when we eat in the garden that is sort of a picnic. In the the beginning we had pretty elaborate picnics where we brought along lots of crazy things that we had prepared in advance. Nowadays we usually try to keep it more simple.

So what is essential for a good picnic?


For me it's all about sitting in the green, chatting, enjoying the summer heat, maybe have a fire going or some lanterns on.
I do want our picnics to look good. I hate all the plastic garbage that you end up with when you just go to the supermarket and buy a few ready made things.
I suggest taking along nice reusable plastic plates like these or even better enamel dishes like these or what we do: keep buying nice old dishes from the secondhand shop .

Then you obviously need a blanket to site on. A summer version could look like this and a spring and autumn one like this.

So what to eat? Most important is a good cheese and if you eat meat maybe a really nice sausage. I usually buy a few different cheeses, sheep, goat and cow. Aged and young ones. Also very popular with us is fig mustard. But I still have to find a good recipe to make the mustard myself.
With this you definitely need some good crisps. My favorites are Tyrells. And a nice bread.
Now that you have the basics you can add a few extras. We usually do some vegetable salads - straight from the garden cooked on the gas cooker, but you can prepare them at home and take them along in big jars.

You can use whatever vegetables you like but our favorite is with sugar peas, peas, broad beans and baby carrots.

Blanch the vegetables - not too long, you still want them to be crisp. In a blender blend a good dollop of extra virgin olive oil and a handful of tarragon ( or dill or flat leave parsley or … ) and some malden salt.
Mix vegetables and herb oil and season with pepper and more salt if needed. Fill into a big glass jar and take along.
Another one I often take along is this potato and trout salad or this

If you make a fire you obviously have to grill some sausages, feta and haloumi cheese.

Don't forget the red wine and some glasses and off you go.

For dessert we often grill some pear & black chocolate breads. Just wrap some chunks of pear o apple and some black chocolate into pizza dough and but them on the grill. Make sure they don't burn. Grill them on the side of the fire or when it's about to go out.

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