As the long summer holidays stretch out before us like the rolling green hills of the Cotswolds, thoughts inevitably turn to outdoor eating. Make the most of the summer weather by having your fridge and food-cupboard picnic-ready.
Panzanella is a classic Italian dish that makes the most of summer’s best flavours, while using up stale or old bread, and best of all, it’s easily transportable. Add to it with some awesome picnic products by our talented local producers and you’ve got a picnic ready to go in no time…
Day old bread, preferably sourdough or ciabatta
Fresh, ripe tomatoes
One red onion
Good quality virgin olive oil
Fresh basil leaves
Tear the bread into rough cubes and soften with a little water
Chop the tomatoes and cucumber into small pieces. Finely slice the red onion.
Toss everything together in a large bowl with a good few glugs of olive oil using your hands to combine the ingredients. Add the fresh oregano and plenty of salt and pepper to taste. Finish with a couple of handfuls of fresh, torn basil leaves.
While this is the classic Tuscan recipe, there are many variations on panzanella. Feel free to improvise with your favourite ingredients - torn mozzarella, black olives, hard-boiled eggs, even shredded chicken or tuna.
To transport for your picnic, tip into a lidded container. This dish is best serve at rom temperature so no need for ice packs - just don't forget the serving spoons!
And for some added inspiration for your picnic, try these local favourites:
The Outdoor Pig Company Pork Pie
The quest to find a ‘decent old-fashioned pork pie’ led the Downey family from Alcester to create their own. Crafted from outdoor-reared local pork and hand-made pastry and fillings, the pies have won a cascade of awards including the ‘Champion Pork Pie’ title at the Melton Mowbray British Pie Awards for three years in a row.
Cinderhill Farm Wild Boar Sausage Roll
Deborah Flint and her team create the most incredible ready-to-eat foods at their eco farm in the Forest of Dean, including the famous Wild Boar sausage roll as well as a number of vegetarian and vegan pasties – locally known as foggies.
Wild & Game Venison, Juniper & Gin paté
When Steven Frampton and Michael Cannon founded their company in 2017 it was to address the under-consumption of game-eating in the UK. Today, their range of award-winning game products has brought game firmly back on the menu for much of the population.
Two Farmers Salt & Cider Vinegar crisps
Crisps that are good for the planet was the thinking behind this innovative, sustainable crisp brand. It was launched by ‘two farmers’, Mark Green and Sean Mason, who wanted to create a range of crisps in fully recyclable packaging of crisps that put Herefordshire on the food map while protecting the beautiful Herefordshire countryside at the same time. Just the nibble for eco-friendly picnickers!
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