A beautiful summer’s day deserves celebrating in true culinary fashion. When the weather tempts you to take an outing into the countryside or you want to enjoy the beautiful summer evening in the park, it doesn’t take long to put your picnic blanket under your arm. Of course you also mustn’t forget to grab a picnic basket full of delicious little treats. For the grown-ups, a bottle of good wine goes down well, or even a refreshing gin and tonic. Children’s thirst can be quenched by home-made lemonade, with a sprig of fresh peppermint in little bottles for a change. There’s no need to worry about the cutlery if you portion the foods so that they’re easy to eat with your fingers: the cake is baked in muffin cases. Or rather than making the cheesecake like a large pie, for once it can be portioned in small preserving jars and topped with a little fruit compote. If they’re well sealed, they will have no problem surviving the transport to the picnic spot. The same applies to couscous salad – ideal for picnics, in a storage jar it will arrive looking none the worse for wear.
But the most important thing we put in our basket is our picnic loaf. For this, we cut a round white loaf such as a Landbrot or a Pfünderli through the middle. The two halves are hollowed out (the dough can be used for fresh breadcrumbs or made into croutons for salad), and the inside surface spread with basil pesto or an olive tapenade. The layer of fat stops the bread from going soggy. Then fill it to your heart’s content with sundried tomatoes, pickled artichokes, grilled mushrooms, sliced courgette, fine smoked ham, some fresh goat’s cheese, with olives and fresh basil and flat-leaf parsley. Or anything else you can find in your fridge.
Put the two halves back together, squeeze together firmly, wrap in baking parchment and tie with cooking string. Leave to marinade for 2 to 3 hours, then at the picnic cut generous slices with a large knife and serve on a serviette. – It doesn’t take much more than that for the perfect summer picnic!