Monday, 2 April 2012

Picnic food – Vegetable and Feta Pie Recipe

Happy picnic season! Spring leaped quickly towards summer over the past week in London. In response, the parks were immediately filled with keen, white Brit’s bikini-clad or bare-chested, soaking up the available Vitamin D with abandon. We were caught slightly off-guard, wondering what to do with our last remaining bag of smokeless coal. Not the sort of thing that stores well, far too dusty for the hall cupboard.

But an excess of smokeless coal aside, all this sunshine means one thing to me – its picnic season. Long, lazy afternoons on my grandma’s old picnic rug await us over the next few months. These are my favourite days. With my head buried in a novel, or just staring at the cloud formations, and a wicker basket filled with fabulously tasty morsels and uncomplicated treats by my side. Simple pleasures... Sounds cliché? It probably is. For good reason though! Picnics are a relaxing and gentile way to be outside in nature.

During the long summer months in Segur we waste away the hours by the side of Lake Ruffiac, or Vigeous, eating bites of cheese, in between swimming back and forth across the lake. We set challenges, play games, forage for berries. Mid-afternoon someone usually hikes from our secluded place lakeside to the little shop selling ice-cream.

In honour of this sunny week in London Kristoph and I packed a picnic to share with a friend in the late Friday afternoon London sun. I dug out one of my favourite picnic recipes that made use of our last window box grown carrots and beetroots. The key to picnic food is that it tastes good when it’s been lying in the sun a while, can be packed in small containers and withstand a car ride. This pie meets those criteria and is also good straight from the oven, or reheated under the grill. I hope you like it as much as we do. Here’s the recipe:

300 grams shortcrust pastry
6 baby beets roasted and sliced thinly sliced (or one regular large beetroot)
6 baby carrots roasted and thinly sliced (or one regular large carrot)
3 handfuls of chopped purple sprouting broccoli
1.5 cup crumbled sheeps milk feta cheese
1 egg
Olive oil
Ground black pepper

Step One: Preheat the oven to 180C. Roast the whole baby carrots and beets for 30 minutes in a shallow covered dish filled with water (this ensure they remain moist).

Step Two: Roll the puff pastry and place on a greased baking tray. Score the edges. Arrange the carrot, beet and broccoli on the pastry base. Top with the broccoli and then the feta.

Step 3: Lightly beat the egg and wash the pastry edges with it. If there’s egg left over poor it evenly over the pie. Then pop it in the oven until the edges of the pie are golden, around 20 minutes.

What are your favourite picnic treats?      


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