Everybody seems to love the idea of a good picnic, they allow you to make the most of the fantastic weather and enjoy a relaxing al fresco meal with family and friends. But many people go wrong by trying to transport the sort of meal they would eat at home and, let’s face it; nothing tastes particularly good on squashy paper plates with plastic knives and forks. So for the perfect picnic, it’s a good idea to opt for food that you can eat with your fingers or just a fork and adopt a keep it simple philosophy.


For me, the ultimate finger food is a good pizza but a good alternative is a “Pan Bagna”. It’s basically a Salad Niciose in a roll. Good, ripe tomatoes, basil leaves, red onion rings, tuna, anchovies, black olives and a drizzle of olive oil are piled into a round bun or a baguette. A lesser-known but equally delicious Mediterranean sandwich is Muffueletto, made with smoked ham, cheese and pressed overnight.

Another favourite picnic food is “Tortilla”, a Spanish potato omelette, which can be sliced like a cake or “frittata”, an Italian version that can be flavoured with just about anything. Chilled soup in a flask is also a good option and this could be anything from an iced cold Gazpacho to Vichyssoise.


We often prepare Mediterranean-Style picnics and I always try to keep them light and fresh with plenty of sunshine food. I like to serve cold lamb cutlets on picnics with a couple of dipping sauces- anything from Aioli to Salsa Verde. Buy racks of lamb and roast them until pink in the middle, leave to cool and cut into individual cutlets. Rice, pasta or potato salads are handy salads to take on a picnic, because they are dressed beforehand and transport well.


To finish, try some Goats Cheese with crusty bread and fresh figs. big slices of chilled watermelon, small melons and peaches. Don’t forget to take a picnic rug and a bag for all the rubbish afterwards. Place plenty of ice or gel packs on top of food in the cooler, because cold travels down and transport the coolers in an air-conditioned car and once at your destination, place them in a shady spot. Try not to forget important items such as salt and pepper mills and a corkscrew.

With sunshine and shade, good food and cool drinks you should have no trouble spending a thoroughly glorious afternoon. Bon Appétit.





Ingredients:     serves 4


1          round loaf of white bread

4tbsp   Pesto

250g    smoked ham, finely sliced

100g    salami, finely sliced

250g    tomatoes, sliced

2          mozzarella cheese, sliced

100ml  olive oil

6          large basil leaves, torn

Sea salt/ground black pepper


Slice the loaf horizontally and scrape out some of the crumb. Spread the inside of the top and the bottom with pesto. Arrange sliced tomatoes, basil leaves and mozzarella on the bottom and arrange the smoked ham and salami slices on top. Sprinkle with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the other half of the loaf on top. Cut into wedges and serve.




6 whole eggs
4 large potatoes (peeled and finely sliced)
1 Spanish onion (finely chopped)
1 small green pepper (finely chopped)

300ml olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed non-stick frying pan and fry the potatoes gently for 8-10 minutes until they start to soften. Add the chopped onion and green pepper and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Place a large sieve over a bowl and carefully strain the potatoes. Beat the eggs in a clean bowl and add the warm potatoes to the beaten eggs. Season to taste.

Heat a spoonful of the olive oil in the frying and add the egg mixture, stir with a wooden spoon and cook until golden brown on the bottom. Place a large plate or saucepan lid over the mixture, carefully turn the tortilla over. Return to the frying pan and cook slowly until the tortilla is firm in the middle. Slide the tortilla onto a large plate, cut into large wedges and serve.








Ingredients:     Serves 4


4                     garlic cloves, chopped

150 ml            olive oil


Juice of half a lemon

A few drops of water

300 g              cooked potatoes, boiled and diced

2 tbsp.             Chopped chives



Crush garlic & salt to a fine paste; add olive oil slowly stirring continuously until the sauce thickens. Add lemon juice and a few drops of water. Season and mix in the potatoes. Sprinkle with chives and serve.



The ultimate summer drink




1 litre               red wine

250ml             brandy

150ml             triple sec or cointreau

100g               sugar

Juice of 2 oranges

Juice of 2 lemons

500ml             soda water

1                     piece of cinnamon, 4cm

15-20              ice cubes

1                     sliced orange

1                     sliced lemon

1                     sliced apple



Place the ice cubes in a large, glass pitcher. Pour over the red wine, cointreau, brandy, lemon juice, orange juice and sugar. Add the cinnamon and the orange, lemon and apple slices. Pour in the chilled soda water, stir with a wooden spoon and serve.



Also read

Get your hard-copy now!

Your advert in The Islander Magazine?

Get your hard-copy now!

Your advert in The Islander Magazine?

and receive your invitation to our events