Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad



Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad


Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad

Picnics, Salads and Paella!

Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad



Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad


Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad

National Picnic Week



National Picnic Week


 

17th to 23rd June 2013

Take about twenty friends, a weeping willow tree, a sunny June day, a lake or two, some plastic chairs as well as deck chairs, a significant birthday, assorted salads, cake, paella and the ubiquitous picnic rug, and you have a “Riparian Picnic Event”, as Hyacinth Bucket would say in Keeping up Appearances! Add that to the fact that this week is National Picnic Week, and that means I will be sharing several picnic recipe ideas over the week, starting off with my friend’s Lynnes’ 50th Birthday event, the aforementioned Riperian Picnic. And so it was that we all gathered down by the lake and riverside in SW France yesterday, in the charming town of Saujon, armed with chiller boxes, sandwich tins, bottles of fizz, pop and water, as well as portable gas bottles and sun cream, we all made our way down to the edge of the river and underneath the dappled shade of a large weeping willow – our temporary home for the afternoon, we enjoyed an “al fresco” feast. The weather was idyllic, the company was comfortable and the mosquitoes stayed away – thank goodness! I made the birthday cake, a chocolate and cherry creation (a recipe I will be sharing later – see a photo below), a smoked salmon and cucumber spread (courtesy of the great Nigel Slater) and my friend Barb’s Russian salad. (Recipe below)



Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad


Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad

Bob, Lynne’s husband, made a fabulous Paella, which was cooked right by the river in an authentic paella pan, and my lovely friend Ann, made a large salad platter with fire-roasted peppers, assorted mesclun leaves, olives, cherry tomatoes and a sun-dried tomato dressing……..



Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad


Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad



Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad


Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad

Yesterday was also Father’s Day, and although I was sad not to be with my dad, we spoked two or three times before we left to go on the birthday picnic, and knowing how much he (and my mum) love cherries, the chocolate cake I made for the day, was also for my dad too, and I WILL be making him one when I visit my parents in a week’s time, and I’m calling it “Dad’s Chocolate Cherry Cake”……..here’s a photo of the cake, the post and recipe to follow later.……



Dad's Chocolate Cherry Cake


Dad’s Chocolate Cherry Cake

……we all sipped Lynne’s “killer sangria” and slowly got sloshed! The food was amazing – there were old-fashioned egg and tomato sandwiches, olives and caper berries, salads, greengage tarts, tiramisu, cake (of course), Charentais melon with Serrano ham and of course the star of the show, Bob’s Paella.



Bob's Paella


Bob’s Paella

My two salad and spread offerings were not just for the picnic, but I somehow managed to make two picnic style recipes that fit very nicely into several blog challenges; namely Janice and Sue’s Dish of the Month, where you make a Nigel Slater recipe, Anneli and Louisa’s new Four Seasons Food event as well as my own Cooking with Herbs challenge. 



Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad


Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad

The Nigel Slater recipe I made was from his Kitchen Diaries II book, and was a delectable smoked salmon and cucumber spread/dip, which we enjoyed at home on little rye bread rounds, as well as a sandwich filling betwixt ciabatta bread rolls at the picnic. The Russian Salad recipe is courtesy of my friend Barb, who always makes this amazingly tasty salad for special events and gatherings, and I have tweaked it a bit here and there to suit our tastes. I used extra eggs, as my hens are laying very well right now, grated carrot instead of carrot batons and less mayonnaise, as dictated by my low-fat diet! The salad was very much enjoyed at the picnic and I came home with an empty container.



Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad


Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad



Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad


Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad

I hope you have enjoyed visiting our “virtual” French Picnic – the recipe for Barb’s Russian Picnic Salad is posted below, and I will be back soon with more picnic recipe ideas,  as well as that Chocolate Cherry Cake recipe, some new 5:2 diet  and baking recipes too. Have a wonderful week, and don’t forget if the weather is kind, PACK up a PICNIC! Karen 



Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad


Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad

Barb’s Russian Picnic Salad

Serves 8 to 10 people
Prep time 30 minutes
Allergy

Egg, Fish
Meal type

Lunch, Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Misc

Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion

Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Valentines day
Region Spanish

By author

Karen S Burns-Booth

An amazing Spanish style “tapas” salad packed full of flavours and textures; this salad is wonderful when served as a starter, as well as being perfect for picnics, barbecues and lunch boxes. Can be served as an accompaniment, as well as a “stand alone” meal with crusty bread and seasonal lettuce leaves. Serves 8 to 10 people as an accompaniment and about 4 to 6 people as a main meal.

Ingredients

  • 500g baby new potatoes (quartered and boiled in their skins until soft)
  • 100g frozen or fresh green beans (cut into 3cm lengths and boiled until cooked)
  • 100g frozen peas (boiled until cooked)
  • 100g grated carrots
  • 213g tin of tuna chunks in brined (drained)
  • fresh dill, chopped (about 1 tablespoon + some for garnish)
  • fresh parsley, chopped (about 1 tablespoon + some for garnish)
  • 4 free-range eggs (hard-boiled, shelled and cut into quarters)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 gherkins (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon capers (drained)
  • 10 black olives (stoned and halved)

Note

An amazing Spanish style “tapas” salad packed full of flavours and textures; this salad is wonderful when served as a starter, as well as being perfect for picnics, barbecues and lunch boxes. Can be served as an accompaniment, as well as a “stand alone” meal with crusty bread and seasonal lettuce leaves. Serves 8 to 10 people as an accompaniment and about 4 to 6 people as a main meal.

Directions

Step 1 Find a large serving bowl and place the potatoes, peas, green beans and grated carrots in it, mixing them gently together.
Step 2 Add the tuna chunks, chopped dill and parsley and mix gently again. Then arrange the eggs over the salad.
Step 3 Mix the lemon juice and minced garlic with the mayonnaise, it should be a runny dressing consistency and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.
Step 4 Scatter the chopped gherkins, capers and black olives over the salad and very carefully, just gently mix the salad again.
Step 5 Garnish with chopped dill and parsley and serve with crusty bread and lettuce, as well as cheese or grilled meat and fish.
Step 6 Can be made several hours before serving – keep it covered and in the fridge. Perfect for picnics, lunch boxes and barbecues.


Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad


Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad






Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad


Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad


Four Seasons Food



Ann's salad


Ann’s salad


Herbs on Saturday for June: Cooking with Herbs Challenge - Win a Pot of Culinary Lavender Grains



Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad


Picnics, Salads and Paella! Under the Willow Tree with Salmon Spread and Russian Salad

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