No one loves a pique-nique more than the French and no one does it with more style.
Of course the first considerations is the wine, almost always red.
Three lovely red wines
Next comes the food.
photo from sydnegeorge.com
Charcuterie is usually included, we would call it cold cuts. There is also cheese, lovely French baguettes, olives, assortment of salads and always dessert.
One of the salads I love to take as it travels well, is this red pepper salad from Ottolenghi.
6 Romano peppers (650g
8 ounches ricotta
4 ounches mascarpone or cream cheese
2 ounces pine nuts, lightly toasted
a few fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp grated lemon zest, plus 1 tsp juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp best-quality balsamic vinegar
1 small green chilli, cut into paper-thin slices
Salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. ( You can roast your own peppers but when I am in a hurry, I just buy them in a jar.)
Use a little knife to make a small vertical incision – about 3 inches long – from the top towards the end of each pepper. You will use this incision to scoop out the seeds later. Arrange the pepper on a roasting tray and place in the oven for 30 minutes, until soft. Remove and set aside to cool before using a small spoon to carefully extract and discard the seeds. The aim is to leave the stem on the peppers when they are stuffed so take your time here: it’s a fiddly job. Peel the skin off the peppers – again, don’t rush here – and set aside on a kitchen paper-lined plate to dry.
To make the filling place the cheeses, nuts, oregano, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large bowl. Add half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper and whisk well. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture into each pepper and press evenly inside. Don’t worry if the incision increases in the process: you can use your hands to seal the pepper.
Bring a nice sturdy tablecloth,(I use something like the linen sheet pictured below) napkins,wooden cutting board, cups and silverware and Voila you're all set.
French linen sheet....click here
Bon Appetit Mes Amis