May is a month of Bank Holidays – the perfect excuse to explore the great outdoors, spend time with loved ones and, let’s face it, eat lots of lovely food. Whether you’re looking to plan a garden party, some al fresco dining for two or head further afield – here are a few recipe tips, tricks and ideas for the ultimate outdoor banquet. Fingers crossed the weather is as on point as your picnic plans…
AN OUTDOOR OCCASION
Bring people together for an outdoor feast. Come rain or shine (hopefully shine), plan a simple garden party inviting friends and family to bring their own favourite dish and drink. Fire up the BBQ and have those picnicware sets and napkins on standby! Then put on an the ultimate spread of easy-to-make salads and buffet style platters so no-one goes hungry.
AN AL FRESCO FEAST
Simple recipe ideas include potato salads, pesto pasta and cous cous with vegetables. Here’s some inspiration to exercise those al fresco cooking skills.
Ingredients; 500g penne pasta, 100g pesto, fresh basil.
Simply boil the pasta for 10-12 minutes according to packet instructions. Drain and stir through the pesto. Garnish with the fresh basil.
Add something a little extra with stirred through olives, cooked chicken or sun dried tomatoes.
Ingredients; 500g new potatoes, 2 tsbp mayonnaise, a handful of chopped spring onions, salt and pepper to taste.
Halve the potatoes and boil for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and then stir through the spring onions and seasoning. Create a twist on the classic by adding smoked salmon, diced red onion or grilled halloumi.
Roast Vegetable Cous Cous
Ingredients; 500g cous cous, a red pepper, yellow pepper, courgette, a red onion, olive oil, 1 tsp chilli flakes, 1 tsp paprika.
Roast the vegetables with the olive oil for 30 minutes at 180 degrees in the oven. Cook the cous cous in boiling water according to packet instructions. Stir together with spices and seasoning. Mix it up with different vegetables or perhaps crumble feta cheese or goat’s cheese over to finish!
Be the perfect party host with a variety of different dishes. Not everyone loves seafood as much as you so it’s best to keep things to simple side dishes, colourful salad platters and things that still taste great even when they’ve cooled down. Think about how the dishes might be out for an hour or two – as well as how they might go with BBQ food. Don’t splash out too much on drinks – a simple addition of lemon and orange to fruit juice or water will look lovely and refreshing on your outdoor dinner table. Think of decorations that you can keep for yourself too – such as pretty lanterns and table cloths that you would use again and again and again…
If you’re thinking of taking a trip outside of your garden this Bank Holiday, then these recipes can just as easily be made up for a picnic too. Our awesome picnic baskets and rucksacks come in a variety of shapes and sizes (some with fancy picnic rugs too) so you can have your beautiful banquet wrapped up safely ready for 12pm. Plus, all that adventuring means you deserve to pack some extra cake!
5 Must-Have buys!
Are you planning to spend more time outdoors this month? Get your garden in shape by shopping our Outdoor collections – and don’t forget to upload any pics of your new additions to Instagram using the hashtag #ShareWithNext.