FUSS-FREE FINGER FOOD FOR PICNICS

Picnics are the best way to spend some quality time with friends and family while making the best of the warmer weather. To help in your planning, we’ve partnered with Peter’s Yard and Signe Johansen – they’ve shared a selection of fuss-free finger food from their latest book, Smorgasbord.

Salmon cream on hard-boiled eggs with dill and prawns

Delightfully retro, these eggs covered in smoked salmon cream, prawns and dill make a fancy snack or can be made in advance of a gathering and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to share them.

SALMON CREAM ON HARD-BOILED EGGS WITH DILL AND PRAWNS

SERVES 4

  • 4 large eggs
  • 100g (3½oz) smoked salmon
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp soured cream
  • small handful of dill fronds
  • 8–12 cooked and peeled Atlantic prawns

1. Boil the eggs for about 8 minutes until softly set. Run under cold water to cool, then peel and halve.

2. Put the smoked salmon, cream cheese, soured cream, a little pepper and half the dill in a food processor. Blitz until completely smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe onto the egg halves.

3. Garnish each egg half with one or two prawns and top with a small piece of dill. Serve immediately.

Savoury Danish pastries

Sweet Danish pastries are widely available outside Scandinavia, but savoury ones are less common. These are easy to wrap up and transport to a bonfire celebration, or take on a picnic.

SAVOURY DANISH PASTRIES

MAKES APPROX. 20 ROLLS

  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 300ml (½ pint) whole milk
  • 25g (1oz) fresh yeast
  • 300g (10½oz) strong white bread flour
  • 120g (4oz) plain flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 30g (1oz) parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • For the pea, mint and feta filling:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 banana shallots, finely chopped
  • 350g (12oz) frozen peas
  • large handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 60g (2¼ oz) feta, crumbled

1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan then add the milk. Heat until lukewarm – about 37°C (98.6°F).

2. Crumble the yeast into a large bowl. Pour in a little of the buttery milk and stir to dissolve. Pour in the remaining milk.

3. In another bowl, mix together the flours, salt and parmesan with a good pinch of ground black pepper. Add to the liquid, stirring to form a wet dough. Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Leave to prove in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, covered with a tea towel, for 1 hour, until doubled in size.

4. Meanwhile, for the filling, heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the shallots until softened. Add the peas and cook until defrosted then stir through the mint. Blitz briefly in a food processor and set aside.

5. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knock back slightly by kneading it briefly. Divide in half and roll out each piece into a rectangle roughly 25 x 30cm (10 x 12 inches) and 0.5cm (¼ inch) thick.

6. Spread the filling between the two rectangles and sprinkle over the feta. Roll up tightly from one of the long ends. Slice into 9–10 rolls and place, well spaced, on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Leave to prove for 40 minutes, until puffed up.

7. Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan (450°F), Gas Mark 9. Glaze the rolls with beaten egg. Bake for 18–20 minutes, until golden brown.

Variation 1 – Beetroot & goat’s cheese

Blitz 350g (12oz) cooked beetroot, 4 chopped spring onions, a small handful of parsley and 1 tablespoon crème fraîche in a food processor to form a thick paste. Spread over the dough then sprinkle over 50g (1¾oz) goat’s cheese and roll up. After glazing the rolls, sprinkle with 20g (¾oz) pine nuts before baking.

Variation 2 – Artichoke, capers, dill & parmesan cheese

Blitz 350g (12oz) marinated artichokes, a large handful of dill, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons capers and a good squeeze of lemon in a food processor to form a chunky paste. Spread over the dough then sprinkle with 25g (1oz) grated parmesan.

Artichoke, lemon & parsley dip

An extremely versatile dish, and one that can be made well in advance of any gathering, this rich and savoury artichoke dip is excellent on its own, served with crispbread or alongside a selection of salads. It’s also delicious with any barbecued, smoked or cured meat and fish.

ARTICHOKE, LEMON & PARSLEY DIP

SERVES 6-8 AS A STARTER

  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained but oil reserved
  • ½ garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • 20g (¾oz) parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 parsley sprigs, roughly chopped
  • ½ unwaxed lemon, zest and juice

1. Place the artichokes in the bowl of a food processor along with the garlic, cream cheese, parmesan, parsley and lemon zest. Blitz to combine.

2. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. For a smoother dip, add 1 tablespoon or two of the reserved oil from the artichokes.

3. Serve with crispbreads, toasted sourdough or as a sauce for grilled meat or fish.