There is nothing more enjoyable than landing in the sun and lunch on the grass with family, friends, or even with colleagues on a lunch break.
Now that spring is here it is the perfect opportunity for an (almost) improvised picnic. Today we have a full spring picnic menu: grilled chickpeas for appetizer, rose lemonade for drinks, dandelion sandwiches for the main course, and meringue nests with spring fruits for desert.
- 150g Chickpeas (or a can of 800g)
- 2 Tsp Spices (ex. chili, curry, garam masala, cumin, paprika, rosemary, …)
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
Let the chickpeas soak in water for about 12 hours. (If you have canned chickpeas, you can skip this step).
Boil the chickpeas in 50 cl of water for 45 minutes.
Drain the chickpeas.
In a bowl, mix the chickpeas with olive oil and spices of your choice.
Arrange the chickpeas on an oven tray while avoiding them to overlay each other.
Roast the chickpeas at high temperature for about 20 minutes.
Between March and May the fields are full of dandelion roots. They are easily recognizable with their pointed leaves. The dandelion leaf must be picked before the it forms its buds, when the tips of the leaves are still white. Have a small sharp knife with you and in about ten minutes you will have enough leaves to make a delicious salade, or, if your feeling inspired, dandelion balls for a sandwich!
Ingredients : (for 4 persons – 8 mini sandwiches)
- 250g Dandelion
- 60g Rice
- 50g Powdered almond (or a handful of whole almonds)
- 1 Tsp Black lemon powder (optional – can be replaced with lemon juice)
- 1/2 Tsp Paprika
- 1 Garlic clove
- Salt and pepper
- 4 Pita breads
- 2-3 Handfuls of corn salade
- 50g Feta cheese
- Ginger and carrot sauce (recipe here) or another sauce of your choice
Cook the rice in twice its amount in water. Allow all water to evaporate. The rice must be soft and sticky at the end.
Mix well the rice (cooled) with dandelion, salt, pepper, paprika, grated garlic, almonds (powdered or not) and black lemon.
Form small balls (28 or so) with the dough. Place the balls on a clean surface for 1-2 hours and let their surfaces dry slightly.
The dandelion balls do not need to be cooked, however you can fry them with a little oil to make the outside more crisp. On the other hand this will cause the green color of your balls to disappear.
Cut the pita breads in half.
Fill each half of the pita bread with some corn salade, 3 balls, a little bit of crumbled feta and a little bit of the sauce.
What is a good picnic if it is not accompanied by a lemonade … And of course we can create variants of lemonade to adapt to the season.
We saw flowers blooming everywhere and we thought of rose water. Rose water has an intense fragrance, but used wisely, it can be a wonderful addition to a lemonade. For a little extra ingredient we thought of cardamom which always marries very well with rose water.
Ingredients : (for 4 persons)
- 5 Organic lemons
- 200g Sugar
- 5 Cardamom buds
- 1,5 L Water
- 1 Tsp Rose water
Cut the lemons into cubes.
In a bowl mix the lemons, sugar and cardamom seeds (removed from their envelopes).
Leave the lemons to rest for one hour (at least) and then pour them into a strainer.
Hold the strainer over a bottle or a bowl and run the water very gently through the strainer. At the same time squeeze the lemons to extract the juice.
Once the lemons are well drained, add the rose water to the lemonade and keep it in the cool.
- 4 Egg whites
- Sucre (2 times the weight of the egg whites)
- Une pincée de sel de mer fin
- A few dos of vanilla extract
- Seasonal fruits (kiwi, strawberry, etc.)
Preheat the oven at 200 °C.
Clean your bowl and whisk well. It is very important that there is no trace of fat on your materials. To do this, you can squeeze a piece of lemon against the sides of the bowl and whisk, then wipe with a cloth.
Heat your sugar in the oven for 7 minutes.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks and add a pinch of fine sea salt.
Begin whipping the egg whites, first on minimal speed, and once small bubbles have appeared, increase the speed. Put on maximum speed 30 seconds before the sugar gets out of the oven.
When the whites are beaten until stiff, add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, while whisking. Lower the oven temperature to 100 ° C.
Take a little meringue between your fingers. If you can not feel the sugar granules is that it’s ready.
Add the vanilla and whip just a bit more.
Fill a pastry bag with meringue.
Shape your meringues in the form of a nest (a circle) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake in the oven for about 1h30. The rotating heat mode would be ideal.
Place your fruits, cut into pieces, in the nest.