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Five best summer picnic recipes

Whether you are enjoying time in your garden or out in the park, make an everyday lunch special and give yourself that real holiday feeling with these delicious summer picnic recipes.

Set out a blanket, make yourself comfy with a pile of cushions and a chilled glass of something lovely, use your favourite plates and cutlery, and create a space to linger in, eat, chat, read or doze. Brimming with beautiful sunny flavours, these healthy homemade dishes also mean your picnic will be plastic free.

Green bean salad

For a hit of healthy green goodness, this green bean and potato salad with eggs, green herbs and olives manages to be both fresh and filling. The dressing and herbs effectively create a salsa verde; a perfect match for the protein-rich beans and eggs, too.

Crushed carrot

Another one that features pulses is crushed carrot salad with crispy spiced chickpeas and kefir dressing. One to prep in advance, this is a salad in the loosest sense of the word. Roasting caramelizes the carrots to bring out their sweetness and turns the chickpeas a golden nutty brown. Earthy cumin and paprika give a smoky taste, offset by chopped herbs and zingy citrus.

Beetroot couscous

This gorgeous beetroot couscous and chilli mint halloumi is a really popular dish with its harmony of flavours and textures. If you have some, using cooked beetroot will really speed up the prep time. Alongside this, a verdant Middle Eastern broad bean dip works wonderfully, served with slices of pitta. An alternative to the usual chickpea hummus, it showcases this season’s delicious broad beans in a new way. If you have any older, larger beans this is a good way to use them up, but make sure you double pod them before puréeing.

Broad bean dip

Mini pepper and sweetcorn tarts are great to graze on. Crisp, light and very easy to make, they are a marvellous way to enjoy the first of the sweetcorn harvest. Good warm or cold, you can use a different cheese variety depending on what you have in the fridge - goat's cheese, cheddar or parmesan also work well.

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