I love going on a picnic even if it is only sat in the garden!! Picnics bring back happy childhood memories for me as we would often eat al fresco at weekends while enjoying the fresh air, especially with my grandparents. I think that is why I am keen to take Burton and Jenson on as many as I possibly can while they are happy to oblige, because I want them to have the same happy memories of eating outdoors as I do.
The food I take on picnics varies depending on what I have in my kitchen cupboards and fridge that day, but as a rule it is sandwiches, crisps, mini cheese and cold sausages, a frube and fruit for the boys , and for me it might be a salad or a sandwich too. Sometimes though we have just taken some brioche, mini cheddars and fruit because that was all I had that morning. Yet that is the beauty of a picnic – anything goes I think, because it is getting outdoors and having fun which counts, and working up an appetite of course!
Sometimes though I like to be more inventive, and these Picnic Pitta Pockets as I have called them, are a bit like a calzone meets a pasty but inside a pitta bread!
I was given the idea after seeing a recipe posted on my slimming world facebook group, featuring a Cornish Pitta Pasty, and I remember thinking how great they would be on a picnic. However, I am not a fan of the Cornish Pasty, but I do like calzones so I thought I would make this type of filling instead for my Picnic Pitta Pockets. I roasted some veg and added a thick spicy tomato sauce and added some torn up mozzarella and then filled my pitta breads before baking them in the oven.
So if you fancy having a go yourself, here is how I made them
- 6 pitta breads - I used a mixture of white and wholemeal pittas
- 1 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 courgette, diced
- 1 yellow pepper, diced
- 6 mushrooms, diced
- 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- dried basil
- 1 ball of mozzarella, chopped into chunks
- 1/2 tin of tomatoes
- 1/2 onion (leftover from the roasted ones),finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- pinch of chilli powder (optional)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- Pre heat the oven to 190oC / 170OC (fan)
- Place all of the chopped and diced veg into a baking dish, add 1 tbsp oil , the basil and garlic and mix well
- Roast in the oven for 25 minutes
- meanwhile, make your tomato sauce by sauting the 1/2 finely chopped onion, in the oil with the garlic over a low heat
- after about 7 minutes add the tomatoes, tomato puree and sugar and chill powder if using, and stir and slowly bring to the boil, then reduce place a lid on the pan and simmer for 20 minutes until thick and saucy
- once cooked , allow to cool completely
- once the sauce is cold, mix in the roasted veg and the chunks of mozzarella
- toast the pittas lightly so that they are easy to cut open
- fill each pitta with the filling
- egg wash each pitta
- place on a baking tray
- reduce the oven by 10oC
- bake for 20 minutes until golden brown on top
- leave to cool completely before packing on your picnic (or eat hot at home of course)
These are a great additon to a picnic – tasty and filling and much healthier than an actual pasty with all that pastry. Of course the filling choices are endless, maybe cheese, onion and potato, or cheese and beans or maybe tomato, ham and pineapple – any of your pizza toppings would work actually.
What is your favourite picnic recipe?
This is my entry for the www.holidaycottages.co.uk Oh so tasty picnics! competition. You can get involved too. Click this link to read how www.holidaycottages.co.uk/blog/oh-so-tasty-picnics-blogging-competition
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