Enjoy the sunny bank holiday and treat your family to a picnic with a punch

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Enjoy the sunny bank holiday and treat your family to a picnic with a punch



WE have another bank holiday tomorrow.
So if the sun stays out, why not arrange a picnic for your family and friends?
Getty Make the most of a family day out and pack a great picnic for you all to enjoy
Instead of soggy sandwiches and crisps, pack a picnic with a punch.
Here are three great dishes that will look impressive even though they can be rustled up really quickly and easily.Falafel with yoghurt cucumber sauce 
(74p per serving, serves 4)
Shutterstock / gkrphoto Serve with the sauce and salad in a pitta bread or wrap
Preparation time: 20 minutes.
Cooking time: 15 minutes.
You need:

175g low-fat natural yoghurt
½ cucumber – peeled, seeded and     finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground black pepper,     to taste
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
1 onion, chopped
½ bunch fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 egg
1 dessert spoon ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp olive oil
100g dried breadcrumbs
1 tbsp sunflower oil for frying

Method:

First make the sauce. In a small bowl combine yoghurt, cucumber, dill, salt, pepper and mayonnaise. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, mash chickpeas until thick and pasty. Don’t use a blender, as the consistency will be too thin. In a blender, process onion, parsley and garlic until smooth. Stir into mashed chickpeas.
In a small bowl combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice and baking powder. Stir into chickpea mixture along with olive oil.
Slowly add breadcrumbs until mixture is not sticky but will hold together. Add more breadcrumbs as needed.
Form eight balls and then flatten into patties – or leave as balls if you prefer.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Fry patties in hot oil until brown on both sides.

Scotch eggs
(87p each, serves 6)
Shutterstock / gkrphoto Use your favourite sausages for this recipe – simply squeeze the meat out of the skins
Preparation time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 35 minutes.
You need:

8 medium free-range eggs
454g Morrisons pork sausage meat
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
50g plain flour for dusting
150g fresh fine white breadcrumbs
Sunflower or vegetable oil for deep frying

Method:

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then carefully lower six of the eggs into it and cook for five minutes. Remove and plunge into a bowl of iced water for a minute. Drain, then peel the shells off and set aside.
Mix the pork, herbs and garlic. Season well, then divide into six equal portions. Flatten each piece out into a 13cm circle, place an egg in the middle of each and bring the mince up with your hands to encase the egg in an even layer.
Beat the remaining eggs. Put the flour, the beaten eggs and breadcrumbs in three ­separate shallow bowls. In turn, dust each encased egg in the flour, dip in the beaten egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Set aside on a baking-paper-lined plate.
Pour the oil into a large high-sided pan and heat to 180C. Cook the eggs two at a time, letting the oil reheat between each batch.
Cook for 7½ minutes until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with sea salt and cool for ten minutes. Serve the eggs warm or cold with good-quality mayo.

Picnic bloomer
(£1.30, serves 6)
Be adventurous – use Parma ham instead of salami and halloumi instead of mozzarella, or if it’s for kids keep it simple with salad, ham and cheese
Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Chilling time: 20 minutes.
You need:

1 white bloomer, 400g
150g semi-dried tomatoes, drained
280g jar of roasted red peppers,     drained
2 mozzarella balls, drained     and sliced
50g continental salami selection
40g watercress

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Method:

Cut the bread in half ­horizontally. Drain the semi-dried tomatoes, reserving the oil. Drizzle oil over each cut side of the bread.
Lay the bottom layer of bread on a large piece of cling film and arrange the peppers on it.
Top with a layer of mozzarella, the semi-dried tomatoes, the salami and, finally, the watercress.
Place the remaining half of the bloomer on top and wrap very tightly in the cling film.
Chill for 20 minutes or until ready to eat.
Unwrap and cut into thick slices to serve.

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