Coronavirus Restrictions have eased in Melbourne recently and with it comes the freedom to see friends by having picnics. It sure beats Zoom.
Easy and transportable food include smallgoods, smoked fish, cheeses , good bread, and as always vegetables – made with raw or cooked vegetables.I have made the occasional frittata, either with zucchini or asparagus (in season ) and asparagus with homemade mayonnaise or sautéed with capers. Dips and spreads are also convenient – beetroot is always a favourite. All easy stuff!
What is good about picnics is that the friends also bring food and a simple picnic turns into a feast. There have been hot quiches and Spanakopita, Pâtés and fresh fruit.
THis is a version of a salad I used to make many years ago when I lived in Adelaide with laschinken – a dry-cured, cold-smoked pork loin. The butchers in the Barossa Valley where many of the settlers were German or of German origin. I was also able to purchase it at the Adelaide Market. It is interesting how foods made in the long distant past resurface.
The following is a simple salad I made with smoked fish – hot smoked, cold smoked, gravlax or fresh cooked fish.
Below, in the photo , you see the ingredients: salad greens (I used endives), cooked green beans and asparagus, chunks of smoked fish, potatoes, spring onions, homemade mayonnaise, capers and herbs – I used parsley, tarragon and some of the light green tops of celery.
Slice the potatoes, the spring onions and chop the herbs.
Line the salad bowl or container with the green leaves and place the sliced potatoes on top.
Begin by distributing the herbs and spring onions and capers throughout the potato layer(s).
Insert the green beans and asparagus in between the potatoes and on top. Lightly salt the ingredients (if you wish) and remembering that the mayonnaise and smoked fish both contain salt.
This is what I carried to the picnic. I took the mayonnaise and and the chunks of smoked fish separately .
Dress with the mayonnaise and place the chunks of fish on top when ready to eat it.
There are many types of fish that have been smoked and you do not have to use Atlantic Salmon and Ocean Trout. The most commercially available smoked fish in Australia is from Tasmania and I am not a great fan of fish farmed in sea cages. Imported farmed Atlantic Salmon and Ocean Trout is available in Australia. For more information on imported product, look for country of origin labelled on the packaging and refer to seafood guides produced in that country.
Rainbow trout is caught in rivers, dams and lakes (land based) and is sustainable.
For other recipes:
ALL ABOUT MAKING FRITTATA and Podcast with Maria Liberati
ASPARAGI DI BOSCO and FRITTATINA (Wild Asparagus continued, and Frittata)
CHICKEN LAYERED WITH A TUNA AND EGG MAYONNAISE ; A cold Chicken dish