EASY OUTDOOR DINING

Jazz up your picnic or al fresco dining with some of these yummy ideas.

South African summers are made for eating al fresco. Sunny days, balmy nights and wide, open spaces; we simply can’t get enough of outdoor dining and living. The next time you take a road trip or have a lazy afternoon on the lawn, do a little prep beforehand to add some pizazz to your picnic.  

These easy snacks were created by local foodie wizard Chantal Lascaris. With a passion for food, travel and healthy living, Lascaris’ books are all about taste and simplicity. The recipes below are from All Sorts of SaladsAll Sorts of Tapas and All Sorts of One Dish Wonders which can all be ordered online.  

Outdoor dining | Kyoto Salad

THE KYOTO SALAD 

“This edamame, mango and chickpea salad is packed with protein and the soya also provides a healthy dose of fats and carbohydrates. The sweetness of the mango and freshness make this the ideal summer salad.” 

1 cup shelled edamame beans 
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
½ cup diced mango 
½ cup diced cucumber 
2 Tbsp diced red onion 
salt and pepper to taste 
black sesame seeds and micro herbs for garnishing 

Dressing: 
2 Tbsp olive oil 
2 tsp red wine vinegar 
2 tsp lemon juice 
½ tsp crushed garlic
 

  • Cook the edamame beans according to the packet instructions.
  • Mix the salad ingredients in a bowl and season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Whisk the dressing ingredients, pour over the salad and toss gently to combine.
  • Chill in the fridge. When ready to serve, garnish with black sesame seeds and micro herbs.

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ROBOT PEPPER AND CAPER SALAD 

Super easy, quick and healthy, this is the ideal salad to pull together at the drop of a hat. Bell peppers are often called robot peppers because of their colours, which are reminiscent of traffic lights, known in South Africa as robots. 

1 red pepper 
1 green pepper 
1 yellow pepper 
4 tsp capers 
1-2 cups torn and loosely packed baby spinach 
Dressing:  
8 tsp olive oil 
8 tsp orange juice 
4 tsp sherry vinegar 
salt and pepper to taste
 

  • Julienne the peppers and roughly chop the capers.
  • Mix with the spinach in a serving bowl.
  • Whisk the dressing ingredients, pour over the salad and toss to combine.

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SESAME-DRESSED BLACK BEAN AND LENTIL SALAD  

“This is the perfect salad to take to a picnic because all the ingredients are of a similar size, making it easy to eat. The ideal way to serve it is in individual glass jars.” 

½ x 410g can brown lentils, drained and rinsed 
1 x 410g can black beans, drained and rinsed 
1 red pepper, diced 
½ small red onion, diced 
1 large tomato, diced 
1 cup roughly chopped fresh coriander 
Dressing: 
1 Tbsp soy sauce 
3 Tbsp olive oil 
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar 
½ Tbsp sesame oil 
½ Tbsp lemon juice 
1 Tbsp honey 
¼ tsp crushed garlic 
¼ tsp grated fresh ginger 
½-1 tsp sriracha (depending on how hot you like it) 
1 Tbsp water 

  • Place the lentils, black beans, red pepper, red onion and tomato in a large bowl and toss. 
  • Whisk the dressing ingredients until thoroughly mixed, pour over the salad and toss to combine. Scatter the chopped coriander on top and serve. 

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TAPAS CHICKEN WINGS 

“The perfect party snack, they’re intensely flavourful. Pack some wet wipes to clean those sticky fingers!” 

1 large onion, chopped 
2 Tbsp sweet chilli sauce 
¼ cup soy sauce 
1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic 
1 Tbsp brown sugar 
1 Tbsp five spice powder 
600g chicken wings 
¼ cup lemon juice 
parsley for garnishing 
lemon or lime slices for serving  

  • Combine the onion, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, garlic, sugar and five spice powder in a bowl. 
  • Add the chicken wings and lemon juice and toss well to ensure that the wings are well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or preferably overnight. 
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the chicken wings from the marinade (reserving it for dipping later in the cooking process), arrange them on a greased baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. 
  • Dip each wing in the reserved marinade and replace on the baking sheet. 
  • Continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until the wings are cooked through. 
  • Serve sprinkled with parsley, and with lemon or lime slices.  

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PEPPADEW PINTXOS 

“This can all be made beforehand, all you need to do at your picnic is smear over the peppadew cream and add the olives and baby leaves.” 

4 Peppadews, finely chopped 
2 tsp Peppadew liquid 
125g cream cheese 
12 slices French baguette  
12 slices yellow pepper 
pea shoots or baby leaves for garnishing 
24 stuffed olives 
toothpicks  

  • Combine the chopped Peppadews, Peppadew liquid and cream cheese. 
  • Lightly toast the bread. 
  • Spread the Peppadew cream generously over the toasted bread slices. 
  • Place a slice of yellow pepper on top of the cream cheese mixture and scatter the pea shoots or baby leaves on top. 
  • Spear 2 olives on each toothpick and insert into each toast slice before serving. 

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DISAPPEARING PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BALLS  

“Place them in the deep freeze beforehand. By the time you’re ready to eat them at your picnic, they’ll have thawed nicely.”  

½ cup rolled oats 
½ cup sunflower seeds 
4 squares 70% dark chocolate, broken up 
2 Tbsp honey 
4 Tbsp peanut butter 
icing sugar for sieving (optional) 

  • Using a hand blender, blitz the oats, sunflower seeds and chocolate together.
  • Add the honey and peanut butter to the mixture.
  • Continue mixing, this time by hand. Roll into small balls and place on a plate in the fridge to harden.
  • When serving, sieve icing sugar over them. 

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