Picnic recipes: sundried tomato, feta, courgette and olive mini frittatas

I’ve been going to about three picnics a week lately, so I’ve been cooking an enormous amount of picnic goodies. Picnic food is the best – I love the mini-ness of everything. These miniature frittatas with sundried tomato, feta, courgettes and olives sum up what picnic food is all about – bite-sized, packed with summer flavours and infinitely more-ish. They couldn’t be easier to make, and you can pretty much put anything you like in them, from different kinds of cheese, mushrooms, peppers, spinach…

Makes 12 mini frittatas

6 free-range eggs
250 courgettes, grated
Handful of sundried tomatoes, chopped finely
Handful of olives, pitted and chopped
8 peppadews, chopped finely
80g feta
1 T wholegrain  mustard
5 or 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped finely
1 T fresh chives, chopped finely

After grating the courgettes, place them in a colander over the sink and spinkle them with salt. Leave them to drain. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Crumble in the feta and add all the other ingredients. Season well with black pepper. I like to add a dash of Tabasco and a generous sprinkling of cayenne pepper, but that’s up to you. Pour the mixture into a greased muffin pan (filling up each pan almost to the top) and bake in a 150 C oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the frittatas have started to turn golden.

Chocolate and banana mattress pancake

I got this pancake recipe from my new favourite food blog, afoodieliveshere and tried it out for breakfast on my recent camping trip to Beaverlac in the Cederberg (lovely campsite, by the way). I added cocoa for a bit of chocolateyness, and changed the name to mattress pancakes. This is a no-fuss solid mass of pancake that can be cut up like a pizza to feed your hungry camping friends. Bring along some honey to drizzle over the pancake slices, and you’ll have a breakfast for camping champions.

Makes one giant mattress pancake

1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup cold milk
2 large free-range eggs, beaten
3 T sugar
1 T cocoa powder
1 banana, chopped

If you’re an organised camper, you could mix all the dry ingredients together and store in a tupperware container for your camping trip. If you’re like me and you throw a whole lot of things into a bag when you go on a trip without much organisation, then it’s easy to mix together the ingredients when you’re there. Mix the dry ingredients together first, then make a well in the centre and break in the eggs. Add the milk slowly and mix thoroughly. Mix in the banana and heat up some butter in a frying pan over a gas cooker. Pour in the pancake mixture in one go and cook until the bottom is pretty solid. Flip over with some confidence (you may need an extra pair of hands to help with this) and cook over on the other side until golden.

Wendy’s leek quiche

Quiches are ultimate vegetarian food – they’re protein-rich and can be improvised with all manner of tasty veggie ingredients, from feta, butternut, caramelised onion, sundried tomato, to grated courgette, fried mushroom and blue cheese.

My boyfriend’s mum, Wendy, whom I get a lot of delicious veggie recipes from, makes this delicious and easy leek quiche often. It’s very leeky, which I love. I like it served with a bit of strongish wholegrain mustard and some balsamic-dressed peppery rocket.

Makes one large quiche

500 g leeks, sliced finely
170 g mature cheddar, grated
5 large free range eggs
700 ml milk

140 g flour
85 g butter

To make the pastry, mix the flour and butter together to form breadcrumbs. Add cold water until a dough is formed. Roll out the dough to make a circle big enough for the quiche dish you’re using. Push into a greased tart dish.

To make the filling, whisk together eggs and milk and season with black pepper. Add grated cheese and leeks. Pour into the pastry and bake at 180C for one hour.

Courgette and tomato frittata

There’s nothing particularly innovative about this frittata recipe – it’s just a simple veg frittata. I often make it for a weekday supper when I couldn’t be bothered to cook anything labour intensive. I usually have it with baked potato wedges and a crisp green salad.

Courgette and Tomato Frittata

Serves 4

  • 400 g courgettes
  • 8 free range eggs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 100 g feta
  • 150 g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • zest of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Grate the courgette, sprinkle with salt and leave it in a colander for 10 minutes. Wring out as much water as you can and then add the parmesan and lemon zest. Beat the eggs and add them to the mixture.

Melt a teaspoon or so of butter in a large nonstick frying pan and pour in the egg mixture. Cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes. Check that it’s done by lifting up the bottom a bit – it should be going brown.

Arrange the tomatoes over the top and crumble over the feta. Pop the pan into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until the top starts to go golden brown.

Marmite tart

This is my mum’s recipe for Marmite tart, which sounds kind of odd but is really delicious. It’s sort of a gourmet version of marmite and cheese on toast, I guess. By the time we could get a photograph half of it was eaten…

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup and 1 ½ T melted butter
  • ¼ cup grated cheddar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 free range egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Marmite

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Mix the flour and butter and then add the grated cheese. Mix together and then add the milk, salt and egg and beat to combine. Add the baking powder.

Pour into a greased pie dish and bake at 180C for 30 minutes.

Take the tart out of the oven and prick all over. Melt together the 1 ½ T butter and 1 tsp Marmite and pour over the warm tart.