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Garden picnic

PUBLISHED: 12:15 19 September 2013 | UPDATED: 12:15 19 September 2013

EDP Norfolk Magazine. August Mary Kemp feature - Norfolk picnic.

EDP Norfolk Magazine. August Mary Kemp feature - Norfolk picnic.

Archant 2013

The wonderful thing about summer ingredients is that you can create a meal or picnic without spending ages in the kitchen. Everything you could possibly need is in season, from leaves, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers to delicious soft fruits. If you don’t have time to cook, our incredible wealth of Norfolk artisan producers will supply you with all the cured meats, pork pies, bread and cheeses you could possibly need.

We love antipasto type meals and picnics, with that wonderful combination of tastes and flavours, it’s a very relaxed way of eating. I have taken some of my favourite ingredients to create this Mediterranean-inspired summer picnic, with the added bonus of charcuterie and delightful sparkling wine, both of which are produced here in Norfolk.

Marsh Pig charcuterie was selfishly born out of a personal love of great food. While travelling abroad, Jackie Kennedy was always sampling the local salami and started thinking “Why can’t we make this in the UK?” After a considerable amount of research and a lot of wine drunk, Marsh Pig was born. Using the latest technology to ensure a perfect and consistent product coupled with the very best free range pork, herbs and spices, they have created a wonderful range of salamis and cured meats; www.marshpig.co.uk

Binham Blue and chive tart.

This lovely vegetarian recipe works well with salads and cold meats.

The pastry case

150g plain flour

1 tbsp semolina

Salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of cayenne

85g butter

2–3tbsp cold water

The filling

A good handful of fresh chives and parsley, finely chopped

200g full fat cream cheese

100g Binham Blue cheese

1 tbsp softened butter

3 large eggs

300ml double cream

Salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of cayenne

Pre-heat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/gas mark five.

You will need a 23cm flan tin

1 Make the pastry by hand or in a processor, adding just enough cold water to combine the ingredients into a ball. Chill for a good hour, then roll out and line the tart tin. Lay a sheet of baking parchment over the pastry and top with baking beans or rice, then blind bake for 20 minutes before removing the beans and paper and baking for a further five minutes.

2 While the pastry case is cooking make the filling. Whizz the Binham Blue, cream cheese and herbs together with the butter in a food processor until smooth, and pour in the cream and eggs. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne, then pour the mixture into the hot pastry case and return it to the oven for 20 minutes or until the filling is golden, has risen slightly and is just set in the centre.

Honey roasted figs with Parma ham

This recipe for figs works well with goat’s cheese too.

2 figs per person

Runny honey

A good balsamic vinegar

Snip the top off the figs, then cut each fig in quarters almost to the base; gently squeeze the base to form a petal shape. Stand them in an oven proof dish and spoon one teaspoon of honey and balsamic vinegar per fig. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 200C/gas mark six for about 10 minutes.

Marinated olives

Buy a selection of good olives and create your own marinade. My favourite is fine strips from half the rind of a lemon and orange, a small chilli, a clove of garlic and some sprigs of thyme, all finely chopped and mixed with a good olive oil.

Oven roasted tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, caster sugar, rapeseed or olive oil white wine vinegar. Pre-heat the oven to 100C (80C fan oven)/gas mark ¼. Halve the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Lay them in a shallow non-stick roasting tin. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little sugar and roast for approximately two hours.

There is nothing better than a bowl of fresh strawberries or raspberries with a little sugar if needed and, of course, a bowl of softly whipped cream. A lovely alternative is to dunk the fruit in either caster sugar than has been whizzed with a good handful of fresh mint leaves or whizzed caster sugar with a dark or white chocolate dark or white.

A good picnic of course needs a lovely summer wine and one of my latest finds is the wonderful Chapel Field sparkling wine, made from grapes grown in Spooner Row.

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