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October 26, 2020

Picnic loaf and sensible picnic-ing!

Posted on October 15, 2014 by in baked goods, rsg

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Picnic season is here and I could not be happier!

Picnic remind me of childhood, being carefree and being outdoors. I don’t recall our picnics to every be fancy and over-the-top expensive, but it always had the essentials, tomato and cheese sandwiches on super-white bread, meatballs and hard-boiled eggs. Other essentials were black coffee in a flask, fruit in season and always a little wet cloth in a plastic bag for the sticky fingers.

With all the sport commitments of the children, our opportunities for having a picnic is limited and that saddens me. Sometimes in summer when it is too hot for a plate of food or sitting at the table, I will take a bowl of salad and bread and have a picnic at the pool or at the beach! Just a change of scenery, recharges my batteries like nothing else.

Sadly with the convenience-age we live in, our picnic baskets these days are filled with so much waist material, think plastic cups, bottled water, Styrofoam plates and glasses and plastic knives and forks. It is time we re-think how we impact the environments, even with something as fun as a picnic. Even better….. imagine education our children while in the outdoors having fun…… really a win-win situation!

At  my book launch recently, I wanted to make use of bio-degradable eatware, but at the same time keep it stylish and trendy. I found Greenhome and have been a very happy customer since.


GreenHome’s range of food packaging and disposable tableware is made from natural resources and is fully compostable creating a cradle to cradle life-cycle. GreenHome offers biodegradable and compostable food packaging and catering supplies made from renewable plant materials. There are two major benefits of using these products:

– Firstly, they are made from plants. Unlike plastic products which are made from petroleum, they are natural, made from infinitely available resources and free from toxic chemicals.
– The second major benefit is that the products are compostable. Collect them along with any food waste from the picnic and put them in a well managed compost heap. They will biodegrade into healthy compost, which you can use to feed your  plants.


Whilst thinking about bio-upgradeable packaging, I remembered the delicious Picnic Loaf I saw in the final Episode of  The Great British Bake-off. The skill dedication and the precision inspired me to try my own version! I used Ruby Tandoh’s pastry recipe, a lovely buttery pastry!

My filling however was completely different. I have to say at this stage, it is a labour of love……. but worth every single buttery crumb! So here then, my version of edible packaging……. eat the entire basket!


Picnic Loaf

makes one 25 cm loaf

Pastryfollow this simple recipe and make 1 day in advance

For the filling

Roast these vegetables a day in advance

2 -3 aubergines – cut in length

green courgettes – cut in length

2 red peppers

2 yellow peppers

2 green peppers

125 ml olive oil


12 asparagus – blanched in hot water for 3 minutes

1 x 130g jar Pesto Princess Basil Pesto

1 x 130g glass jar Pesto Princess red pesto

1 egg



To roast the vegetables, lay the cut aubergines and courgettes on a baking sheet, season and brush with olive oil. Roast until soft and slightly browned. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and bake until completely charred! Place the peppers in a plastic bag and allow to sweat so that the skin can come off. Cut the flesh also into long strips. Keep until needed.

To make the picnic loaf.

Spray a loaf tin with Spray ‘n Cook. Roll out the pastry and line the loaf tin with the pastry. Now layer the vegetables neatly in the loaf tin and spread a layer pesto of your choice between each layer, in other words… layer aubergine, pesto, layer courgettes, pesto and so on and so on!

No roll out a lid and cut the size of the top of the loaf and place on the loaf. Paint the pastry with egg white to secure the joints. Cut 1.5 cm strips and make a lattice pattern on the lid., secure each strip with egg white as you go along. Now hisk the egg and brush the entire loaf with egg wash. Bake in a preheated oven for 55 – 60 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and on the sides the pastry is crisp. For a lovely golden color, you can brush the top once more during the baking process. Cool the loaf and pack in your picnic basket.

Tomorrow  morning  just after the 9 o’clock news, I will  chatting to Catherine Morris from Greenhome about caring for our environment while we have a picnic!  All I can say is good things in life take time! I will also in weeks to come take you into the kitchens of other bloggers, chefs and interesting South Africans this year. So buckle up, it is going to be an awesome ride. Tune in 100-104FM or listen online here!

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2 Responses to “Picnic loaf and sensible picnic-ing!”

  1. ruth 18 October 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    I think that is the most perfect pie I have ever seen. Who would believe it would have those elegant, exact layers inside. Thank you it gives me a good way to use up some vegetables I got at a markdown price.
    Ruth -Western Australia

  2. Vegetable Spiral Slicer 28 October 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    This recipe is amazing!! It looks very delicious. I should try this one. Must share 🙂

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