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Get ready for Sports Day with these perfect picnic recipes

Ready, set…go! It’s that time of year again filled with Sports Day lunches, picnics in the park and family dinners in the back garden… We’ve got some perfectly refreshing recipes for all of your al fresco adventures this summer from our favourite @annasfamilykitchen! Choose from fresh salads, BBQ-ready sides and delicious homemade bread.

Easy Roasted Garlic, Rosemary and Tomato Bread

This loaf is so simple, you could put the children in charge of making it. In fact it’s one of the recipes I include when running my children’s cookery classes. It can be made by hand or in a mixer. You could leave the loaf plain, include olives or grated cheese into the dough as alternatives.


  • 500g strong white flour
  • 7g easy yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 350ml warm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 6 black garlic cloves roughly chopped or 1 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves plus extra for finishing
  • 200g plum tomatoes halved


  1. For the roasted garlic, chop the top off the garlic bulb off so that the cloves are exposed. Place on a square of parchment paper sat on a square of foil drizzle with olive oil. Seal the parcel and roast for 45 minutes. Allow to cool and squeeze out the cloves.
  2. If mixing by hand, tip all the ingredients except for the water and tomatoes into a large bowl. Give everything a stir and make a well in the middle.
  3. Start adding the water a little at a time stirring with a silicone spatula. Once all the water has gone in get your hands in and form a dough. Knead for 10 mins.
  4. If using a dough hook on a mixer simply mix the dry ingredients with the olive oil and then pour in the water and let the mixer do its thing for 5 minutes.
  5. Lightly oil a bowl and add the dough. Cover with cling film and put somewhere warm for the dough to prove for an hour. It should double on size.
  6. Knock the dough back and put it on a parchment lined baking tray. Flatten the dough using your hands so it is about 5 cm thick.
  7. Push the halved tomatoes into the top and add some more fresh rosemary sprigs and a generous sprinkle of Maldon Salt.
  8. Leave to prove again for 30 mins and bake at 200 degrees (180 fan) for 20-25 mins.

Watermelon, Halloumi and Giant Couscous Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Watermelon may not seem like an obvious ingredient to include in a salad, but you’re going to have to trust me on this one! It works really well with duck, lamb or feta but here I’ve paired it with Halloumi and added wholewheat giant couscous, olives, Balsamic Glaze and fresh basil.

Ingredients for 4 portions:

  • 1 small watermelon peeled and cut into chunks
  • 250g giant couscous
  • 450g halloumi
  • 1/2 tsp Ras El Hanout
  • 1 small cucumber cut into chunks
  • Handful of olives
  • Fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic glaze or good aged balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Cook the Couscous according to packet instructions. Drizzle with some olive oil and fork it over so that the grains don’t stick.
  2. Slice the Halloumi and sprinkle with the Ras El Hanout. Sear in a hot pan for a couple of minutes on each side.
  3. Peel and cut the watermelon into chunks.
  4. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or on a platter and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the balsamic glaze

Spanish Style Chicken Skewers

These kebabs take 15 minutes to cook and are literally a meal on a stick! And the best bit is they’re as good eaten cold as they are served hot from the barbecue.

Ingredients for 4:

  • 1kg chicken breasts each cut into 4cm cubes
  • 200g chorizo cut into 2cm slices or use mini chorizo sausages
  • 200g new potatoes
  • 2 red peppers cubed
  • 2 courgettes cut into 2cm slices

For the marinade:

  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • Juice and zest of a lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil


  1. If using wooden skewers soak them for 30 minutes first to stop the chicken sticking.
  2. Par boil the potatoes for 5 minutes then drain them.
  3. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the chicken, courgettes and peppers making sure everything is coated.
  4. Skewer everything then pour over and remaining marinade left in the bowl over the kebabs.
  5. Cook on a medium barbecue, griddle or under the grill for 10-15 minutes turning every few minutes. Check the chicken is cooked through and serve!

Chicken and Mango Thai Salad

Welcome news to many children out there – you don’t need to include leaves in a salad! Using ready cooked chicken, this fresh and healthy salad is prepped and ready in 10 minutes, and it contains all your five a day. It’s a great picnic option which can be prepped the day before!

Ingredients for 4 portions:

  • 1 whole cooked chicken (or 4 chicken breasts)
  • 1 fresh mango
  • 1 fresh avocado
  • 125g sugar snap peas
  • 200g fresh beansprouts
  • 410g fresh egg noodles
  • 1 red chilli chopped
  • Fresh mint of coriander or both to finish

For the dressing:

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp oil (either olive or sesame)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey


  1. Add the sugar snap peas and noodles to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drain again.
  2. Mix together the dressing ingredients. Peel the mango and avocado and roughly chop the flesh discarding the stones. Roughly shred the chicken off the bone.
  3. Combine all the ingredients for the salad finishing with the fresh herbs and dressing.

Buckwheat, Seared Fennel, Blackberry, Feta and Orange Salad with Orange Dressing

Here’s another  hearty summer salad to add to the repertoire. This offering pairs sweet blackberries, buckwheat (but you could use couscous or quinoa), charred fennel and it’s finished with a simple orange dressing. Including a grain such as buckwheat and feta makes it filling enough as an evening meal or lunch but it’s also a great side and travels well if you’re looking for picnic ideas.

Ingredients for 4:

  • 80g mixed leaves
  • 200g fresh blackberries
  • 140g buckwheat
  • 320g water
  • 1 bulb fennel cut into wedges
  • 100g feta cheese crumbled
  • 1 orange, peeled and cut into segments

For the orange dressing:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar


  1. Shake the dressing ingredients together in a jam jar.
  2. Cook the buckwheat by covering it in a pan with the water. Simmer for 8 minutes then set aside with a lid on the pan for 10 minutes so that it absorbs all the water.
  3. Get a frying pan or griddle hot and lightly oil it then char the fennel wedges for 8 minutes turning every 2 minutes.
  4. Combine all the salad ingredients together finishing with the orange dressing.

15 minute Tandoori Chicken Salad

For this salad, chicken thighs are coated in a greek yogurt based marinade and then cooked on the barbecue (or griddle). I’ve loaded the chicken on top of a lovely simple cucumber and tomato salad. You could serve this with new potatoes, rice or Indian bread for a heartier meal. The marinade would work with salmon too.

Ingredients for 4 portions:

  • 1kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 red chilli sliced
  • 1 cucumber peeled into slivers using a potato peeler
  • 100g tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 3 limes
  • Coriander leaves


  • 1tsp each smoked paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, turmeric, mild chilli powder
  • 200g greek yogurt
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 10cm piece ginger finely chopped


  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients and coat your chicken thighs with it. They can go in the fridge for several hours or if you’re in a hurry they can be cooked straight away.
  2. Cook the chicken thighs on a barbecue or griddle for 12 minutes turning every minute or so.
  3. Add the lime halves flesh side down for 3 minutes. It makes them easier to squeeze but also they taste sweeter.
  4. Using a potato peeler cut a whole cucumber into strips and chop up the tomatoes. Arrange on a platter topping with the chicken. Squeeze over the limes and some olive oil and season.
  5. Finish with extra fresh chilli and coriander if you like.

Follow @annasfamilykitchen for more amazing recipes!

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