Portable park dinners
It’s eating outside time. I suppose you could say al fresco, but I never do for the same reason I never call snacks canapés. Whatever you call it, whether it is a sandwich in the sun or dinner with 6 of the best. This spring and summer we are all going to be having a lot of meals outside. So this week I have 3 dishes for you that improve as they sit (the only non negotiable thing I want my picnic food to do) that don’t take an age, and will travel well.
Toasted cashew and coconut greens noodle salad (title image)
Rice, whether as grains, noodles or rice paper, seems to have a brilliant way of absorbing just enough dressing, making sure that nothing is lacklustre by the time you unpack your blanket and pour the first glass of rosé.
I ate something like this at a café near where I live, then went back twice in the following weeks for the same thing, until I realised I should probably just work out how to make it myself. It was spring, so I used new potatoes instead of the sweet potatoes the café had gone for. I have kept my tortilla pretty simple but you could also add any other spring or summer veg that you like.
The real star here is the tomato kasundi, which is an insanely good Indian tomato relish. It is a variation of kasundi, which is originally a sauce made from fermented mustard seeds. Mine is not much like the original. This recipe makes more kasundi than you will need, so your efforts will be rewarded beyond just one dinner.
A salad that travels well and is more than a sum of its parts. Rice, quinoa or normal couscous can be used in place of the giant couscous if you like.