Summer in the city and no beach within driving distance means parks become the go-to hang out spot.
They are where people lay on towels and try their best to get a summer glow going.
They are the location where families come to spend time together in the sunshine.
Playing a variety of sports.
And of course bringing bags full of food to enjoy throughout their slumber on the grass.
This atmosphere inspired me to create a picnic menu which will be shared each day this week, beginning with the simple coleslaw sandwiches and finishing with simple lemonade, with a few twists in between.
Picnics conjure up last minute plans and a trip to the supermarket to buy pre-packaged, pre-prepared food that means as little time is spent as possible on getting food so that people can meet together quicker because the weekend and sunshine in London are two very fleeting things.
Picnics also conjure up relaxed people and easy conversations with bright blue skies above.
With simple meal fare the main goal, sandwiches prove to be a simple and quick option to keeping people well fed and preparation time short.
Spiced Chicken Coleslaw Sandwiches
3 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 whole cabbage, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup cheese, grated
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3/4 lemon, juiced
3/4 teaspoon mustard
3/4 tablespoon olive oil
Place the cayenne pepper, chili and curry powders, salt and olive oil in a bowl and stir to combine.
Brush over the chicken breasts and allow to marinate for a minimum of an hour.
Meanwhile, place the cabbage, carrot and cheese in a bowl. In a separate bowl place the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and olive oil in a bowl and mix to combine.
Add to the grated vegetables and stir through to combine well. Cover and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350F and place the whole chicken breasts on a tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Bake until lightly golden, approximately 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then pull the baked breasts apart adding a handful to 4 inch sliced baguettes. Continue with the remaining chicken and top with two tablespoonfuls of coleslaw.
Serve wrapped in a napkin.
Ham Apple Fennel Coleslaw Sandwiches
1 cup cabbage, finely chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 fennel, finely chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon mustard
1/4 tablespoon olive oil
6 crusty rolls
300 grams ham, sliced
Place the cabbage, apple and fennel in a bowl and mix together.
In a separate bowl combine the mayonnaise, juice, mustard and olive oil and add to the coleslaw, mixing together until well combined.
Place two or three slices ham on each roll and then add two tablespoons of the coleslaw to the mixture.
Wrap in a napkin to serve.