In my kitchen this month is a lovely aqua picnic basket, filled with delicious treats sourced from around my local area. Although it is still winter, constant clear blue skies combined with a big warm jacket have made the most perfect conditions for seaside picnicking.
The first essential for my picnic basket was a large rustic loaf of bread. I bought the bread from our local baker, Yanni's Bakery. There were a range of delicious breads on sale including an olive bread, lagana bread and large round loaves of Horiatiki psomi (Χωριάτικη Ψωμί). It was a hard decision to make, but I settled on the Horiatiki and it was delicious sliced into large wedges and spread thickly with lemon filled taramasalata. Some thick, sweet Thassos olives from the local deli, all crinkly and glossy from being dried in the sun provided a salty contrast. You have to get in early Yanni's. Too late and all of their delicious breads have been snapped up by discerning yiayias.
From the local grocer, there were beautifully fresh cucumbers with their bright yellow flowers still attached, which were perfect for a classic Horiatiki (or Greek) salad. To the picnic basket, I also added some roma tomatoes, that had been slow roasted with rigani and garlic, along with a few red onions.
Mr K's contribution to the picnic basket were some plump juicy Barbounia (μπαρμπούνια), which had been carefully cleaned and then very lightly dusted with flour and quickly fried in olive oil.
Fried Barbounia (Μπαρμπούνια τηγανητά)
1 kg red mullet
Flour for coating
1. Salt the fish, roll it in flour and fry it in oil. Fry until both sides are brown.
2. Serve with lemon wedges.
To finish, there were warming cups of coffee, fresh sweet oranges picked that morning from my father in law's garden and slices of semolina cake and walnut cake, called karithopita (Καρυδόπιτα) from Christopher's Cakes.
So lovely friends, have you been on any picnics recently, or are you planning to enjoy a picnic during August? If so, I would love to know what is in your picnic basket. As always, big thanks go to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting this great monthly feature. Be sure to stop by her blog to see lots more wonderful kitchens from around the world!!
Ps. If you would like the address for Yanni's Bakery and some of my other favourite Greek shops, please see my Greek Sydney page.