Dining Al Fresco

Lunch: Tomato and Avocado on Toast with Salad and Potatoes



When it hasn’t been raining, I’ve been enjoying the pleasure of dining outside on the patio. But it seems like there are some meals that work for al fresco dining (sandwiches, salads, that sort of thing), while others are better suited for indoors (for some reason, stir fry seems better suited for the inside).

Perhaps in the summer months, when there is the small possibility that England will be warm and sunny for long enough to enjoy a meal, I should take Nigel Slater’s approach…


I eat outside at every possible opportunity. Each meal is shopped for and cooked with the intention that it may become an outdoor treat, a meal spread out on the garden table and consumed in the open air.

Of all meals outside, supper is the one I like best, knowing that at some point it will be time to light the candles. Forget picnics and barbecues, the most romantic way to eat is in the garden by candlelight. I will eat this way till the weather insists otherwise.



Okay, so Nigel Slater is a bit of a wanker, but he’s got a great attitude towards food and some fabulous ideas for al fresco meals (check out the courgette cakes). The BBC also has some ideas for picnic recipes, including vegetarian nibbles like roasted red pepper bruschetta and butter bean pate.

What are your favorite foods for outdoor eating?


Food and Exercise Log | Tuesday, July 28, 2009




Breakfast



Bircher Muesli with Carrots, Coconut and Flaked Almond

Breakfast: Bircher Muesli with Carrots, Coconut and Toasted Almonds




Lunch



Avocado on Toast with Salad, Chickpeas and Potatoes

Lunch: Tomato and Avocado on Toast with Salad and Potatoes





Dinner



Tofu Stir Fry with Brown Rice and Veggies

Dinner: Tofu Stir Fry



Update: Anyone interested in making yummy veggie stir-fry’s should check out Mark Bittman’s book, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (yes, this book is my bible). He has a great description of how to make veggie stir fries and we use this basic technique for pretty much every stir fry we make. It’s always fabulous! You can read the section on Google Books: The Basics of Stir-Frying Vegetables.

5 thoughts on “Dining Al Fresco

  1. Monica Shaw

    @Hanlie – Thanks! We make this stir fry all the time – it’s one of our staples! Your comment prompted me to add a little extra on the stir fry for my post. I’ll repeat it here:

    Anyone interested in making yummy veggie stir-fry’s should check out Mark Bittman’s book, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=gNAU05uZJ-MC&pg=PA788&lpg=PA788&dq=%22mark+bittman%22+%22enchilada+sauce%22&source=bl&ots=G8qcBNFhfv&sig=ewooDAF3K-w0V35AaCdR1W2rCQc&hl=en&ei=3sW7SZDLN-KtjAez0aidCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result#PPA198,M1“ rel=”nofollow”>How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (yes, this book is my bible). He has a great description of how to make veggie stir fries and we use this basic technique for pretty much every stir fry we make. It’s always fabulous! You can read the section on Google Books: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=gNAU05uZJ-MC&pg=PA242&lpg=PA242&dq=%22mark+bittman%22+stir+fry+vegetarian&source=bl&ots=G8rdKPHkgz&sig=L4CXdxxfBd_8Jv29an2zJ4n-aTY&hl=en&ei=aLFxSsXLFOPRjAeP_fyQDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1“ rel=”nofollow”>The Basics of Stir-Frying Vegetables.

    Reply
  2. Brit

    I’ve noticed that you eat a lot of avocado, but only a few slices at a time. How do you store the rest to keep it from getting brown?

    Reply
  3. Monica Shaw

    @Brit – Here’s the trick: keep the seed of the avocado. I slice the avocado using the same technique shown in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeWOH8f2ifc“ rel=”nofollow”>this video, slicing only the amount of avocado I plant o use. If I only am using a few slices, I don’t bother removing the pit. Once I’m done, I put the avocado back “together”, pit and all. I then store this in a container, or wrap it in clingfilm. If I’m left with 1/4 of an avocado, it’s usually too annoying to put the seed back in, so I just put on a plate or back into the container, face-down. Hope this helps!

    Reply
  4. Stu H

    I agree that Slater is a wanker. A lot of people don’t think so, but his foppish, lispy, smug guardian/islington demeanour rub me up the wrong way too. However, his cookbooks can be good. I can’t imagine ever reading ‘toast’ though, which seems the most self indulgent nonsense ever. Anyway. Outdoors, nothing pleases me more than a BBQ at my parents al fresco in spain. The only issue is, trying to cook all the food and nibble a bit whilst cooking whilst getting everyone else to eat. they feel obliged to wait, but as i tell them, “get it whilst its hot!”. Particularly my salmon teriyaki. Recipe to be supplied….

    Reply

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