The taste of summer: Picnic food and refreshment recipes | Food | Life & Style

Melon aqua fresca

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 5 minutes

800g (1¾lbs) watermelon, flesh only, roughly chopped

300ml (10½fl oz) water

1 tbsp sugar

Juice of 3 limes

l Blend the watermelon with half the water, sugar and lime juice.

l Mix with the rest of the water then pour into a vacuum flask with a handful of ice.

l Make it an adult version by mixing equal quantities of champagne and aqua fresca or try 200ml (7fl oz) of vodka or rum. 

Stuffed focaccia

Serves: 6

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Preparation time: 2 hours

450g (1lb) strong, white plain 

  flour, plus extra for dusting

2 tsps dried yeast

1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 tsp flaky salt

5 tbsps olive oil

300ml (10½fl oz) tepid water

2 courgettes

1 jar roast peppers (size of your choice)

160g (5¾oz) black olives

200g (7oz) sun-blushed tomatoes

100g (3½oz) pesto

2 mozzarella balls 

l Sift the flour into a large bowl then mix with the yeast, rosemary, salt and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

l Make a well in the middle of the flour, pour in the water and mix.

l Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until it becomes soft and elastic.

l Place back in the bowl then cover and rest in a warm place to rise for 1-1½ hours or until doubled in size.

l Meanwhile, thinly slice the courgettes along the length.

l Place a griddle pan over a high heat until smoking hot then griddle the courgettes until just colouring on both sides. Set aside to cool.

l Drain the peppers, olives and sun-blushed tomatoes. Roughly chop and mix together in a bowl.

l Split the dough into 2 pieces then roll 1 out on a lightly floured surface until it’s 25x30cm (9¾x12in).

l Drizzle a large baking tray with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and lay the rolled dough on the tray.

l Brush the pesto over the dough, leaving a 2cm (¾in) rim. 

l Sprinkle with the chopped peppers, tomatoes and olives then lay the courgettes over the top.

l Drain the mozzarella and tear evenly over the courgettes.

l Brush the outside 2cm (¾in) of the dough with a little water.

l Roll the…

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