Carluccio’s Picnics – a Perfect Summer Solution.
Guest Post by Adrian York
The summer season is fast approaching so what better a way to spend a balmy afternoon than having a delicious picnic whether in some beauty spot, the local park or your own back garden? But if the time and stress of putting together your own al fresco feast feels like too much trouble, then the latest prepared picnic offer from Carluccio’s may tempt you.
We were very happy to be asked to test them out; our first stop was at the buzzing Carluccio’s in Richmond. Picnics may be pre-ordered up to 24 hours in advance, or a chef’s choice can be put together at your local branch on the day. We didn’t have to wait long for our two picnics to appear. The adult picnics are provided in a cool bag with the children’s arriving in a box and crucially plastic cutlery and napkins are provided for both.
My wife,son and I settled under the ancient tulip tree in my garden excited to see what goodies Carluccio’s had supplied. The first thing we noticed was the amount of food-the portions were very generous!
The ‘Bambini’ kids picnic contained a flavoursome Pizza Margherita, beef and aubergine meatballs in a delicious tomato sauce, a tub of tuna mayonnaise, carrot sticks, ‘stuzzichini’ crunchy maize breadsticks, slices of mild Milanese salami, a creamy cows cheese, and if your offspring had any room left for dessert there was a chocolate sponge bear brownie with Smartie buttons and lovely crunchy edges, an apple and a bottle of peach juice. All in all a veritable kids feast!
However the adults weren’t to be outdone. For our ‘Vegetarian’ picnic we munched on a great selection of mixed Rustica, Etna and Vinci olives and an unexpectedly lemony focaccia which was still warm from the oven. Next up were light and crumbly savoury tarts with spinach, ricotta and pine nuts, the final ingredient adding a sweet nutty crunch to the proceedings The Insalata di ferreto was a basil-infused salad of twisting Ferreto pasta, pesto and chargrilled vegetables; the main course was a hearty serving of stuffed beefsteak tomatoes with the on-trend grain farro, lemon and spring onion, served with a saffron potato and olive salad.
For the ‘Classic’ picnic the tomatoes are replaced with a summery corn fed chicken supreme with parsley and pancetta. Making sure we got our five-a-day, the insalata di farro was a revitalising salad of farro, courgette, cannellini beans, mint and rocket. With individual strawberry tarts and chocolate baci biscuits from Piedmont for dessert we were in no danger of being underfed – in fact there was plenty left over for the next day! All the food tasted very freshly prepared and matched with one of Carluccio’s recommended wines would make the perfect picnic.
Children’s ‘Bambini’ Picnic serves one / £10
Classic Picnic serves two / £45
Vegetarian Picnic serves two / £45
To order, check out the Carluccio’s Website