Tom Aiken’s perfect picnic recipes

To serve 4

400g cooked Devon crabmeat
200g butter melted
2g Cayenne pepper
1g lemon zest
1g coarse sea salt
1g ground mace ¼tsp nutmeg
30g lemon juice
Milled pepper Melted butter for the top, can be clarified or just melted


Melt the butter, add it to the mayenne pepper, mace, nutmeg, lemon zest, and leave to one side. Put the crab onto kitchen paper todry really well. To the crab, add the salt, milled pepper and lemon juice, mix well and leave to stand for 20 minutes. Fold the spiced butter into the crab mix, spoon it evenly into the ramekins and put in the fridge to set for at least an hour. Once they’re set, seal each dish by pouring a thin layer of butter over each one. Refrigerate for at least six hours before serving. Serve with brown bread and a little green salad.


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Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon Pinch ground turmeric Pinch ground
coriander Pinch ground cumin Pinch ground ginger
15g diced dried apricot
5g sultanas
5g raisons
200g couscous
20g olive oil
2g salt
4g chopped
4g chopped mint Juice of
1 lemon
250ml boiling water


Put all dry ingredients in a bowl, apart from the herbs, and addthe boiling water. Cover with clingfilm and leave to stand for 15 minutes, then fluff up with a fork and add the fresh herbs along with the juice of one lemon. Keep in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and add the herbs last so they stay green and fresh.

marinated salmon To serve 4

500g fillet of cooked salmon
225g beetroot, peeled
grated Zest of 1 orange
1 lemon 75g coarse sea salt
50g caster sugar 10g cracked
pepper 25g fresh dill, chopped roughly


Chop the orange and lemon zest together, add the chopped dill and mix with the grated beetroot. Blend the salt, sugar and pepper, and place half on a tray in the shape and size of the salmon fillet, sprinkle the beetroot mix over it and lay the salmon, skin side down, on the tray. Place the rest of the mixture on top and cover with a flat tray. Put a weight on it and leave for nine hours in the marinade. Remove from the marinade and lightly wash the fish in a bowl of cold water, then pat it dry with a clean cloth. Put it on a board and, carefully, thinly slice the salmon and arrange it on paper plates or put it in a plastic-covered container for later use. Serve with the roasted beetroot and the beetroot dressing.

Roasted beetroot

600g medium-sized beetroots
50ml olive oil
1tsp picked
thyme Salt and pepper


Toss the beetroots in the olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Wrap them in foil, place on a tray and bake in the oven for about 1½ to two hours until they’re cooked through but not soft. Leave to cool, then peel off the skin and cut into small dice about 0.5cm square. Beetroot dressing 100g peeled and finely diced shallots 50ml olive oil 1tsp picked thyme leaves 100g diced beetroot from two baked beetroots 250ml beetroot juice 150ml port 150ml olive oil 80ml balsamic vinegar


Reduce the port to syrup, add the beetroot juice, and reduce by two-thirds. Put olive oil in a saucepan on a low heat, add the diced shallots and cook for 2–3 minutes until soft, then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring this to a simmer and cook for two minutes, then remove pan from the heat and place on the side to cool.

To finish 2 peeled banana shallots finely diced 2tbsp mini capers Fresh cracked black pepper

On the plate, drizzle the salmon with the red beetroot vinaigrette, and sprinkle with the mini capers, finely chopped shallots, and fresh cracked black pepper. If you like, you can also serve this with crème fraîche.

Roast coronation chicken To serve 4

For the chicken 1 roast chicken—break it down, shred the dark meat into
quite small pieces and slice the breast meat
30g finely chopped shallot
3g fine-chopped red chilli
3g of curry powder
5g tomato paste 100ml
white wine 1 bay leave
100ml chicken stock
45g apricot jam
40g crème fraîche
30ml lemon juice
2 drops of Tabasco 1g
chopped coriander 1½ sliced spring onions 5g salt ½g pepper 1 mango


Sweat off the shallots and chilli in a little butter with no colour for four minutes until they’re soft, add the bay leaves, curry powder and tomato paste, and cook out for three minutes. Add the white wine, reduce it, then add the chicken stock and the jam. Reduce until syrupy—once reduced, take off the heat and then chill in the blast chiller, whisking in the rest of the ingredients, except the mango. Mix the shredded leg meat with some of the dressing and leave to marinade for at least two hours. Reserve the breast and arrange it on the top of the salad with some of the sauce to coat the sliced breast meat. Peel the mango and cut it down the centre. Square the halves off, cut them into 0.5cm dice and then toss them in a little lime juice. This can then be folded into the shredded leg-meat mix.