Picnic season is finally upon us and we have been kicking it off with two new favorite things. The first one is a bike and the other is a bread.
We have been dreaming of a Danish cargo bike for years and years, and last month we finally splurged on this one. It’s the perfect vehicle for us because we can fit all three kids in it with seatbelts and all. It’s ideal to bring home heavy grocery bags with. And it’s environmentally friendly. All practicalities aside, it is also so much fun to ride around with and we are roaming from playground to picnic spots without a hitch. Just packing a few blankets, a big smoothie, a rhubarb compote and this beauty of a bread.
We created this recipe for all type of picnic situations. We wanted something spring-y and savory that tasted awesome and could manage a bumpy bike ride. It’s basically like a savory muffin that we bake in a sheet pan. It serves many, is easy to make, super moist and flavorful and you can make lots of variations on it (although I love the look of thinly shaved asparagus on top).
Needless to say, this is also ideal for a brunch or or other weekend gatherings.
Just like a foccacia, the bread acts as a base and you can play around with all kind of toppings. Here are a few variations:
• Swap some of the potatoes in the bread with grated carrots, parsnip or swede.
• A teaspoon of mustard in the batter adds some complexity to the flavor.
• Any fresh herbs can be mixed into the batter.
• Olives or capers could be good on top. Spinach could also be used instead of asparagus.
• You can use a dairy free yogurt instead of buttermilk and leave out the feta cheese if you prefer it dairy free.
• We haven’t tried a vegan version but replacing the eggs with chia eggs (1 egg = 1 tablespoons chia seed + 3 tablespoons water) has worked for us on similar recipes.
Asparagus & Potato Picnic Bread
100 g / 1 cup oat flour (or the same amount rolled oats, blitzed into flour in a food processor)
100 g / 3/4 cup rice flour (or buckwheat flour or spelt flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt flakes
3 free-range eggs
125 ml / 1/2 cup olive oil or coconut oil, at room temperature
125 ml / 1/2 cup cultured buttermilk (or yogurt or plant-based yogurt)
1-2 spring onions
3-4 potatoes (2 cups / 250 g grated)
1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
100 g feta cheese
3 raw asparagus
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp quality olive oil
2 tsp honey
a handful chive
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F bake mode and grease a 30 x 22 cm / 12 x 9 inch tray or line it with parchment paper.
Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir until combined. Make a well in the centre and set aside while preparing the wet ingredients.
Whisk eggs in a separate bowl, then add oil and buttermilk. Finely chop the onion. Peel the potatoes, grate them coarsely and add them to the wet mixture along with the onion and parsley. Crumble in half of the feta cheese. Give it a good stir and then pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the flours. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to combine the batter and then pour it onto the tray.
Use a peeler to shave the asparagus into thin ribbons and spread them out over the batter. Crumble the remaining feta cheese on top. Combine pumpkin seeds, oil and honey and sprinkle them on top as well, along with the chive.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly in the tin before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely. Store the cake at room temperature in an airtight container and it will keep for a few days.
Great to bring on a picnic and serve with a tangy rhubarb compote or chutney.