Saturday, 11 August 2012

Courgette, Chorizo and Gruyère Muffins

I love picnics, actually any excuse to eat outside, even if it is a bit cold; lunch in the garden, a BBQ, a table outside a restaurant... We spend so many hours cooped up in houses and offices that I'll take any opportunity to sit out, and food always seems to taste that bit better in the fresh air. I have a growing collection of old picnic hampers and I love packing them up with various treats and setting off to some sunny spot. My favourite picnic spot, at the moment, is hidden in the dunes at Druridge Bay, you can see out but no one can see in to the sheltered little nook. On a sunny day with the rug laid out and the picnic basket overflowing with treats it is a pretty lovely place to be.

I've been reading Elizabeth David's chapters on picnicking that leaves my efforts to shame somewhat... Her companions have been known to visit the picnic site the day before to bury the champagne, ready chilled for arrival. She was once guest to a family whose idea of a picnic was walking through their formal Dutch gardens to the woodland beyond, followed by butler, chauffeur and footman 'bearing fine china plates, the silver and tablecloths, a number of vast dishes containing cold chickens, jellies and trifles'. I'd like to go to a picnic like that...

Mini tarts or pasties, sausage rolls with sage and apricots, salads in pots, bread rolls, little cakes. There is often a high quota of hand held food, things in pastry, muffins, pork pies, scotch eggs, easy to eat but also tasty. Sandwiches with no crusts, potted meats, cheese or pates and a lovely refreshing home-made mint lemonade to wash it all down. Hand held is preferable, things that require cutlery should at most be a scoop with a fork, trying to hold a knife, fork, plate and cut something just isn’t what a picnic is about. Lots of things baked into a muffin or a pie are good; getting all your food groups at once should be straight forward and tasty! Nothing that squashes, apples are better than bananas; nothing that melts, cake is better than chocolate, nothing that makes your sandwiches soggy! The planning can end up quite intricate.

So if this summer manages to show us a little bit of sunshine I'll be off to the beach, or up a valley, or by the river or even just in the park armed with a tightly packed little wicker basket and a rug.

These muffins are a perfect picnic treat and make about 6. Simply mix 225g of self raising flour with 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 100g of grated courgette, 50g or grated Gruyère, 40g of finely cubed chorizo and some salt and pepper.

In a mixing jug whisk together 175ml of whole milk, an egg and 75ml of olive oil. Pour this into the flour and courgette mix and combine it all thoroughly. Finally spoon into an oiled muffin tin and put in the oven at 180°C, bake for 10 minutes then take out and add a little more grated Gruyère to the top of each, then bake for another 15 minutes. Eat warm with butter or fresh out of your picnic basket...


  1. Hooray for simple deliciousness! These muffins sound perfect for all kinds of short-term expeditions--I would absolutely throw a couple in my bag before an afternoon thrift shopping or lying around at the park. :)

  2. Thanks Eileen! they were pretty tasty!

    Anna x

  3. I made these for my birthday, utterly delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Hope you had a lovely birthday! thanks for the mention.

    Anna x


Happy cooking! Let me know if you make any of my recipes, send a picture, and let me know any of your own recipes and tips! Anna x