Free time comes with my forced break from training and last Saturday I went to The Stop’s Farmers Market. Spring is no longer a hint with the arrival of tender greens, ramps, and all kinds of different eggs. My shopping bag was stuffed with enough goodies for an impromptu picnic. My friend and I packed a picnic lunch, grabbed the blanket, and went over to Sunnybrook Park for a relaxing afternoon. First, let’s take a look at my shopping finds:
From left to right:
- black olive sourdough from St John’s Bakery
- sorrel from Vicki’s Veggies (check out this delightful piece from Yotam Ottolenghi on sorrel)
- chocolate macaroon
- crunchy mixed sprouts
- Figaro, a creamy oozy cow’s milk cheese from Glencarry Fine Cheese
- guinea fowl eggs and silkie eggs from Weber’s Farm
- celeriac from Highmark Farm
- smoked trout from Akiwenzie’s Fish
I was excited by all the cooking possibilities! With a portable meal in mind, I put together this simple picnic meal for two using my market finds and ingredients at home.
Easy Picnic For Two
This menu is not heavy on cooking at all. Mostly it is about packing the items neatly into a backpack so that nothing gets squished. Last Saturday the temperature was mild so I was not particularly concern about keeping the food chilled either. Cheese generally tastes better at room temperature anyway but I was not keen on using dairy in my smoked fish salad. My friend has an aversion to mayonnaise so what would be a good binder for the sandwich filling?
Typically speaking, a creamy component is used for egg salad, tuna salad, or ham salad sandwich filling. Once you rule out mayonnaise, cream cheese, sour cream, and Greek yogurt, it takes a bit of creativity. Suddenly I remembered the alchemy of mixing tahini and lemon juice.
Check out that rich and creamy texture! This was the result of mixing tahini with lemon juice and thinned with just enough water to reach the desired consistency. Completely vegan with a satisfyingly smooth taste. Plus I did not need to worry about spoilage without refrigeration. This is a picnic enthusiast’s dream!
The smoked trout sandwich tasted refreshingly lemony not just from the dressing. The tender leafy sorrel had a pleasantly tart flavour not unlike lemon. They complemented the saltiness of black olives and smoked trout. I added a bit of celery, chives, and toasted sesame seeds for added textural contrast. I really should call this The Stop Spring Sandwich with all the key ingredients purchased at my favourite farmers market!
Smoked Trout Salad Sandwich with Sorrel & Black Olive Sourdough
- 120g smoked trout, skin removed
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons finely diced celery
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- juice from half a lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices of black olive sourdough bread
- 2 handfuls of sorrel, washed and patted dry
- In a medium mixing bowl, flake smoked trout into small pieces and toss with chives, celery, and sesame seeds.
- In a small bowl, stir together tahini and lemon juice until thickened. Drizzle in water until it reaches the consistency of mayonnaise.
- Fold tahini dressing with fish salad until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper.
- Line a slice of black olive bread with a handful of sorrel and spread half of the fish salad on another slice of bread. Put them together. Repeat for remaining ingredients to make a second sandwich. Pack your picnic basket and find a lovely spot to enjoy your lunch.