Posted by Móna Wise in Features.

Picnicking in Ireland might conjure up images of rain gear and over-crowded picnic shelters at your favourite public park, or sand in your sandwiches along the sea shore. We live and die for those rare summer days when the sun starts of searing high in the sky and if there is any chance of a longer spell of glorious weather we dig out the basket and ready ourselves for the perfect picnic. Sometimes, having a few tried and tested recipes up one’s sleeve can aid in our valiant efforts to be spontaneous. Getting a picnic prepped and packed promptly enables us to get out the door and on our way before the first rain cloud slides across the horizon, reminding us that this is indeed, summer in Ireland.

When seeking inspiration for our weekly recipes, we sometimes turn to Twitter, to see what it is that our readers really like to eat. This week, we posed the question ‘What are your favourite picnic foods?’ and we were delighted to see so many responses. Hang Sangwiches are still the most popular it seems followed smartly by egg salad sambos. Not much mention of wraps, but a fondness for plenty of sparkling red lemonade and buns was displayed too. You will find that when venturing out on a picnic a small bit of prepping the night before will have you primed and ready for your family outing in the sun, and no need to break the bank along the way.

Tuna salad sandwiches. This is the sandwich many of us pop in to the deli for, but making it at home will produce a much tastier salad, we assure you. Although tinned (or frozen) corn is used in many Irish tuna salad recipes, we like to use pickled cornichons, or even a few tablespoons of sweet pickle relish instead. The addition of the hard boiled eggs helps stretch the tuna, which is particularly handy incase you find yourself with only one tin of tuna on hand and trying to feed a few hungry picnickers at the last minute with no time to run to the shops.

Thanks for reading along each month.

Tuna Salad Sandwich (serves 4)

Although Tuna salad is widely available at all delis and grocery stores, we find that a homemade one tastes better and has a much longer shelf life. This recipe gives a nice lift to your lunchbox and we think it makes the perfect picnic partner. You can always leave adding the mayonnaise until the last minute if it’s a particularly hot day.

What you will need

  • 4 baps or small bread rolls
  • 1 tin (225g) Tuna
  • 2 eggs, hardboiled
  • 3 Tbsp cornichons, diced
  • 1 tsp dried onion flakes
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley
  • 4 Tbsp mayonnaise (or more if desired)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 scallion (optional)
  • 200g lettuce (optional)
  • Garnish (optional): Crisps / Pickled onions

How to prepare
Shell your eggs and grate them. Mix tuna, egg, cornichons, dried onion and parsley in a bowl. Add mayonnaise, salt and pepper and mix it all together. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If using the scallion, chop it finely and add in at the last minute. Slice the bap and line it with lettuce leaves before filling it with the Tuna salad mixture. Serve alongside a packet of your favourite crisps and a few pickled onions or gherkins.