Dips are simple to make and a picnic hamper essential, says Philippa Davis, sharing her best picnic dips - hummus with an added kick and Portugese-style pâté

Don’t allow your culinary standards slip for an al fresco feast, says Philippa Davis. Dips are easy to make ahead and a hamper essential. So try our best picnic dips the next time the blanket and basket are called for. Our pea and mint hummus with green chilli has a kick and is best with crudités. Or try our Portugese-style tuna, caper and parsley pâte, best made with albacore pole-and-line caught tuna – one of the more sustainable options available.

For a game main suitable for a picnic, try our venison salad niçoise – proof that game is not just for winter suppers, it makes excellent picnic hamper fare.


Best picnic dips

Serve this pea and mint hummus with crudités.

Serves 8

  • 240g chickpeas, drained
  • 100g frozen peas, blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small clove of garlic, finely crushed with a little salt
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped mint
  • ½ – 1 green chilli, finely chopped, seeds and membrane left in

Give the chickpeas a quick rinse in cold water and place them in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and a little salt and pepper. Start with just ½ the green chilli as you can always add more.

Blitz until smooth then check the seasoning and spice level.

Place in a jar or sealable container/pot ready to take to the picnic.

Serve in the jar with a pot of crudités.


Best picnic dips

Use the more sustainable albacore pole-and-line caught tuna for this pâté.

Serves 8

  • 100g drained tuna (ideally albacore pole-and-line caught as it’s one of the more sustainable types)
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped capers
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

In a bowl, lightly mash the tuna with a fork.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper and taste to check the seasoning.

Scoop into a jar or sealable container and place in the fridge until you are ready to go.

Serve from the jar with savoury biscuits.