Dips are a picnic hamper essential. Simple to make and great for feeding a crowd, Philippa Davis' best picnic dips include hummus with a hint of spice and Portugese-style pâté

Just because you are feasting al fresco, culinary standards do not have to slip. Dips are easy to make and good for feeding a crowd from a hamper, recommends Philippa Davis. The best picnic dips include pea and mint hummus with green chilli, best for enjoying crudités with a hint of spice. Or try the Portugese-style tuna, caper and parsley pâté – though do use albacore pole-and-line caught tuna, as it’s 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.

PEA AND MINT HUMMUS WITH GREEN CHILLI

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.

PORTUGESE-STYLE TUNA, CAPER AND PARSLEY PATE

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.