Head for the hills with this picture perfect picnic

By Nikki & Jordan Shearer

Featured in Capital #38.
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Picnics are the perfect fit for the Kiwi laid-back lifestyle, and good occasions to celebrate our delicious local produce and our spectacular surroundings.

Whether you prefer picnics on sandy beaches, surrounded by our native bush, or on a park bench in the middle of the city, this baguette overflowing with yumminess will be perfect.

Salmon is farmed sustainably in Marlborough and is known for its incredible flavor, colour, and texture – not to mention its healthy omega 3 fatty acids. The wood smoke imparts a fragrant fusion of smoke, sea salt, and spices. A chili feta is the perfect accompaniment to the creamy salmon, adding a zingy chili kick. Be warned, this feta is highly addictive! So head down to your local baker, pick up a baguette, and head for the hills.


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 bunch asparagus
1 baguette
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 ripe avocados
Squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and pepper
100g wood roasted salmon with mixed pepper and spices
50g chili feta
1 cup watercress
½ pomegranate, seeds removed


  1. Clean asparagus, and snap off the bottom couple of centimetres with your fingers. The stems will naturally break where the tender part of the stem begins.
  2. Heat oil in a griddle pan to a high heat.
  3. Sauté asparagus spears for 2-3 minutes, turning, until just cooked. Remove from heat.
  4. In a dry pan, toast cumin seeds for 1 minute. Crust toasted cumin seeds with mortar and pestle.
  5. Mash avocado with a fork, mixing through toasted cumin seeds, lemon juice, and seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. To assemble: halve baguette, and on the bottom side spread over avocado and layer with asparagus spears.
  7. Roughly break smoked salmon over the open half of baguette and then crumble feta on top.
  8. Top with   watercress and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
  9. Wrap in grease-proof paper and tie with string for easy transportation.
Alternative toppings:

Figs and blue cheese
Spread base with labneh. Top with sliced fresh figs, pickled onions, crumbled blue cheese, baby spinach, and toasted walnuts.

Moroccan spice
Spread base with traditional hummus mixed with approximately 2 tsp horseradish. Top with thin slices of pan seared beef, roasted capsicum, and rocket.


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