Platter of smoked salmon by Matt @ PEK from Taipei, Taiwan

A night off for the cook: Easy meal ideas for no-cook suppers

Here at Hampergifts we have a passion for food, cooking tasty meals from scratch, and adding a few delicious accompaniments to add zing, such as chutney or perfectly marinated olives.

It’s a real pleasure to cook for others (or to surprise them with a lovely meal, or a Hampergifts luxury food hamper too of course!) but sometimes, after a long day, the last thing you want to do is start chopping, stirring and thinking about timing things. On these nights, it’s time for a picnic dinner.

To make a meal out of cheese or a selection of olives, you’ll just need to add a few fresh ingredients. Here are a few of our favourite no-cook supper ideas:

Smoked salmon: lay slices of salmon onto a plate, and dress with lemon juice and zest, chopped olives or a few baby capers, and soft herbs. Serve with fresh crusty bread (warmed in the oven for a few minutes) and butter. Add a few cooked prawns for a decadent no-cook feast!

Cucumber salad with cheese and chutney: finely sliced cucumber (use a mandolin or food processor to make the slices very thin), tossed with good quality red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil and chopped dill or mint goes very well with a selection of your favourite cheeses, some crackers, and a tasty bit of chutney on the side.

Ham, feta and roasted red pepper toasties: layer crumbled feta cheese with strips of roasted red pepper and chopped ham onto a piece of toast, and flash under the grill for a delicious pizza-esque dinner.

Anytime Picnic Dinner: take a slice or two of tomato and cucumber, a couple of red pepper strips and a handful of salad leaves – then basically go to town with a picnic supper of cheese, pate, olives, nuts and crackers. If you’re feeling energetic, load up your plate (or a stylish bento box) and retreat to the garden or a quiet spot in the park. Don’t forget to take a cheeky glass of wine with you… one of these insulated wine glasses would come in very handy!

You’ll find everything you need for a chef’s night off in the Wine Cheese and Pate  hamper, or why not go for a touch of decadence with the Stratford luxury food hamper (which also includes four bottles of excellent wine to go with your supper!)

What are your favourite no-cook, picnic suppers? Please leave us a comment in the box below, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Thank you!