Quick packed lunch ideas for busy people | Rosie Birkett

Quick packed lunch ideas for busy people | Rosie Birkett

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Egg, potato and gherkin salad (pictured above)

Boil 250g baby new potatoes in salted water until tender, drain. Boil another pot of water, lower in 2 eggs and cook for 8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool, then peel. Chop 1 egg and halve the other. In a bowl, mix 2 tbsp mayonnaise with 2 tsp white-wine vinegar and 1 tbsp each of natural yoghurt and dijon mustard. Add the chopped egg, cooled potatoes, 2 sliced spring onions, 100g chopped gherkins, 1 tbsp capers and 1 handful chopped flat-leaf parsley. Season and pack with the remaining egg.

Tuna, white bean and radish salad

Tuna and white bean salad



Tuna and white bean salad. Photos: Rosie Birkett.

Finely chop 6 radishes, 1 small fennel bulb, 2 spring onions and 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, then season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Drain and rinse 1 can of cannellini beans and toss with the salad. Whisk 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the juice of ½ a lemon, a dash of Tabasco and some salt and pepper, and use this to dress the veg. Top with 1 drained tin of tuna in sunflower oil. Pack into a tub and go.

Tinned mackerel on rye with pickled cucumber and yoghurt

Rosie Birkett’s tinned mackerel on rye with pickled cucumber and yoghurt.



Rosie Birkett’s tinned mackerel on rye with pickled cucumber and yoghurt.

In a jar, shake 3 tbsp cider vinegar with ½ tsp caster sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Finely slice ¼ cucumber and ½ shallot into the jar, along with a few sprigs of dill. In another jar, stir 3 tbsp natural yoghurt with salt, pepper, a little olive oil and water. Pack the jars along with 2 slices of rye bread in foil and 1 tin of mackerel fillets in oil. At lunch, unwrap the rye, toast and butter it. Drain the mackerel, put on the toast, spoon the yoghurt dressing over and top with pickles.

Salmon, pasta and spring veg salad

Rose Birkett’s salmon, pasta and spring veg salad.



Rose Birkett’s salmon, pasta and spring veg salad.

Roast a seasoned, oiled salmon fillet covered with lemon slices at 190C/375F/gas 5 for 12 mins. Mince a bunch of soft herbs (I like tarragon, parsley, basil) with a garlic clove and 1 tbsp each of capers and pumpkin seeds. Put in a jar with 1 tbsp dijon mustard. Season. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, the juice of ½ lemon and whisk. Poach 80g asparagus tips in boiling salted water for 2 mins, remove, then boil 50g short pasta until al dente. Drain, cool, then pack with a bunch of watercress, the asparagus and flaked salmon. Pack the herbed salsa and toss together on serving.



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