Summer is here, and what better season to enjoy a wholesome picnic outside in the fresh air? The great weather is the perfect excuse to catch up with your nearest and dearest, all the while enjoying a scrumptious homemade meal, al fresco style.
However, we recognise that it can be tough to know where to start when it comes to packing a picnic. The dishes need to travel well, fare well in the heat, and be appropriate for sharing without too much fuss.
Worry not. Such recipes do exist so below, we’ve shared five simple yet impressive recipes to ensure your picnic experience is nothing short of a success.
Asparagus Parmesan Salad
Photo by Country Living
Salads have a habit of worming their way into picnics, so ensuring it's a good one is a must. This asparagus parmesan salad is refreshing and rife in both flavour and texture. It's simple to whip up and guilt free, albeit satisfying and downright delicious.
Source: Country Living
Ingredients | Serves 6 - 8
- 1 bunch trimmed, shaved, or thinly sliced asparagus
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. plus 1 teaspoon, fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsp. toasted pine nuts
- 3 tbsp. golden raisins
- 1 oz. Parmesan, shaved (about 1/4 cup)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Simply drizzle oil and lemon juice over the asparagus and allow it to stand for ten minutes.
- Next, top the asparagus with pine nuts and raisins, and season the dish with salt and pepper.
- To keep the parmesan's texture in tact, keep it separate until you arrive at the picnic. When you arrive, sprinkle it on top of the dish.
Roast Beef Sandwich
Photo by Picnic Lifestyle
A picnic is incomplete without a sandwich, and this roast beef delight is difficult to resist. Whilst the beef is the star of the show, it is perfectly complimented by sweet tomatoes and roasted onion.
Source: Picnic Lifestyle
Ingredients | Serves 1
- 4 oz thinly sliced medium rare roast beef
- ½ red onion, sliced
- 5-6 slow-roasted tomatoes, halved
- 1 tsp. wholegrain mustard
- Handful of watercress, arugula, or baby spinach
- Your choice of bread
- 1 tsp. olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for cooking the onions
- Wash the tomatoes before halving them and and drizzle them with olive oil and salt. Roast for 20 minutes on 395℉ | 200℃ in a preheated oven.
- Fry the onion on medium heat in butter, olive oil, or both! As you notice them soften, drizzle in some balsamic vinegar and stir until the the onions are caramelised.
- Begin to compile the sandwich. First, spread the wholegrain mustard on a slice of bread. Next, begin layering the slices of roast beef on top, followed by the caramelised onion, watercress and tomatoes.
- Top the sandwich with the remaining slice of bread and wrap it up tightly to avoid the juices running out whilst it's in transit.
Tip: if you don’t have a reliably sharp knife in your picnic kit, cut the sandwich in half before packing it away.
Caesar Pasta Salad
Photo by PureWow
This recipe offers a twist on the all-time classic caesar salad. The addition of pasta bolsters the dish to new heights of satiety and texture, without compromising on the traditional flavours that we all know and love.
Ingredients | Serves 4 - 6
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 small avocados, pitted and peeled
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. anchovy paste
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta, such as rotini or penne
- 2 hearts of romaine
- 1½ cups croutons
- Begin making the dressing in a blender by combining the mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, avocados, garlic, and anchovy paste. Pulse the ingredients and once they’re combined, add in the olive oil.
- Pour the dressing into a bowl or jug, and stir in the pepper and parmesan.
- Add the pasta to a pot of boiling salt water and cook it according to the instructions on the package; typically around 8-10 minutes. Once cooked, transfer the pasta to a bowl and allow it to cool.
- Next, cut the romaine into small chunks around one inch in size, and add them to the pasta.
- Mix the dressing into the pasta bowl and toss it to combine.
- Add the croutons to the dish when you arrive at the picnic to avoid them from becoming soggy.
Honey Mustard Chicken Sausage Rolls
Whilst this recipe admittedly contains more cooking processes than the others in our shortlist, it remains relatively easy to conjure up and well worth the extra bit of effort. You’ll be sure to delight your fellow picnickers with this scrumptious snack.
- 2 x 500g packets chicken sausages
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. wholegrain mustard
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 25g (1/4 cup) dried (packaged) breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 3 sheets frozen puff pastry, just thawed
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- Preheat the oven to 220℃ or 200℃ in a fan oven, and prepare two average sized baking trays with parchment paper.
- Next, remove the sausage meat from its casings and place it into a bowl with honey, mustard, breadcrumbs, and thyme leaves. Mix together until combined.
- Cut the pastry sheets in half. For each half, use one sixth of the chicken mixture; arranging it vertically through the center.
- Brush a little egg over one of the long edges of the pastry and fold it over the filling. Press it to seal and focus on forming a roll shape. Repeat this with the remaining 5 pastry sheet halves.
- Finally, cut each roll into five pieces and bake them until they appear golden brown, for roughly 25-30 minutes.
Lemon Coconut Bites
Last but not least, a sweet treat! These lemon coconut bites are a blast from the past, a party favorite, and travel well; a winning combination. We appreciate how minimal and low fuss both the ingredients list and method are; a duo that can be hard to come by when desserts are concerned. Read on to check it out.
Source: Taste of Home
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350℉ and proceed to combine your flour, confectioners' sugar and butter. When the mixture becomes crumbly, bake it in a medium sized baking pan for 15 minutes.
- Whilst the mixture is baking, combine the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and baking powder in another bowl. Pour it over your baked crust and garnish with coconut.
- Bake the dish for a further 20 minutes until it achieves a golden brown color.
- Once the dish has cooled down completely, cut it into bars and transfer it to an airtight container to keep it in its best form until the picnic.
There you have it. Five delectable picnic recipes, all of which are time-friendly and uncomplicated to whip up!
If you get a chance to try any of them, we’d love to know how they went down. Leave us a comment with your feedback, and feel free to share your favourite picnic dishes with us too.