Easy Picnic Ideas for Summer

picnic basket

The heat is on. Picnics are in. Let’s get packing. Like every home cook with their own signature dish, we’ve been perfecting ours in lockdown. Here are some Picnic ideas for your basket.

Pasta Salad

Cool, refreshing and colourful, this dish enlivens our palates.

Ingredients:
(Serves 4)

Pasta Salad
Photo by Olivia Strazzeri
  • 8 ounces of farfalle
  • ½ cucumber, diced in quarters
  • 2 radishes, thinly-sliced
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and cut in halves
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method:

  • Prepare dressing in a small bowl by whisking together extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Boil large pot of water and cook pasta al dente.
  • Combine chopped cucumber, red onion, radishes, and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl.
  • Drain pasta well and let cool to room temperature.
  • Add pasta into the large bowl along with the vegetables and dressing.
  • Gently toss the ingredients together and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and top with crumbled feta cheese and halved olives.

Pro Tip: You can also add Italian salami and substitute feta cheese with bocconcini.

Caprese Sandwich

Essential considerations when planning a picnic are, “Can I eat this and not get my hands dirty?” and, “Does this require a lot of packaging and assembling?” Keep things simple!

Caprese Sandwich
Photo by Olivia Strazzeri
Named after the island of Capri, this popular antipasto features the colours of the Italian flag: green, white and red; and sings of the flavours of Italy.

Ingredients:
(Serves 4)

  • 1 rustic Italian baguette
  • 1 handful of basil
  • 1 whole heirloom tomato
  • 200 grams of prosciutto, thinly sliced (about 6 slices per sandwich)
  • 8 ounces of fior di latte mozzarella
  • 1 tbsp pesto or sun-dried tomato paste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

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  • Toast ½ inch thick slices of bread
  • Gently drizzle extra virgin olive oil on one slice of toast. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
  • On the other slice of toast generously spread pesto or sun-dried tomato paste.
  • Slice tomato and mozzarella.
  • Layer basil and tomato on the olive oil-drizzled toast, and prosciutto and cheese on the pesto.
  • Combine into sandwich and enjoy!

Pro Tip: You can also enjoy this with focaccia bread and grilled or roasted vegetables.

Vodka Berry Cocktail

What’s a picnic without a refreshing cocktail? How about something fragrant and flavourful?

Cocktail
Photo by Olivia Strazzeri
Ingredients:
(Serves 4)

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 ½ cups ice
  • 1 whole lime (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 4 cups club soda

Method:

  • Slice strawberries in half and combine with raspberries and blueberries in a small bowl.
  • Muddle the berries together and add in sugar.
  • Chop mint into large pieces and set aside in small bowl.
  • Freshly squeeze lime into ramekin.
  • Combine the muddled fruit, vodka, ice, club soda, mint, and lime juice together in a large pitcher.
  • Garnish with a few extra fresh mint leaves, wedge of lime, serve and enjoy!

Pro Tip: Prepare this drink ahead of time and store in the fridge (minus the ice) until ready to be served.

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