In most of the country, it’s bright, sunny and beautiful outside! We’re well into patio and picnic weather and there’s nothing more satisfying than spending time outdoors and appreciating the natural beauty we all have around us. That, paired with some great food and good company - what more can you ask for? Before the weather starts to get sweltering, swampy and unbearable, take advantage of the cool breezes and the warm sun. Head to a local park, throw down a sheet, bring some games, books or a speaker and enjoy life! Here are a few great Summer picnic recipes that are easy to make and easy to transport.
Savory Picnic Recipes
Fresh, light and flavorful, (and vegetarian friendly) this is a great choice of sandwich for a picnic!
- Sourdough Bread
- Fresh Tomatoes
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Salt & Pepper
- Balsamic Glaze
- You can buy pre-made pesto or make it yourself.
- Spread pesto on both bread slices.
- Top one slice of bread with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella, fresh basil, and arugula. Drizzle with balsamic reduction.
- Put second slice of bread on top.
- Cook in a panini press or grill pan until golden and the cheese is gooey.
Pairs well with Kettle Chip, Grapes, or Pretzels on the side.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Fresh, light and very flavorful, these are a restaurant favorite that make for a great, healthy option in the park.
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 5 ounces shiitake mushrooms stems discarded, caps finely diced
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 8 ounce can water chestnuts drained and finely diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/3 cup sliced green onions
- 1 head butter lettuce leaves separated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat up oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes. Use a spatula to break up the meat until mostly cooked through.
- Add the mushrooms and onion to the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger and water chestnuts. Cook for 1 more minute.
- Whisk together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil in a small bowl.
- Pour the sauce over the ground chicken mixture and toss to coat evenly.
- Sprinkle the green onions over the chicken mixture.
- Spoon the chicken into the lettuce leaves and serve.
Sweet Picnic Recipes
Cherry-Pistachio Tea Cakes
Dainty, fluffy and tasty, these tea cakes are the perfect summer sweet to take on a picnic.
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
- 2 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 12 to 24 medium cherries with stems
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- Pulse the pistachios, flour, baking powder and salt in a food processor until finely ground.
- Whisk the confectioners' sugar and eggs in a large bowl, then whisk in the pistachio mixture until just combined. Stir in the melted butter until just incorporated.
- Spoon 2 table spoons batter into each muffin cup. Bake until slightly puffed and just beginning to set, about 8 minutes. Place 1 or 2 cherries in the center of each cake and continue baking until the cakes feel springy and the edges are lightly browned, 10 to 12 more minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar.
Lemon drizzle slices
A great way to celebrate the sunshine is to infuse it into your flavors and who doesn’t agree that citrus just tastes like the sun?
For the cake
- ⅝ cups softened unsalted butter
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- ⅝ cups self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 lemon zest, finely grated
- 1 tbsp lemon curd
- 2 tbsp full-fat milk
For the drizzle topping
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- juice 1 lemon
For the feather icing
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- splash of yellow food colouring
- Heat the oven to 356F. Line a 20 x 20cm square baking tin with baking parchment.
- Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk, until pale, light and fluffy. Add the eggs and continue mixing. Add the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, lemon curd and milk, and mix with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Mix the sugar and lemon juice together and pour over the hot cake. Leave to cool in the tin. You can eat the cake as it is, or for a fancy finish, try making this feather icing.
- Mix the icing sugar with just enough water to give a runny, but not watery, icing. Put a small amount of icing in a separate bowl. Add a few drops of the food coloring to the icing until pale yellow. Spoon into a disposable icing bag.
- Remove the cake from the tin and peel off the baking parchment. Sit the cake on a wire rack over a baking tray. Spread the white icing over the top. Pipe thin lines of the coloured icing across the width of the cake. Use a cocktail stick to drag through the lines in opposite directions to create a feathered effect. Leave to set before cutting into slices.