When you want to eat outside but want to also go beyond al fresco dining, the picnic is the only thing that comes to mind. Largely a pastime that is loved by many but only practiced by the few, it’s somewhat lost its charm over the years. A lot of people still see it as the quintessential dining style for the spring and summer. However, on any given day when the sun is shining, you can go outside and enjoy yourself a spread. But what exactly is a picnic spread? It’s a kind of mix and match eating. There are a few key ingredients but you can add to your meal to make it unique. Here are a few ideas.
A club sandwich
Everyone enjoys a club sandwich. You have plenty of lean healthy meat, as well as fresh vegetables in every bite. Cook a fresh breast of turkey and take with you a choice of bread. You have the sourdough white bloomer, the French baguette, a Welsh tiger loaf, a wholemeal New York bun and classic thick wedge cut loaves to name a few. Take a small bowl of rough cut streaky bacon bits with you. Bag a fresh head of lettuce. Cut up some tomatoes and pick American cheese or gruyere which are both excellent for sandwiches. Allow your guests to put however much bacon they want and add to their sandwich with the salad. For extra sides, you could have chopped up red onion and a selection of condiments such as mayonnaise, chili mayo, and honey mustard.
A taste of comfort
Yes, even in picnic dining there are comfort foods to choose from. One of the best is the humble pretzel. This is a food that can be added to remarkably well. Gourmet pretzels from Eastern Standard Provisions are the perfect chewy textured canvas from which to work on. Use their various toppings such as sea salt, chili salt, truffle salt or a mixed bag of spices. You can also have honey mustard dip with pretzels which naturally balance out the spice from the mustard seeds. The great thing is, they will deliver straight to your door. So plan ahead and spot when your neighborhood will be blessed with a sunny day and order your basket of soft pretzels and salts. Feel free to contact them and ask them what kind of sides would go well with their recipe.
A cold Italian
Cold pasta is very flexible as you can pretty much add anything to do. Start off with a base. Coat your cold pasta in chili mayonnaise and prepare your extras. Cook some peas, corn and white beans and place them in their own bowls or containers. Take chopped pieces of pancetta with you as well, because, who doesn’t love bacon? Add a little Mediterranean to your cold pasta spread, with olives, tomatoes, red onions, little mozzarella balls and garlic mushrooms.
A picnic spread gives everyone a choice and that means more people are satisfied. So the next time you see the sun shining, take your picnic basket outside, sit on the warm grass and enjoy one of these spreads.
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