8 Perfect Picnic Dishes ...

Finally it’s summer (although those in the UK may wonder if it will last the three months it’s supposed to). On a sunny day, it’s fun to take a picnic out and enjoy dining al fresco. Of course, by picnic I don’t mean soggy sandwiches and dull salad. Here are some tasty dishes to pack for an outdoors feast.

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Tarts are perfect picnic fare, being easily transportable. I have personally taste-tested this fantastic recipe and can vouch for how gorgeous these little tartlets are. Red onions cooked in balsamic vinegar, topped with goat’s cheese … mmmmmm ……

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Tomato and basil go together like … well, two things that go together well. I personally don’t like olives, so I’d leave those out of the tapenade, but you can suit yourself! It’s advised to pack the toppings separately and spread on the bread (ha! I’m a poet!) when you’re ready to eat. This avoids soggy bread.

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If your idea of salad is limp lettuce and tomato, try this roasted aubergine salad instead. Roasting vegetables always brings out the tastes, and this dish will be bursting with Mediterranean flavors.

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Carrot and coriander is another classic combination - try soup in winter. This being summer, make a batch of these savory muffins. They’ll disappear in no time.

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Dips are great for picnics – imagine dunking that bruschetta into this. Here is a twist on the old favorite, hummus. Add seeds, shallots and spices, and your hummus will rock that picnic table!

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This recipe is intended to be served freshly cooked, but I think it would also work well as a cold dish. If cold noodles sounds revolting, I can assure you they aren’t. Give it a go!

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Naturally, you have to finish off your picnic with something sweet. A lifelong favorite of mine is flapjack. It’s nice enough plain, but you can add all sorts of things to vary the basic recipe. One of the options here is dried apricots and honey – yummy!

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Not just your average fruit salad here! If you want something lighter, this is perfect. Don’t worry about the wine, the alcohol content evaporates so you are just left with the flavor.

I hope you’re inspired to pack a picnic now and try out some unusual ideas? What is your foolproof picnic dish?

Top Photo Credit: VMG 2010

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