Fustini's Oils and Vinegars

Your Guide to Planning the Perfect Summer Picnic


Summertime is a great time for eating, al fresco. Outdoor dining can be a unique way of entertaining a group of people or just yourself. Whether you prefer a front porch, a back deck, a neighborhood park or a hiking trail, there are a lot of places and spaces you can set up camp for a delightful picnic. 

Outdoor picnics can be an easy, low-stress way to get together with friends and family. Who cares if your house is clean if you’ll just be spending time outside? It’s a perfect way to get outside, enjoy nature and spend time with people you care about. 

Whether picnics are totally your thing or you’re new to the whole outdoor dining concept, planning a summer picnic doesn’t need to be stressful. The fact that it’s eating outside puts way less pressure on the overall presentation and logistics of having the perfect plate. Yet even in eating outside, you can enjoy some truly savory and delicious dishes that help celebrate the season. 

Savor the summer season by heading out for a picnic. To help you plan and enjoy the experience, here we share some best practices and helpful tips in planning an outside picnic in the summer. Then, get cooking with some great recipe ideas to spark your own creative inspiration for your picnic spread. 

Tips for Planning the Perfect Summer Picnic

When you think of the ideal picnic, perhaps images of a perfectly laid red and white checkered blanket, a wicker basket, seamlessly wrapped sandwiches and a plate full of fresh grapes come to mind. While that may certainly be your ideal vision of a picnic, enjoying a summer picnic does not need to be that perfectly put together. Make your picnic spread how you like it. To help you get started, here we share some tips and tricks in planning the menu and setting for your summer picnic. 

Prep Your Food 

Especially if you’re out on a hike and stop for a picnic, the last thing you probably want to be doing is spreading dripping jelly on slices of bread. Instead, do as much prep work as you can before you head out for your outdoor adventure. Make your sandwiches. Pack up that sliced cheese. Toss those crackers in a bag. That way, when you get to your destination, you can focus on enjoying the moment. 

Keep Foods Cold if Needed 

Even in the hot summer sun, you can still enjoy that chilled fruit or cole slaw. Just remember to keep those dishes in a cooler with a few ice packs to keep in cold until you’re ready to eat. Keeping perishable foods and those that spoil easily cold as effectively as possible can help you prevent some dishes from becoming dangerously warm, too much for safe eating. It may also be beneficial to bring separate bags - one for cold food items and another for everything else. 

Don’t Forget the Utensils 

You’ve made your perfect pasta salad for your outdoor get-together only to realize you’ve forgotten the forks. Help everyone be able to enjoy your prized dish by remembering to pack forks, spoons, knives, napkins and plates. Depending on what kind of beverages you’re bringing, you may also want to pack a sleeve or two of cups as well. 

Be Conscious of Your Environment

As you bring those disposable tableware, be conscious of your garbage. Bring trash bags to be able to dispose of your garbage properly without littering around the park or hiking trail. 

Incorporate Other Fun Activities 

Especially if your picnic setting is at a park or backyard, you can incorporate other exciting games and activities into your get-together. Take a ride on the swings. Toss a few bags in a corn hole game. Enjoy the time with friends and family with some friendly competition and activity. 

Keep the Pests Away

Everyone likes the chicken salad on croissants you brought. Including the ants. Keep the critters and insects away from your picnic spread by covering food when not being served and stored when the meal is wrapped up. 

Plan Your Picnic With Inspiration of These Recipes 

When it comes to planning a menu for your picnic, the opportunities are endless. From sandwiches to salads to dips and spreads and so much more, you can customize a picnic menu that suits the preferences of you and your guests. To help spark some ideas for your own picnic spread, here we share some delightful recipes perfect for summer outdoor dining. 

Caprese Prosciutto Sandwich - Blend in the classic caprese flavors with the addition of prosciutto in this easy and flavor-packed sandwich that’s great for on the go. 

Summer Pasta Salad - Toss in just about all the veggies you might have on hand and enjoy this pasta salad amplified with a splash of Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar and Basil Olive Oil

California Kale Citrus Salad - Bring some greens and fruit together in this perfect summer salad. Swap out citrus fruits to make it just how you like. 

Jalapeño Lime Coleslaw - Spice up your coleslaw by adding a lime dressing that incorporates Jalapeño Lime Balsamic Vinegar

Beefsteak Veggie Sandwich - With tomato season in full swing, this veggie and tomato sandwich can be the perfect addition to a picnic. This recipe also includes some pickled onions using a Vinoso Wine Vinegar. The may is also packed with flavor, using whole grain mustard, Rosemary Garlic Agrodolce and a Thyme Balsamic Vinegar.

Asian Blackberry Chicken Wrap - Bring in a Thai flavor into your chicken wraps with this fun and flavorful wrap. The dressing incorporates great flavors like the Asian Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar and sweetened with a couple tablespoons of honey.  

Broccoli Slaw with Ginger Honey Dressing - Bring in a pop of sweetness with a slaw made with a dressing of Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and Ginger and Honey Balsamic Vinegar.

Savor Summer with a Picnic

A summer picnic can be a great opportunity to get outside and spend time with people you care about. Gathered around great food, a summer picnic spread comes with a lot of versatility as you can make each component your own. Celebrate the summer season by dining al fresco, packing a picnic and spending time with others or by yourself. 




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