Grab a blanket, basket and hat – this season’s sun calls for relaxing picnics outdoors.
To accompany blissful weather, a change of scenery and mood-boosting music, we’ve got six picnic pointers to add easy to prepare food and drinks to your next park outing.
Avoid lugging big salad bowls and a bagful of ingredients to your next picnic. Instead, make your next outdoor afternoon a breeze with some pre-prepped salad jars.
Grab some mason jars from Home Avenue, choose a recipe, like a lavish caesar or Moroccan chickpea salad, and layer each of the ingredients inside. Think of it like a reverse salad – put your dressings and garnishes on the bottom, your heavier proteins or grains in the middle, and your leaves on top (so they don’t get soggy). When you’re about to serve, turn over the jar onto your plate or into a bowl and voila – you have a self-dressed salad!
Wash all the deliciousness down with some homemade iced tea packed full of seasonal fruity flavours. It’s a simple picnic addition that only takes minutes to prepare but will elevate the entire spread.
The key to a home-brewed iced tea is to choose a recipe that’s full of your favourite warm weather fruits. Apple and mint iced tea is a quick fruity fix you can pull together by first selecting a transportable jug from Hello Kitchen, then picking up your fresh fruit from Box Hill Fruit Market and your teabags and sparkling apple juice from Coles.
To make the tea, place your tea bags and half of your herbs into a big heat-proof jug, pouring in the hot water and letting it infuse for a couple of minutes. Then, take out the tea bags and mint, add your juice, fruit and remaining herbs, and pop your jug in the fridge, ready to be served over ice. Our top tip is to let it sit overnight in the fridge to ensure those flavours are fully infused.
Add a twist to your picnic with nutritious mini noodle boxes packed full of fresh veggies. Choose from popular noodles like vermicelli, udon or soba noodles, for a hearty and nutritious meal.
Select a show-stealing protein for your noodle dish, like spiced salmon, sticky teriyaki tofu, soy-glazed mushrooms or miso chicken, and then pair it with fresh produce from Amazing Vegies like broccolini, pickled carrot, avocado and edamame. When your noodles are tossed to perfection, divvy up the goodness into noodle boxes from Daiso and they are ready to pop into your picnic basket. Having separate boxes makes it super easy to eat, with less food likely to spill onto your blanket.
Skewers should not be confined to the barbecue. Use skewers to enjoy simple bite-sized doses of seasonal produce that are just as lovely to look at as they are to eat.
The trick to a good picnic skewer is to choose four or five ingredients to create a combination of complementary flavours. For example, if you’re after something more savoury you could make Caprese skewers with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. For something sweet, layer fresh strawberries, marshmallows and brownie bites, and drizzle with melted chocolate for an indulgently easy dessert.
Want to take your picnic to the next level? Delicious homemade picnic additions like spanakopita, rich quiches and hearty pies are a great way to do it, particularly because you have the freedom to fill them with whatever flavours tickle yours and your picnic guests’ fancy.
Spanakopita is a buttery vegetarian option that combines divine Mediterranean flavours. Pick up some fresh spinach and feta of your choice from Coles. You could also whip up a super simple batch of mini quiches made with premium short cut bacon from Welcome Butcher. More of a pie person? Try a home-made pie with fillings like chicken pesto or barbecued jackfruit. Whatever savoury centrepiece you choose, wrap it in foil once it’s out of the oven to keep it toasty warm.
Make sure you leave room (on the picnic blanket and in your tummy) for some sweet treats after lunch. While there’s nothing better than home-baked goodies, if you’re looking for a no-fuss option, consider a selection of delectable desserts from Selene’s Chocolate Bar or Bonbons Bakery, to really elevate your picnic.
The more bite-sized the better, that way you can try a few without having to bring utensils to cut them up. Think Portuguese tarts, mini cupcakes, macarons and slices. The secret to a good selection is a combination of different fillings and flavours, like chocolate, custard, cream and citrus.