We’re not going out on a limb here by declaring summer the perfect time for a picnic outing. And while there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a few Lunchables or Spam with Saltines on your way out, sometimes it’s nice to have a picnic that feels a little...well, nice. Those catered baskets cost more than we would spend on a real meal, and there’s no need to go to great expense when you can whip up simple, gourmet picnic items in about three minutes. For inspiration, see our suggestions below:
1. Combine equal parts vodka, juice (pick your favorite! we like white grape juice), and Sprite (or club soda or tonic water if you want it less sweet). To keep it cool without watering it down, you might want to add frozen fruit, like grapes or peaches.
2. Spike your lemonade! Make a refreshing lemon cocktail by combining ⅓ cup gin or vodka, 3.5 cups of club soda, and 4 teaspoons of lemon juice. (This makes 4 servings.) Adding a slice of cucumber to each glass is a nice touch, and if possible, try to add crushed ice shortly before serving. A scoop of lemon sorbet is another delicious option.
1. Make a simple sandwich of Gruyère topped with jam on ciabatta bread. Other excellent complements to Gruyère include honey or smoked ham with red peppers.
2. Spoon eggplant caponata or another jarred Mediterranean spread on crostini and top with anchovies, an olive, a baby tomato, or a tiny spoonful of tuna or feta cheese.
3. Mix finely chopped cornichons with mayonnaise and mustard and spread on a split baguette. Fill the baguette with slices of roast chicken.
4. For dessert, swirl jam with Greek-style yogurt to use as a tasty dip with sugar cookies.
Jun 15, 2011 - 03:31 PM