Happy summer solstice! What better way to celebrate the official start of summer than by dining al fresco. Pay homage to the hottest season of the year with picnic food ideas that are fun, flavorful and carefree. Recruit some help in the kitchen to cut prep time in half so you can go outside, kick your shoes off and enjoy delicious picnic foods like these:
Considered by many the Italian answer to ratatouille, eggplant caponata is a great food to pack in your picnic basket. A wonderful blend of eggplant, tomatoes and herbs, caponata can be eaten cold, warm or at room temperature. It's best with a thick slice of crusty Italian bread.
Cold Cucumber Soup
Packing a chilled soup in a thermos is also a great picnic food idea. That's because they cool you off while satisfying your hunger for something delicious. Try this cold cucumber soup topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and diced red pepper.
Patatas Bravas (pictured up top)
When preparing food for a picnic it's always a good idea to bring along a vegan dish. Patatas bravas, which hails from Spain, consists of crispy baked potato chunks topped with a spiced tomato sauce. It can be served hot or cold.
Orecchiette with Arugula Pesto
Arugula pesto makes a satisfying dressing for tender orecchiette pasta (pictured up top). Adding a handful of kidney beans ups the protein factor and makes this pasta salad a great idea for a picnic.
Give a summer twist to this Italian classic with a touch of lavender. Paired with cherry juice and honey, the herb won't overpower the delicate mascarpone cream in this tempting tiramisu. Pack it up in small mason jars and you've got a travel-friendly dessert.
Hungry for more picnic food ideas? Feast your eyes on hundreds of flavorful dishes here.