Spring picnic preparation tips
Finger food or fork food? Room temp or chilled? However you like to pack a picnic, we have your menu covered. We've tossed together these moveable feasts with our Food Editor Lucy Kelly and her real-life tips to ensure an easy, enjoyable picnic. Roll up your sleeves and dig into some of our best al fresco recipes with Lucy’s top tips to pack the perfect picnic.
1. Carry wet ingredients separately
Add ingredients like a tomato just before eating so the sandwiches don't go soggy. If you prefer, toast the bread and allow the toast to cool before wrapping separately in foil. This will prevent the toast from sweating and going soggy.
2. Bring warm food
Cook roasted vegetables or a warm pasta salad just before leaving on the picnic, wrap in a layer of foil and a couple of tea towels and serve warm or at room temperature. The same goes with tarts, quiches, and frittatas, as these can be enjoyed both warm or cold.
3. Pack your salad leaves separately
Salad leaves are best tossed with salad dressings when you get to your picnic, as the leaves will wilt and go soggy. We suggest storing the salad leaves in an airtight container in a cool bag, and the dressing either in a separate bottle or screw-top jar. It's easy to toss the salad just before serving, you don't have to do everything in advance.
4. Pack a BBQ chicken
BBQ chicken is delicious served warm or cold in salads, sandwiches or rolls. It's a good idea to cut the chicken before leaving on the picnic, as it can get a little messy, especially if you forget the serrated knife. Cut the chicken into pieces, and store in an airtight container. All you'll have to do when you get there is toss it through the salad or put it on a bread roll.
5. Homemade cakes and biscuits
They are always a lovely finale to a picnic lunch. Make these yummy treats in advance and pack them into an airtight container.
6. Finish with fruit
Remember that most fruit can be cut up ahead of time and stored in an airtight container. Apples and pears have a tendency to brown after being cut but prevent this by tossing them with a tablespoon of lemon juice. It's best to store berries in a separate airtight container and toss them with the other fruits when you are ready to serve, as they can bruise easily. Don't forget the bowls and spoons!
Whatever you choose to make or bring, remember picnics are about enjoying the great outdoors with delicious food, friends, and family so why not pack in the frisbee or soccer ball.