Spring is here and most of us are itching to get outside to enjoy the greenery and the warm weather. With all of the fresh flavours that come with spring, there’s no better way to celebrate the season than with a picnic in the park or even in your own backyard.
Creating a delicious picnic can be a challenge though, especially if you’re stuck in a sandwich rut. Here are some spring food ideas to inspire you and impress whoever is lucky enough to come along for the picnic.
Fresh Summery Salads
I love a good picnic salad. The trick with making a picnic-worthy salad is to find a recipe that is made with sturdy ingredients that won’t wilt or go soggy with transport and to avoid anything like mayonnaise that can’t sit out in the sun. Oil and vinegar-based pasta or potato salads work well, as do non-creamy slaws or anything with a hardier green like kale or spinach. Grain-based salads that rely on quinoa or wheat berries and vegetables like beans or carrots also make for good picnicking.
Local fruit isn’t quite as plentiful in springtime as it is in the summer months, but there’s no harm in buying imported fruit as it comes into stores to get your fix. Fruit is great in that it’s portable and doesn’t usually require any preparation, but if you’d like, make a simple fruit salad, dressed with something simple like lemon and honey.
Quiche shouldn’t be left out in the sun for long, but if you’re not travelling a long distance, it’s the perfect spring lunchtime food and great in that it can be made ahead and eaten cold. This time of year there’s no better way to go than a quiche made with fresh asparagus. Try this recipe for inspiration.
Yes, a plain ham and cheese sandwich is boring and unappetizing, but take your sandwiches to the next level by using artisanal bread, high end cold cuts or sandwich fillings and deli cheeses. Pita wraps are another good sandwich alternative, especially when stuffed with chicken and fresh veggies or homemade falafel patties.
Hand pies are the perfect picnic food because you can literally eat them with your hands. Go savoury with something like these tasty butter chicken hand pies or save your hand pies for dessert, making turnover versions of your favourite apple, cherry or berry pie.
Homemade granola bars
Homemade granola bars are so much more delicious than the packaged versions and they also make for a portable picnic snack. They’re easy to make and something kids can grab before they run off to play in the park.
Fried chicken is the ultimate traditional picnic food for good reason — it takes some time to prepare so it feels special, you can eat it with your hands, and it tastes just as good cold as it does hot.
The best part of spring is that you don’t need an excuse to drink iced tea or lemonade. Make your own and pack it in a large thermos to keep it cool.