10 Ideas for Celebrating International Picnic Day on June 18
Picnics have come a long way since Édouard Manet shocked the world with his painting of two scantily-clad women and their (fully-dressed) companions dining al fresco in Le déjeuner sur l'herbe. Today, picnics often conjure thoughts of gingham, egg-salad sandwiches, teacakes—and, if you’re not lucky, a herd of hungry ants.
June 18 is International Picnic Day, and we’ve got some ideas to freshen up your outdoor festivities—however tame or scandalous. Tradition only suggests that your picnic be potluck if possible. So invite your friends or co-workers to join you for an outdoor lunch that celebrates the ‘international’ in International Picnic Day. Here are some ideas to explore:
1) Samosas. These Indian pockets are packed with flavor and they’re totally portable. Here’s a short primer to get you started.
2) Smoked Trout Sandwiches. Kiss tuna goodbye. Add a few slices of avocado or arugula if you want to get fancy. Here’s an even fancier recipe.
3) Russian Beet & Potato Salad. Take the classic up a notch in taste and color by adding roasted or boiled beets. Your friends will be tickled pink.
4) Involtini. These Italian wraps will have you in amore in no time. Prepare them easily on site for an added va-va-voom. Cheese-stuffed Bresaola or Prosciutto for the meat-lovers, thinly sliced grilled eggplant for the vegetarians.
5) Chicken Satay Skewers. Almost nothing beats fried chicken at a picnic but chicken satay comes close. Remember, peanut sauce is essential. Both recipes here.
6) Onigiri. These rice balls (or triangles or squares or prisms) are a staple of Japanese cuisine—and it’s easy to see why. They are one of the oldest Japanese foods (samurais are said to have stored them for pre-battle snacks), but you don’t need to be a sushi master to make them (or a warrior to eat them).
7) Elote. Doused in mayonnaise, cojita cheese, and ancho chili, grilled Mexican corn on the cob can be a meal in itself. Bring along some sliced limes to zest on the spot.
8) Stuffed Grape Leaves. Make your own or pick up a can—with these rolled treats, there’s no shame in premade and they’re nearly as good.
9) Watermelon and Feta. Add a fresh spin to this classic summer fruit with crumbled feta. If you’re feeling ambitious, serve it as a minty salad.
10) Quiche. Serve this classic French savory pie and you’ll be transported to the Bois de Boulogne with Manet—or at least Julia Child.
Photo via (cc) Wikipedia Commons