5 Perfect Picnic Foods for Summer

Kim Conte
Food & Party
7

picnic basketPicnics are definitely one of the best parts of summer. But dining alfresco takes a bit of planning and finesse.

The menu is a key element of a good picnic: Food must travel well and be easy to eat. Here are our favorite foods to bring on a picnic. (Now, all you need is for the weather to cooperate.)

A European-style picnic is oh-so-romantic! All you need is a fresh baguette; good, quality cheese; sliced, cured meat (like prosciutto or Serrano ham); grapes; a bottle of wine; sparkling water; and a few squares of dark chocolate. Just don't forget the corkscrew and cheese knife!

Potato salad is classic American picnic food. We are in love with this heavenly version from our friends at Kitchen Daily -- Potato Salad With Bacon-Ranch Dressing. Serve with watermelon and chocolate brownies, and you've got yourself a top-notch picnic!

For something different, why not go Middle Eastern? Here's how: Choose a loaf of fresh-baked artisan bread; stock up at the olive bar at your local supermarket; and pair with your favorite flavor of hummus and good-quality feta cheese.

Sandwiches are a popular picnic item -- as long as they don't get soggy. We like grilled eggplant and goat cheese spread on a baguette; chicken salad served in a pita; or turkey wraps with avocado and bacon. And if you must have lettuce and tomato on your sandwich? Just pack in a separate container and add right before eating. No utensils needed! Serve with lemonade.

When in doubt, cold fried chicken and beer always hit the spot. Just be sure to buy cans of a high-end variety (Guinness is a good one); they travel much better than bottles. And for dessert? You can't go wrong with fruit salad.

Now that your food line-up is complete, check out how to dress up your picnic with adorable vintage decor.

What do you like to bring on a picnic?


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