The Makings of a Good Picnic

Complexity is not necessary.

The Makings of a Good Picnic

A picnic can take on many forms. It doesn’t require anything complex to make a good picnic, but it does necessitate good food. Here are some of my picnic favorites along with a recipe for pistachio pesto - this is something you can make a batch of, take some for a picnic, and freeze the rest for later. It’s a very refreshing and light pesto recipe (if that’s possible), as there’s no cheese or garlic and is great with radishes as pictured, spread on a sandwich or crostini with goat cheese, topping grilled chicken, tossed into pasta or chopped tomato and fresh corn kernels…there are many possibilities to explore (as always when it comes to food). 

Some necessities of a good picnic options (feel free to mix-n-match, throw together into a sandwich, etc.):

  • Baguette
  • Cheese(s)
  • Dried sausage, prosciutto, or smoked salmon
  • Pickles
  • Crudité: Radishes, cucumber, carrot, etc.
  • Dip for crudité such as pistachio pesto or hummus
  • Deconstructed caprese salad (bring tomato, mozzarella, olive oil/vinegar, basil and put together when you arrive)
  • Fresh fruit
  • Potato salad
  • Curried chicken salad (the curry-ing is not necessary, but it’s my favorite way to have it)
  • Rose wine, white wine, or beer 
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Mason jars for wine
  • A few napkins or paper towels
  • Forks if needed
  • Picnic blanket
  • A pleasant environment (doesn’t have to be perfect, just pleasant)

Pistachio Pesto (unintentionally vegan)

  • 1 cup raw pistachios, chopped
  • 1 bunch basil, chopped (I’ve also made it with sage and it turned out well)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt

To Prepare:

  1. In a food processor, blend the pistachio with basil until coarsely ground. Add olive oil until a paste is formed, then blend in lemon juice and salt. Water, olive oil, or lemon juice (depending on which direction you want to take the flavor) may be added until your desired texture is reached.