Whole U Picnic

5 Quick Recipes for a Picnic

Posted on by Chiara Iacoviello. This entry was posted in Eating Well and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Picnics are the best. These open-air outings bring together all the things I love the most: family, friends, good food, and the great outdoors. Whether it’s at a park, on the beach, or in my own backyard, there’s nothing better than enjoying the scenery while eating and lounging on a blanket.

I like to get outside and enjoy the good weather without spending hours in the kitchen. So, here are a few quick recipes for our picnic or anytime you feel like eating al fresco.


Caprese con Mozzarella di Bufala (serves 4)

4 ripe large tomatoes

4 balls mozzarella di bufala

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

20 fresh basil leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cut the tomatoes and mozzarella balls into 1/4-inch slices.
  2. Layer alternate rows of tomatoes and mozzarella on a serving plate.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Scatter the basil leaves on top of the salad.


Prosciutto e Melone (serves 4)

1 ripe melon

12 slices of Prosciutto di Parma

  1. Halve a ripe melon and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into 5 or 6 slices, and remove the flesh from the rind of the melon.
  2. Wrap each piece of melon with a slice of the ham. Serve cold.


Roasted Red Peppers with Capers (serves 6)

8 large red bell peppers

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, cut into thick slivers

¼ cup capers

parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat the broiler. Arrange the peppers on a baking sheet, and broil, turning often, until they have darkened and collapsed, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover tightly with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Peel the peppers and remove the stalk, seeds, and filaments. Cut the peppers into 1-inch-wide strips and transfer to a bowl. Add the olive oil garlic, capers, and parsley. Season with salt and turn gently to coat.
  3. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour to bring out the flavors. Serve with bread or crostini.


Cheese and Charcuterie platter (serving size varies) 

  1. Cheese: Pick one from each category:
  • Fresh: Ricotta, Mozzarella di Bufala, Chèvre
  • Soft: Brie, Camembert
  • Firm: Cheddar, Gouda, Manchego, Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Blue-veined: Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Fourme D’Ambert
  1. Charcuterie: Pick two from each category:
  • Dry-cured meats (sliced paper-thin): Prosciutto (Italian ham), Bresaola (Italian cured and aged beef), Coppa (Italian cured pork shoulder), Jamon Serrano (Spanish ham)
  • Dry-cured sausages: Chorizo, Rosette de Lyon, Soppressata, Saucisson Sec
  1. Breads: sliced baguette, walnut bread, crackers, crostini or flatbreads
  1. Jams and chutneys: fig preserve, quince paste, apple and berry chutneys, or honey
  1. Fruits and nuts: grapes, sliced apples, sliced pears, dried or fresh figs, almonds, or walnuts


Watermelon and Feta Cheese Salad (by my colleague Thomas Thorpe) (serves 3-4)

3 cups of seeded, cubed watermelon

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

drizzle of Champagne Vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place the watermelon, feta, and parsley in a large bowl and mix.
  2. Drizzle a little champagne vinegar, 1 to 2 tablespoons. Add salt and pepper to taste.


What’s your favorite recipe for outdoor dining? Let me know in the comments!