Summer Recipes for the Perfect Picnic

Recipes for the Perfect Picnic

Summertime typically means sunshine -- perfect picnic weather! Be aware that not all summer-friendly foods make perfect picnic food, though do some work better than others. It's a good idea to ensure what foods will and won't work for your picnic, and make sure your outdoor dining practices are safe ones.

I have put together this recipe collection of summer foods to make a perfect picnic, now all we need is for the sun to shine.

  • 01 of 09
    Wine, fruit, cheese and bread at picnic
    Wine, fruit, cheese and bread at picnic. Getty Images/David Buffington

    If you are planning a picnic with friends or your sweetie, there are a few tips that may be worth bearing in mind before you set off.  Always better to be safe than sorry.

  • 02 of 09
    Tomato gazpacho
    Tomato gazpacho. Getty Images/Philippe Desnerck

    Summer soup recipes are wonderful but on a warm, summers' day what could be lovelier than a bowl of cold soup. Cold soup recipes make perfect and elegant starters for a dinner and really shine for outdoor eating and especially at picnics and barbecues. as they can easily be carried in a flask and sipped from a glass.

  • 03 of 09
    Mother preparing for lunch in park,close up
    Getty Images/sot

    Salads are always fabulous picnic food. Pack them in an airtight box, a couple of forks and away you go.

    For example, warm asparagus salad is suitable for a simple outdoor meal. Use fresh asparagus when in season or available. This asparagus salad recipe is filled with the best of summer vegetables, peas, beans, and rocket (known as arugula here in the States). If you can't find any of the ingredients, just use whatever strikes your fancy.

    A bean and tomato salad as well is colorful,...MORE nutritious, and is so easy to make. It is lovely served alongside cold meats, quiche or simply on its own. If you can't find fresh thyme, don't worry. Try fresh basil instead

  • 04 of 09
    Tuscan-tomato-tart-1.jpg
    Summer Tomato Tart. Elaine Lemm

    Pastry-based tarts are a wonderful picnic food. Wrap carefully in foil or place in Tupperware and you're off.

    This Summer Tomato Tart is the perfect tomato tart recipe when you have lots of fresh, fragrant tomatoes in the garden. Served cold, it goes really well in a lunch box or as picnic food.

    For some optional pizzazz, decorate the tart with salty, canned anchovies and a few black olives.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    Roasted Chicken
    Roasted chicken with lemon and garlic. Getty Images/GMVozd

    Cold, cooked chicken is always a great ingredient for the picnic basket. Hot or cold, chicken keeps its flavor so what could be better? There are many delicious recipes, but this Lemon Roast Chicken recipe is perfect cooked, cooled and then carved and packed for the basket.

    Another great is classic British dish Coronation Chicken. Coronation chicken was designed for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II as a representation of the then colonial nature of the British Empire and includes fruit,...MORE curry, and mayonnaise

  • 06 of 09

    Old British Favorites for a Picnic Basket

    Picnic Laid Out On Cloth Creative RM By: MIB Pictures View similar images RM Scotch eggs on white plate Scotch eggs
    Scotch eggs. Getty Images/Joy Skipper

    No British picnic basket would be complete without a few of the old favorites. It's as if these recipes were designed for a picnic basket -- they are so well suited to being transported and eaten cold outdoors.

  • 07 of 09
    Bowl of Eton mess on table
    Bowl of Eton mess on table. Getty Images/William Reavell

    As the story goes: Eton Mess was traditionally served at Eton College but how it came to have the name is not clear but the story is a Labrador dog sat on a picnic basket in the back of a car and squashed a strawberry and meringue dessert. So as this dessert is already "squashed", it is great for a picnic -- no one has to worry about the dish being messed up!

    The dessert is quick and easy to make and makes great use of ripe strawberries at the height of summer when they are plentiful....MORE Frozen or canned strawberries don't work

  • 08 of 09
    Jam tarts
    Jam tarts. Getty Images/Philippe Desnerck

    Jam tarts are great for novice bakers. The recipe is so easy -- just a little pastry and jam or, for lemon tarts, using lemon curd. Pack some into a little box and they are such a great picnic snack treat.

    Another great sweet food is a box of tasty flapjack. Traditional Flapjack is one of the quickest, easiest, and importantly cheap baked goods to make. This traditional flapjack recipe is delicious, and there are plenty of possible variations.

    Note: British Flapjack is not the same as an...MORE American flapjack, which is more of a pancake.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    Glass of Pimms' with cut fruit
    Glass of Pimms with cut fruit. Getty Images/Jennifer Deacon

    Beverages are, of course, important. It's your choice if those drinks are alcoholic or not as it will depend on the time, occasion and who is present.

    One of the most refreshing, non-alcoholic drinks for the summer and spot on for a picnic is an Elderflower Cordial. Elderflower Cordial is quick and easy to make when the flowers are in season (and it's a great excuse for a long walk collecting flowers).

    Pimm's is the quintessential summer drink in the UK -- it brings the scents of...MORE summer, parties, picnics and Wimbledon together.