Dining Al Fresco: Three Outdoor Recipes for Summer
Eating outside is inexplicably charming during the warmer months–finding a patch of grass and laying down a blanket turns even the most mundane sandwich into a thing of beauty. This summer, round up some friends, pack your picnic basket, and throw in some good books or games for good measure. I’ve curated your perfect afternoon.
This menu is designed for about six people. Everything can be made a day or more ahead and nothing requires utensils to eat. I suggest rounding out the meal with some fresh vegetables and fruits to pick at your leisure. Radishes, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, young carrots, cherries, berries or stone fruit from the farmers market are all great choices. As a veteran of picnics, I’ve learned to always pack lots of water, a plastic bag for trash and a roll of kitchen towel to mop up messes and sticky fingers.
In Queens, my favorite spots for a picnic are along the water. Rainey Park and Socrates Sculpture Park are mostly calm and have great expanses of grass. If, like me, your idea of nature is more along the lines of a concrete jungle, LIC Landing is a fabulous spot. There are chairs and tables and not too many bugs and squirrels. Roosevelt Island is also a fantastic getaway, though the squirrels there do tend to have a strong personality.