Dining Al Fresco: Three Outdoor Recipes for Summer

By Shilpa Uskokovic / Photography By Shilpa Uskokovic | Last Updated May 10, 2018
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Eating outdoors 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.

Watermelon Berry Frose

Watermelon Berry Frose recipe
These fun, fruity drinks will thaw out just enough by the time you get to your picnic destination. You could substitute raspberries for the strawberries or do a combination of both.

Samosa Pies with Cilantro-Mint Chutney

Lamb Samosa Pies with Cilantro-Mint Chutney
I shudder at the very thought of deep-frying in my kitchen and so this recipe was born. It’s pretty much a traditional Indian samosa, just shaped and baked like a hand pie. The real star here is the...

Corn and Coconut Cookies

Corn and Coconut Cookies recipe
This cookie is inspired by my memory of the very first time I tasted corn in a dessert. It was in Singapore, in the basement of a shopping mall, on a hot, sticky afternoon. I picked out the...

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