What I love most about Italian dining is the simplicity of the recipes, the rich flavors, mouth-watering desserts and of course, the Prosecco.
You can choose to prepare a full-blown feast or a simple fare that can be picked up at your local deli.
Let’s get this movable feast on the road. I made you a freebie printable shopping picnic checklist to download at the bottom.
SETTING THE SCENE
Firstly, choose your location. An olive grove in Tuscany? A Dolce Gabbana inspired affair in Sicily? A rocky little beach soiree in Postiano?
If you don’t have time to pop over to Italy this weekend, why not head to your favorite beach, park, river, private garden, on top of a mountain, or in the comfort of your own backyard.
THE CLASSIC ITALIAN PICNIC MENU
The antipasto platter is the centerpiece of Alfresco dining.
- Choose your cheese- Pecorino + Parmigiano Reggiano + Manchego + fresh Mozzarella . Why not add brie +camembert
- Cured meats- prosciutto, speck + salami + mortadella
- Pitted black Olives
- Fresh cut vegetables – carrots + celery + cucumber +
- Fresh fruit – cantalope melon + water-melon- figs+ pears + peaches + strawberries + cherries + passionfruit.
- Nut mix
- Italian bread rolls, pana di casa +focaccia
- Savoury tarts or quiche from the local bakery. Heat just before you leave home.
That’s your antipasto platter wrapped up.
The easiest way to perfect an Italian antipasto platter is to follow the layout of an amazing platter. You can even print it and use it as a shopping list.
- A simple salad or 2
- Savory tarts or quiche from your local bakery. Heat just before you leave home.
- Two simple picnic sandwiches or baguettes wrapped, tied with twine.
- Individual kids lunch boxes are fun and practical, you can tailor them to suit food requirements, and let the kids take care of themselves.
- Classic tiramisu.
- Amalfi lemon syllabub.
- Chocolate and hazelnut meringue semifreddo.
- Passion fruit panna cotta.
- Affogato chocolate mousse.
In colder months, a bottle of red wine is warming, gratifying and oh so delightful when paired with cheese. A summer picnic, however, requires a light juicy, refreshing red, which dances on the pallet with lovely fruit flavors. Note- A summer wine must not be too robust, you don’t want it overpowering the character of the food. Place it in your cooler with the other drinks to keep it chilled. Some suggestions-
- Prosecco (light and dry)
- Rosé (light and dry)
- Valpolicella and Bardolino (So good with pizza)
Now you are ready to host an Italian picnic! Buon Appetito!
The Picnic Basket
A picnic baskets set the mood for alfresco dining. They house your cutlery and crockery, utensils and your Italian feast.
A cooler box or bag
I like to freeze bottled water, it keeps them icy cold and helps keep the Prosecco chilled longer.
The best picnic blankets have a waterproof backing to keep you dry from damp surfaces. I use at least 2 if there are more than 2 people. Check out these beautiful options.
I love lawn chairs, they add a certain beach charm from a bygone era. And if you have older family members joining you, they’ll love the luxury of a lawn chair.
A table or two
If you have space in your car bring a lightweight folding table. I love these Ikea tables. It really sets the scene and keeps the food sand, bug, and grass free.
Pop up tent for the kids. I bring my $29 pop-up tent. Its lightweight requires no skill to assemble, gives kids their own unique space, and creates a sense of adventure. Lay a picnic blanket inside, scatter some cushions, and let the fun begin.
WEATHER CHECK+ THE BACKUP PLAN.
A splendid picnic seems rather straightforward; a beautiful location, your moveable feast, a pretty blanket, and friends. However, there are various aspects to pulling off a picnic that one needs to consider and the weather is one of them.
Once you’ve selected your picnic spot, you need a backup plan.
- A light shower can always be managed with umbrellas. Bring some old towels to dry off wet areas and a waterproof backed picnic blankets in case the ground is damp.
- Check the 5-day forecast, if it looks like a downpour, re-schedule your picnic.
- If the picnic date can’t be rescheduled, you need another location to fall back on with undercover weather protection.
- And always bring a coat or long sleeve top.
Happy Picnicking everyone below is your freebie checklist I hope you like it 🙂PICKNIC-1