picnic fun times!

While in New York, I plan on doing a lot of picnic eating. Picnic eating while traveling is a lot different from picnic eating while at home. While traveling, it usually involves picking up something readymade like a $3 Bánh mì sandwich and finding a shady spot under a tree or on a park bench. Usually, it’s a stop at a deli for cheese, sausage and bread. To drink, I just fill up my Sigg bottle and that’s it. Simple, but delicious and probably made even more so because we’re in a new city, seeing new things and just being happy and relaxed. And I have to admit that picnics while traveling are usually also a cost-cutting measure because it’s usually cheaper to eat outside on your own accord than in a restaurant.

When I’m at home, I’ve got an old thrifted tin picnic basket, a pink and white old wool blanket to sit on and I like to have lots of variety in terms of food and drink. And there’s lots of friends involved which means more variety and lots of fun. I love picnics and while I’m looking forward to coming home to picnics with friends in local parks.

Here’s some of my favorite summer picnic salads. They’re all relatively quick to prepare and they can last without refrigeration for quite a while. All are vegetarian, most are vegan (or can easily be made so).

summer salads

Top row:
Colourful coleslaw | French-style carrot salad |Summer dill pasta salad

Middle row:
Simple potato salad with lemon & cumin | Roasted tomato pasta salad | Fresh corn & black bean salad

Bottom row:
Mixed bean salad | Green bean quinoa salad | Colourful chopped vegetable salad

Here are a few fantastic sounding salads by other food bloggers:
Broccoli salad with creamy sesame seed herb dressing over at So Good & Tasty
Zucchini & olive salad over at Dana Treat
Chickpea & raisin salad at Shutterbean

Do you have a favorite picnic salad? Share it with me in the comments below!

24 comments to “picnic fun times!”

  1. 1
    Susie Bee on Maui   June 28, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Oh My! Tasty looking food. One of our favorites that will likely make an appearance this coming holiday weekend is “Sunset Potato Salad”-no mayo.


  2. 2
    Katie   June 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Wow! This spread looks delicious. I’m looking forward to a lot of New York City picnics this summer, and I can’t wait to give some of these a try. I’m a sucker for a good potato salad!

  3. 3
    Alison @ Hospitality Haven   June 28, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I love salads in general, but one that I made recently is a roasted vegetable quinoa salad: http://lublink.org/alison/?p=1257

  4. 4
    renee@sweetsugarbean   June 28, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Picnics Rock! I’ve made your French style carrot salad and it rocks too!

  5. 5
    Maureen   June 29, 2011 at 4:53 am

    These salads are beautiful! I made cole slaw to go with ribs for dinner and I added some mandarin orange slices to it. It was great.

    Tomorrow is potato salad and I’m going to make a Vietnamese salad over the weekend.

  6. 6
    Meister @ The Nervous Cook   June 29, 2011 at 5:19 am

    Picnics are what summer is all about — especially New York in the summer!

    (One of my favorite quick & easy go-to picnic salads is slightly spiced conglomeration of raw shaved Brussels sprouts with black-eye peas, onion, and vinegar. Yum!

  7. 7
    Gretchen @ flowercityfoodie.com   June 29, 2011 at 6:06 am

    I love summer picnic salads! My most recent creation is a red potato salad with diced radishes, green beans, and a mustardy vinaigrette. Thanks for the post about picnics–brought back some fond memories of being flat broke in Nice and eating Brie & raspberries on the beach.

  8. 8
    Robert   June 29, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I just made the green bean quinoa salad; a wonderful combination of flavors, as one always expects from Ms. Pleat. If you publish a cookbook, I hereby promise to buy FIVE copies for friends and family.

    Anyway, Judy doesn’t care for raw onions, so I sauteed the red onions first, to mellow them a bit. I didn’t bother rinsing the quiona after toasting it, is there a reason for this step? Also, I would suggest using a touch less of the dressing, maybe 80% of it, but that’s a minor quibble.

  9. 9
    Alina Hendelman   June 29, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I am going to a potluck 4th of July BBQ this Monday and needed a salad refresher course. Thanks for sharing I can’t wait to try the green bean quinoa! I am bringing my watermelon with fetta and mint salad and will now make the quinoa as well. I love summer and the colors and tastes that come with it.

  10. 10
    Bijoux   June 29, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I haven’t been on a picnic in years! I should rectify that. I agree picnics are great fun and especially when friends contribute to the food variety too. Salads are the best way to enjoy a picnic. They are easy to make, nutritious and can be transported with ease. A little bit of road tousling won’t hurt them either.

  11. 11
    NicoleD   June 29, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I want to go on a picnic this instant! I seriously can’t remember the last time I was on a picnic, but that needs to change immediately. My current favorite pasta salad will be going with me 🙂 http://nicoledula.com/recipes/sundried-tomato-pasta-salad

  12. 12
    Kimberley   June 29, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Yay picnics! Hope you’re continuing to have a blast out there. So lovely to meet for cocktails!

  13. 13
    Jacqui   June 29, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I love a good picnic, what’s better than eating great food outside?! Thanks for a great list of picnic friendly salads I must now try and the mention too!

  14. 14
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)   June 29, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I LOVE picnics – just had one with the kids today on the beach, in fact. I wish I’d seen these food ideas before! 🙂

  15. 15
    Blanka   June 30, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Oh, I love planning a picnic! And I’m never sure about the “picnic food”… Thanks!

  16. 16
    Lindsey   June 30, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I’m so glad it’s finally time for picnics. In the northwest, we’re very appreciative of rain-free, sunny days.

  17. 17
    Rocky Mountain Woman   July 1, 2011 at 7:34 am

    I love Ina Garten’s potato salad. It’s the perfect picnic food!

    Yeah for summer!!!



  18. 18
    Caitlyn   July 1, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    It was such a pleasure meeting you and your husband the other day. I really do hope you enjoyed the museum and I am still in shock after actually seeing and meeting you! We should collaborate sometime!!! Also this salad from my blog would be a perfect summer picnic treat!! A Thai inspired Sesame Noodle Salad. I hope you can give it a try sometime. Good to meet you


  19. 19
    Nikkie   July 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Just today I talked some friends into having a picnic sometime soon and those salads are a gorgeous idea! I love meat but it makes me super tired and lazy in a can-we-please-go-home-anytime-soon-kind of way so salad it is and I will certainly try out one or two of those (my favourites by now: the simple potatoe with lemon and the quinoa salad.) Your post felt like summer, liked it!

  20. 20
    Bunny Eats Design   July 5, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Your NY picnic looks lovely! I find that we tend to gravitate more towards finger foods for our picnics. It’s hard to hold a plate and a fork and a drink at the same time. Lol. We make a conscious effort to picnic as much as possible in the summer. There are lots of free gigs in parks here so it’s a good cheap way to be sociable. I didn’t think about it at the time but I guess I also did a bit of picnic eating while traveling. Very low key though. Your photos make me yearn for summer, but alas, we are in the middle of winter here. Stews and soups it is for me!

  21. 21
    christine [the sugar apothecary]   July 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Awww I love picnics! Such an awesome idea, especially a) when it’s cheap and b) when it’s in a new place. And I LOVE that picnic tin!!! Have fun!

  22. 22
    Lulu   July 9, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Mmmmm nothing better than a nice, tangy potato salad on a picnic. That pasta salad looks sooooo goooooood! Cheers =)

  23. 23
    shellie   July 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    i love picnics too and this look fabulous!

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