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Jul 8 / sara

Good Neighbor Q&A: Do You Have Any Picnic Planning Pointers?

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is perfect picnic fare: it’s sturdy enough to hold up well to travel and can be eaten hours after being made; because it’s dairy-less, it can be safely enjoyed at room (or outdoor) temperature; and you only need a fork and a plate to eat it (no knives necessary). When you’re planning your next out door picnic menu, try to keep these considerations in mind: how well does it hold up to less than perfect conditions? is it dairy-free? is it easy to eat? Other stars of the picnic include dishes like mayo-less coleslaw, potato and pasta salads, corn salad, whole-grain salads, baguette sandwiches (the bread won’t get soggy), and easy-to-eat snacks like nuts and dried fruit, radishes, grapes, chips, watermelon slices, cherry tomatoes, nectarines, and peaches. And then there’s always dessert…opt for the finger-licking good category: brownies, cookies, and bar cookies.

Picnics definitely take a little extra effort and thought. So the next time you plan one, make it a potluck…it’s so much easier that way! But when you’re divvying up the menu, divvy up the necessities as well. Here’s a list to get you going:

Picnic-Packing Punch List
real silverware (it classes things up!)
disposable but sturdy plates
disposable glasses for wine
napkins
wet naps
tablecloth or blanket for sitting
cutting board (great for holding drinks)
ice chest
frozen bottles of water (they double as ice packs and are deliciously cold when melted)
screw cap bottles of wine, beer or soda (no openers necessary)
trash bag
bug spray

Tabbouleh
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

1 cup bulgur wheat
3 cups hot water
4 scallions (white and light green parts), sliced
1 cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 beefsteak tomato, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine the bulgur with the hot water. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand until the bulgur is tender but still chewy, about 25 minutes; drain any excess water.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the scallions, cucumber, tomato, parsley, lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper. Add the bulgur and toss well.

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