Summer has arrived early this year. Most major meteorological news has been focused on the impacts of natural disasters (Icelandic volcano) or unnatural ones (Gulf oil spill), but it’s hard to ignore the blazing sun that is heating up most of the U.S.
Unfortunately, the only clothing I had these past few weeks was sweaters and jeans. On a trip around the country reconnecting with friends, attending graduations, and visiting relatives I was caught completely off guard by the beautiful weather, but it was a welcome opportunity to start cooking summer foods ahead of schedule.
When ugly weather in California (of all places!!) seriously delayed my return, I needed to whip up something quick and refreshing for a slow, relaxing dinner. With a boatload of farm share fruit and vegetables in the fridge, I channeled my recent slight obsession with simple French food into this elegant Provencal spread.
Whether your picnic is an impromptu celebration of beautiful weather or part of a holiday weekend get-away, this French picnic menu comes to the rescue. It is 100% no cook. Better still, it takes advantage of all of the bounty of spring and early summer to ensure maximum flavor with minimum preparation.
Provencal Picnic Menu
- Salad of Spring Greens
- Provencal Vegetable Platter
- with Fresh Homemade Mayonnaise
- and Sweet Yogurt Dip
- Prosciutto and Melon
- Goat Cheese with Honey, Peaches, and Blueberries
For easy set-up and minimal mess, prep the ingredients at home and set up the dishes on site. Salad greens, veggies, melon and peach slices, and blueberries can each go in a separate plastic bag and wet items like mayonnaise and prosciutto in small tupperware containers. There are lovely disposable plates available at most grocery stores these days; it’s actually a little hard to tell they are fake! But if you are being extra green and want to bring plates from home, make sure to pack light plates like Corelle ware.
- mins 1-2: Wash and dry the salad greens and keep in the crisper till needed.
- mins 3-13: Prepare the vegetables for the platter.
- mins 14-24: Make the mayonnaise and the yogurt dip.
- mins 25-27: Cut the melon and peaches into slices.
- mins 28-30: Pack everything in your picnic basket of choice.