Now that we’re in the second half of summer, we have a question for you: Have you gotten your picnic fix? A picnic is a true summer delight, whether it’s a gathering with friends in the shade of a sheltering tree by the river, family lunch under a big bright umbrella at the shore, or date-night dinner in the park during a summer concert series.

But be honest—do you let picnic-prep-paralysis (PPP) keep you from enjoying the experience?  We gotcha right here with some ideas to help keep it simple so you can banish PPP and treat yourself to some delicious bites en plein air.

First the food. What to eat? Here are some ideas for keeping it simple with things that are both easy to eat and dish up. For salads, keep it sturdy and avoid the soggy.

  • Watermelon is the essence of summer and this salad sets it against salty feta and briny olives on a bed of baby kale, arugula, or spinach.
    • Perfect Picnic Tip: Assemble the toppings before you go and bring along a clamshell of greens (2/3 full) and mix them all together when ready to serve. Your summer salad won’t get soggy and you won’t have an extra bowl to wash when you get home.
  • Who doesn’t love a great Greek salad? There’s something for everyone in this Greek Salad for a Crowd.
    • Perfect Picnic Tip: Prep the ingredients at home then set them out in piles or stripes on a platter. Set the crisp, cool romaine heart leaves and Mighty Spinach on the side and let people build their own.
  • Maybe a pasta salad is your jam but you want something a little different? Try this flavorful yet simple pasta salad with peas, feta, and summery basil.
    • Perfect Picnic Tip: Add some cooked chicken or tuna to make this your main.
  • The Zero Muss or Fuss Salad: If you just can’t, pick up one of Earthbound Farm’s organic Chopped Salad Kits and mix them up on site. Super simple. Super tasty.
  • Crudités! What could be simpler than some cut up veggies in snackable lengths? Elevate the experience with this amazing Green Goddess dip. No one will miss the ranch dressing once they taste it!
    • Perfect Picnic Tip: Set the bowl of dip in a larger bowl with ice to keep it firm and cold.
  • A cheese and charcuterie spread with honey and mustards makes a simple yet fancy-looking (and tasting!) course of finger foods.
    • Perfect Picnic Tip: Serve with thinly sliced baguette and an assortment of dried fruit and nuts.
  • Dessert? How about some super sweet summer fruit? Or, you could always try our award-winning Farm Stand Carrot Cake, if you’re willing to turn your oven on in the summer heat.

Now that the food is covered, how about an equipment checklist to further ease the PPP?

  • Cups, plates, napkins, utensils for serving/eating (we prefer reusable, compostable or ones made from recycled materials)
  • Ice or ice packs and a small cooler to keep those beverages and other cool things cool
  • One knife and one small cutting board
  • Corkscrew and bottle opener, depending on your choice of beverages
  • Blanket or tablecloth, depending on location
  • Garbage bag for ease of cleanup

And that’s it. There you have it. You’re ready to go forth and picnic.

What’s your favorite picnic food? We’d love to hear from you.