On a warm summer’s day, what’s a more romantic way of impressing a new date than taking them to your favorite spot for a picnic? Accompany them to a high point with a good view, secluded but not isolated, and impress them with your homemade spread of delicious foods. It’s a sure way to move things along nicely.
What are the ideal foods for this perfect picnic? You can’t be eating messy foods—that’s not cool or seductive. Your spread needs to be elegant, sophisticated, and clean.
You can’t have a picnic without drinks! Consider bringing along a freshly-brewed thermos with coffee or tea. A late lunch will also benefit from a fine bottle of wine (don’t forget to pack a wine key, so that you can open it). If you’re going for a more casual feel, there’s always room in the basket for a couple of homebrew beers and a Thermos koozie to keep them cold!
Homemade dips, served with veggies or chips, are a good start. Whip up some hummus in the blender or food processor at home. It’s easy, tasty, and demonstrates that you have some sort of knowledge in the kitchen—always desirable traits in a partner. Make it even better by adding some roasted red peppers to make red pepper hummus.
Another great hummus is caramelized red onion hummus. To make this, chop up a red onion and cover it with honey. Bake it in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the onions have browned nicely. Be careful not to burn them. Once ready, mix them into your regular hummus to make a delicious, sweet hummus that will impress any would-be significant other.
Why not take a bento box to the picnic? See the best bento boxes for lunch here.
Guacamole is a worldwide favorite, and it’s so easy to made a great guac. It begins with quality avocados. Take the juice of one lime and squeeze it into a bowl. Add some salt and pepper, a bit of cilantro, a chopped tomato, and half a chopped red onion. Mix this all up to make, not a paste, but just a nice mix of flavor.
Time for the avocado. Mash them up slightly with a fork. Add another chopped tomato and the other half of the onion. Stir it all together and there you have it! Serve with some nachos for a lovely appetizer.
You can make a delicious red cabbage coleslaw with relative ease. Wash a red cabbage and chop it up. Mix the sliced cabbage in with salt, pepper, a half cup of mayonnaise, and a cup of Greek yogurt. You can add some sesame seeds and shredded carrot to give the dish more substance. This goes great alongside a good salad.
After a very romantic appetizer, it’s time to move on to the main event. A large salad to share is a good idea. By sharing, you’re connecting. Better yet, a salad is hard to mess up, and is light enough that you won’t be too full for a stroll later.
Don’t make a Greek salad. These can get a bit watery and, by the time you pull it out at the picnic, it might be quite unappealing to your date. Instead, use some crisp romaine lettuce, olives, Parmesan, shredded carrots, and some chicken for good measure. A simple olive oil and balsamic dressing should seal the deal.
A slightly more exciting and different salad is a spicy carrot salad. Microwave shredded carrots with crushed garlic and a little of water. Do this until it’s slightly crispy, and finish with crushed sea salt and pepper. Drain any excess water and mix in lemon juice, olive oil, and red pepper flakes.
A sweet way to finish off a picnic date is with strawberries and cream. This is really easy. Just pick up fresh strawberries from your local farmer’s market or grocery store. Bring a little cream in a storage container and it’s good to go. You can make this a bit better by adding some blueberries or raspberries to the mix, but the strawberries are essential. A sprinkling of sugar also goes quite nicely with some fruit.
See the best pressure canner for beginners here, and bring some fruit preserves along!
Life’s a Picnic
An ideal and healthy picnic date is not difficult, but still shows you put some thought into showing your date a nice time. You don’t have to spend a lot, either. Try out these simple recipes, and good luck with the rest. Your charm and wit is up to you. Good food alone is nothing without a decent personality.