Make these simple recipes to fill your pic-a-nic basket

Posted: August 23, 2013


3 small-to-medium summer squash or zucchini (about 1 pound), sliced into half-inch circles

3 red, orange or yellow bell peppers, cut into 1-inch strips

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed

2 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar

4 sprigs fresh oregano

Preheat oven to 425 degrees; position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Place squash and peppers on separate baking sheets. Drizzle veggies with 1 tablespoon of the oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer, turning peppers skin-side up.

Roast peppers on upper rack and squash on lower rack, turning squash once, until just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly; remove skins from peppers.

In a small bowl, whisk garlic, sherry and remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add vegetables and oregano; toss to coat. Cover and let sit at least 1 hour.

Vegetables can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill; bring to room temperature before serving. Serves 6.

Source: Adapted from


3 small (10- to 12-inch) baguettes

1 jar (16 ounces) Italian olive salad

Slow-roasted tomatoes (see note)

4 to 5 cups cooked and shredded rotisserie chicken

6 slices provolone or favorite cheese

3 cups loosely packed arugula

Slice the baguettes horizontally almost in half. Scoop out some of the crumb from the bottom half. Add about one-third of the olive salad on the bottom half of each baguette.

Top each with some roasted tomatoes, chicken, cheese and about 1 cup arugula leaves. Cut each sandwich in half, wrap in parchment paper and secure with kitchen twine.

To make slow-roasted tomatoes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sided baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut 4 cups cherry or grape tomatoes in half and place cut side up in a single layer on the baking sheet. Place 4 garlic cloves, with skin on, but crushed, in between tomatoes. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, about 1 teaspoon sugar and fresh thyme.

Bake until they are semidry and somewhat shriveled, about 30 minutes. They should be tender and their flavor concentrated. Remove from oven, transfer to a bowl with pan juices. Let cool before using.

Serves: 6

Source: Tomato recipe adapted from The Picnic Cookbook by Annie Bell


6 cups cubed honeydew melon, divided

2 quarts lemonade

Mint sprigs and lemon slices for garnish

Place 3 cups of the melon cubes in a blender with enough lemonade to blend until smooth. Pour into a container and stir in the rest of the lemonade. Add the remaining melon cubes, mint and lemon slices for garnish. Chill several hours and keep well-chilled until ready to serve. Serves 6.

Source: Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, August 2013 issue.


1 pound cake, cut into 1/2-inch slices

3 to 4 tablespoons melted butter

3 peaches, cut in half and pitted

Raspberry sauce, homemade or store-bought

Preheat the grill to medium. Once hot, oil the grates and heat 5 minutes more.

Brush both sides of the pound cake with melted butter and brush the cut sides of the peaches with the melted butter. Grill the pound cake on both sides until you get nice grill marks, about 3 minutes for each side.

Grill the peaches, cut side down until you get nice grill marks. Remove from grill and cool. Slice peaches and pack them, the pound cake and the sauce separately. To serve, place some peach slices on the pound cake and drizzle with raspberry sauce. You can grill the bread and peaches one day in advance. Serves 6 to 8.

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