Italian picnics menus are often filled with a variety of fresh and raw ingredients. Unlike the heavy and rich pasta dishes popular in Italian restaurants, Italian picnic food needs to be light and taste good chilled or at room temperature. A basic supply of flaky breads, rich cheeses, spicy meats and ripe vegetables can turn into a wide assortment of chilled Italian dishes well suited for picnicking. Keep spoilable items, such as mayonnaise, chilled with an icepack.
Easy Italian Picnic
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A last-minute Italian picnic can be a breeze if you use an easy sandwich menu. Pack sandwich ingredients separately so everyone can create their own Italian sandwich at the site. Include classic ingredients, such as thick slices of Italian bread, mozzarella, provolone, salami, dry salami, pepperoni, sweet peppers, onion, tomato, olives and lettuce. Small containers of mustard, mayonnaise, olive oil and pesto offer a variety of flavor combinations. Add chocolate biscotti for an easy dessert.
Gourmet Italian Picnic
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A gourmet Italian picnic may be a little expensive, but the menu is sure to set a romantic tone for an intimate date. Chilled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto-lined strips of flaky pastry make a delicious appetizer. Chilled artichoke heart and chicken salad with Parmesan, mozzarella, Italian dressing, pine nuts, red onion, romaine lettuce, baby spinach, Roma tomato and pickled bell pepper is a hearty entree.
Side dishes can include fresh Italian rosemary bread, green grapes and pesto-stuffed cherry tomatoes. Include a bottle of your favorite wine, preferably white to complement the chicken, and two wine glasses. Chocolate-covered strawberries and/or chilled tiramisu make an indulgent dessert.
Simple Italian Picnic
Simple menus ideas help keep your Italian picnic low-budget and suitable for children’s taste buds. Include apples slices sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, chilled green beans in Italian salad dressing and Italian bread. Dessert can include anise cookies and/or pistachio pudding.
You can turn any kind of cooked small pasta, such as macaroni, into a salad entree with a few convenience items. Ingredients can include a can of cooked chicken breast, diced pastrami, diced pepperoni, mozzarella, Parmesan, tomatoes, celery and creamy Italian salad dressing.
Vegetarian Italian Picnic
Italian picnics with vegetarian menus offer just as much flavor and variety as the meat-filled menus. Make an Italian three-bean salad with Parmesan, Romano, provolone, carrots, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, olives, pickled peppers, vinaigrette dressing and pine nuts for a filling entree. Side dishes can include tomato, mozzarella and basil on baguette slices, apple spinach salad and/or zucchini sticks with dip. Try a fresh green and red grape salad tossed with sugar for dessert.
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