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Outdoor Eating: 6 Hot Ideas for Cool Meals

This summer, we’re revamping the traditional picnic with easy ideas that range from a DIY smokehouse to savoury cones. (The only thing left for you to do is a sun dance!)

Eco-friendly presentation

1Eco-friendly presentation

For a lightweight picnic that’s easy to carry (and that doesn’t produce dishes to wash or throw away), collect some egg boxes for use as individual serving dishes. The separate compartments are perfect for cheese cubes, mixed nuts and chips. They’re also useful for creating pretty dessert presentations. May we suggest strawberries that have been pre-dipped in chocolate or a jujube bar?

2Cool cooler

No summer night is complete without a cooler. To chill food and drinks without packing heaps of ice cubes, fill colourful balloons with water and freeze them. Not only is this a practical solution, it will add a splash of colour to your picnic. But beware: A water fight is almost guaranteed at the end of the evening!

Marshmallows 2.0

3Marshmallows 2.0

Make your own portable campfire by lining terracotta pots with aluminum foil and adding a few pieces of coal and wood inside. Make sure your mini-fire is set on a safe surface. Who wants s’mores?

45-star dining

For a casual country ambience, pick up a few practical yet pretty accessories, like inflatable poufs, a folding table and little lamps. One DIY accessory: Place sand in a glass carafe and add a candle. Presto! You’ve got romantic lighting that’s protected from the wind.

DIY smokehouse

5DIY smokehouse

Ever wanted to make your own smoked duck magret? All you need is a portable BBQ, wood chips and some aluminum foil. Soak the wood chips for about an hour (in water, beer or wine), then strain and wrap in aluminum foil. Poke some holes in the foil with a fork to let smoke escape. Place the bundle directly onto a BBQ burner set to medium. When smoke starts to rise, adjust the flame to your desired cooking temperature. For extra flavour, add some fresh herbs!

Savoury cones

6Savoury cones

For an original twist on appetizers, place empty ice cream cones in glasses, then fill with your favourite ingredients. You can start with a generous portion of fish tartare, smoked salmon, cheese curds or quinoa salad, then top with sesame seeds, sprouts or savoury sauces. Of course, sweet versions with locally grown berries are also a sure hit.