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Recipes for Perfect Summer Picnics

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 - Books we love Recipes & food Travel & inspiration

By a bubbling brook, in a city park, or even in your own backyard, a picnic is a delightful way to enjoy the great outdoors this summer. 

Picnic: 125 Recipes with 29 Seasonal Menus by DeeDee Stovel is a collection of delicious and portable feasts for any occasion with a must-try lobster roll recipe perfect for a peaceful summer afternoon.

Petite Lobster Rolls Recipe from Picnic

The best lobster rolls have the most lobster. Authentic Maine lobster rolls are served on the kind of hot dog rolls with the sides sliced off. For our mini rolls, we will use small finger rolls.


  • 4 cups cooked lobster meat
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped celery
  • 4 scallions, chopped, with some green tops
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 16 small finger rolls


  1. Combine the lobster, celery, scallions, butter, and lemon juice in a medium-sized bowl and stir to blend.
  2. Gently mix the mayonnaise into the lobster until all pieces are coated.
  3. Slice the rolls lengthwise and divide the lobster among the rolls. Arrange them on a pretty plate with the other finger sandwiches.

Serves 8


A picnic can truly turn a meal into something more festive and memorable. The Picnic (by Marnie Hanel and Jen Stevenson, authors of The Campout Cookbook, along with Andrea Slonecker) is a true picnic handbook featuring no-fail recipes like deviled eggs, along with helpful checklists and expert advice.

The Essential Deviled Egg Recipe from The Picnic

The best deviled egg recipe is one that easily shifts to your culinary whims. This recipe is delicious on its own, garnished with a dash of cayenne or a pinch of chopped chives, but turn to page 36 for a dozen divine new identities.

Makes 1 dozen

  • 6 large eggs, hard-cooked and peeled
  • 1⁄2 cup D.I.Y. Mayonnaise (recipe follows) or store-bought mayonnaise 
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Champagne vinegar 
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

In the basket:

  • Egg whites in plastic container
  • Bag of filling (inside bag of ice)
  • Scissors
  • Garnish
  • Serving plate (bonus points for a bona fide deviled egg platter)


  1. Halve each egg lengthwise, pop out the yolks, and press them through a potato ricer into a small bowl. Rinse the egg whites and pat dry.
  2. Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the egg yolks and whisk the filling until smooth.
  3. Spoon the filling into a 1-quart resealable plastic bag, or a pastry bag fitted with a 1⁄2-inch fluted tip, and chill it until the picnic, or for up to 48 hours. (Cover the tip in plastic wrap before screwing the plastic ring into place.) Transport the filling to the picnic in a cooler or 1-gallon resealable plastic bag filled with ice.
  4. At the picnic, snip a corner of the plastic bag, or unseal your pastry bag, and squeeze about 1 tablespoon of filling into each egg white. Serve to wild applause, real or imaginary.

Don't miss "The Deviled Dozen," twelve mouth-watering variations on deviled eggs, featured in The Picnic.

Easy Egg Salad

It’s just a tiny leap from deviled eggs to egg salad. If it’s egg salad you’re after, simply whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar; chop the hard-cooked eggs; and fold them together. If using any of the optional additions from the Deviled Dozen, add them to the mayonnaise mixture before you fold in the chopped eggs. Serves 4.

The Picnic

Wherever you are headed this summer, it’s a great feeling to share a dish you’re proud of. From potlucks to picnics, dinner parties, and cookouts, Anne Byrn’s What Can I Bring? Cookbook will inspire you to make crowd-pleasing food that’s designed to travel. Be the talk of the town this summer when you share dreamy dishes like Byrn’s White Corn Salad with Fresh Thyme. 

White Corn Salad with Fresh Thyme Recipe from What Can I Bring? Cookbook


  • 6 ears white or yellow corn, or a mix of the two, shucked
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped scallions, both white and green parts (1 bunch)
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion (1 medium-size onion)
  • 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 medium-size cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley or a mix of parsley, fresh oregano, and thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Hold an ear of corn upright on a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, cut down close to the cob to slice off the kernels. Repeat with the remaining ears of corn. You should have about 4 cups of corn. Set it aside.
  2. Place the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the scallions, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, until the onions soften and begin to caramelize, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the wine to the pan and let simmer until reduced by about half, about 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sugar and the corn kernels and cook, stirring, over low heat until the corn has just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley or the mix of parsley, oregano, and thyme. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Transfer the corn salad to a serving dish and serve at room temperature. Or, let the corn come to room temperature, then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let the salad return to room temperature before serving.

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