There are a few things you need in order to have a totally awesome picnic. Plenty of food is a no-brainer. Also, don’t forget the wine, and/or beer, and/or cider. And bring all of your awesome friends because that makes everything perfect. Here are a few more things to check off your list.
- A big tablecloth for covering the possibly gross picnic table in the park, or to use as a big picnic blanket if you can’t get a table.
- Cups for discreet sipping of adult beverages.
- Matches to light the grill.
- A corkscrew (unless you brought screw top wine which I do all the time)
- Plates, napkins, and utensils. (I’ve forgotten forks before.)
- Condiments because that’s what makes stuff extra awesome.
You should also probably bring along this Southwest Pasta Salad. It totally rocks. It’s simple, bright, delicious, and a bit spicy. That’s where it’s at!
I love this recipe because it’s unexpected. It’s also brilliant for a picnic because it can be made ahead of time. In fact, it’s even better after it’s had a chance to sit in the fridge for a day. Black beans, corn, green onions, and bell peppers, combined with a spicy lime dressing, take this recipe above and beyond your normal every day pasta salad.
It also never hurts to have a vegetarian dish at your picnic. You never know who might stop by.
Pack your picnic basket with plenty of flavors. Trust me. It’s awesome.
- 1/2 pound small pasta (I used penne because it was in my pantry)
- zest of 2 limes
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 bell pepper, diced
- 3 green onions, chopped (I use scissors)
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- 6 Tbsp lime juice (I combine the juice from the fresh limes I zested with some from the squeezy lime-shaped bottle. Nigella does it, so it’s okay.)
- 1/4 cup cider or rice vinegar (really whatever’s in your pantry will probably work)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3/4 cup oil (I used olive oil)
- Cook your pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, according to the time on the package. Drain
- Zest your lime into the bottom of a large mixing bowl.
- Add the black beans, bell pepper, green onion, corn, and cheese. Stir to combine.
- Add the pasta and stir it up.
- The easiest way to make the dressing is to combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Give it a good shake until the oil has mixed in.
- Pour the about 2/3 of the dressing over your salad and give it a stir. If you want more, add it. If not, save it for something awesome later.
- Allow the salad to chill in the fridge for at least an hour, but overnight is even better.
- Best served under puffy clouds.
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