Discover Sydney one picnic at a time. Easy picnic recipes that you don't need a full pantry to make. Great menu ideas using fresh Australian foods. Easy picnic recipes if you'd rather barbeque.
Greek salad: easy peasy
Modern Sydney Australian food is fusion food. Asia meets the Mediterranean.
Try this easy picnic recipe for smoked duck salad. It'll work well with Chinese barbecue or roast duck too. Buy the duck already smoked or barbecued. You need only to make the salad.
Buy a good, fresh mesclun mix, from one of Sydney's markets or supermarkets. Perhaps add a few tiny tomatoes, green beans or cucumber, some pecans.
Sydney Australian cooking - fusion food - Smoked duck Salad
Buy the smoked duck - Chinese BBQ duck would be good too
The dressing's the key.
For an Asian flavour think
Mix it to taste, but start here:
for each tablespoon of plum sauce add two of soy and a teaspoon of sesame oil.
Now mix and taste, taste and mix.
If you want a more Mediterranean slant, take balsamic or red wine vinegar, whatever you have; a bit of dijon mustard and some oil. A touch of honey, damson or plum sauce would be nice too.
This easy picnic recipe would also slot nicely into a romantic picnic.
My best easy picnic recipes include this mediterranean classic - pan bagnat. Make it hours, or even the night, before you eat it so that the flavors can come together.
You've got to have good bread. It needs a strong crust to hold the heavy, sloppy tuna and salad and oil. Pan bagnat is a 'wet' sandwich.
A round boule is the traditional shape. I've usually made it in a baguette which I find easier to cut and eat. Both work provided the bread's good. Find some Sydney Sonoma bread, or a decent sourdough or other artisanal bread from a good deli or bread shop.
Cut the bread so that the bottom half is a bit bigger than the top. If it's a dense loaf, take out some of the inside bread to give the filling more room. Now layer the filling, keeping the sloppiest ingredients for the middle.
Good Picnic Food
Try this order (any ingredients you personally don't like, just leave them out, or substitute something else - it's a picnic not holy writ):
Don't they look gorgeous? A chorizo and tomato salad, some grilled zucchini with herbs and vinaigrette, and a radish and cucumber salad. What more could you want for a Sydney Australia picnic? And they're all very quick and easy picnic recipes.
A Perfect Picnic Menu for Summer
Chorizo and tomato salad
Roughly chop the chorizo and fry in a little olive oil.
While that's cooking, chop the tomatoes and put them into a bowl. Add a few shallots, finely chopped.
Add a little finely cut garlic to the sausage.
When it browns, tip in a slug of sherry vinegar.
As you're travelling and probably won't have that to hand, substitute some red wine or balsamic vinegar. These easy picnic recipes can take a lot of changes and still taste great.
If you have none of these, add a bit of wine and a smidgeon of honey or brown sugar (palm sugar would be best, but use what you have). If you don't have a pantry at all have a look at these picnic foods to buy ready-made.
When the alcohol has evaporated, after a few seconds, mix the sausage and garlic with the tomatoes and shallots, tip in some of the liquid to taste and sprinkle with finely chopped basil and parsley.
Grilled zucchini with herbs and vinaigrette
You can buy the zucchini already grilled everywhere around Sydney. Or do your own if you have a barbecue or a good ribbed hotplate. Toss with herbs and vinaigrette.
Radish and cucumber salad
Make this European or Thai style. Both are easy picnic recipes. For European style, add some finely sliced red onion and dress with a lemon or lime vinaigrette.
Thai-style: In a bowl mix some rice wine vinegar, with sugar and light oil (rice bran, safflower or similar). Add the chopped radish and (seedless) cucumbers, some red capsicum and finely chopped fresh chilli. I'd be inclined to add a bit of fish sauce too, but that's up to you. Cover and keep cold. Just before serving toss in either mint or basil leaves, roughly torn. That's it. Both styles work well for a Sydney summer picnic.
Picnic desserts should be easy. That probably means just buy them!
A cheese platter never goes astray. Great to pick at as you lounge around. Use your Sydney picnic as a good reason to explore Australian cheeses.
Picnic menu ideas: cheese,
watermelon: fun kid snack and
baklava: great picnic desserts
Watermelon is the great summer picnic food. Thirst quenching, satisfyingly dribbly, it's the ultimate in easy picnic recipes and a great picnic standby.
If your sweet tooth needs a fix, then these honey drenched, nut rich baklava are just the thing. Especially if you're reasonably close to a decent Sydney coffee shop.
Indeed, you can get the lot: picnic foods from entrees to desserts and coffee, made for you at great locations around Sydney. All you have to do is go there.
Think disposable when
you plan a picnic
Your easy picnic recipes and your wine, of course. And take lots of water to drink.
Leave some air space in the water bottles and freeze them before you go. They'll keep your food cold as they defrost. A good picnic food safety tip in a hot Sydney summer.
Light, disposable glasses, plates and cutlery. Don't forget a serving spoon or two.
Napkins and wipes.
Sunscreen, hats, mosquito repellent.
Something to sit on - although many parks have good wooden picnic tables with attached benches. And, if you have one, a picnic table cloth can do duty in many ways - to sit on, spread food on, wipe up spills, as a towel after an impromptu swim, even a wrap if it gets chilly. (I think I should stop here).