Pack a perfect picnic

Pack an easy-to-make meal that’ll be the highlight of your outing

Picnic gear

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Food and gear for a great gourmet picnic

Top off a hike or ride with a basket of gourmet goodies packed in style.

Sandwiches: Seal in foil or a sandwich keeper. Put dressing in a separate container. Stainless steel lunch box, $24;

Salad: Stow in sturdy individual glass containers. Weck small jar, $27 for set of six;

Lemonade: For a classy touch, an unbreakable lidded carafe. Tuffex carafe, $6.95;

Click ahead for 4 great recipes.

easy picnic sandwiches

Photo by Thmoas J. Story

Radicchio, Roasted Pepper, and Provolone Ciabatta Sandwiches

The vegetables in these sandwiches don’t get soggy as they stand, and the flavors benefit from a little time together.

Recipe:  Radicchio, Roasted Pepper, and Provolone Ciabatta Sandwiches

Spinach and Orzo Salad

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Spinach and Orzo Salad

This herb vinaigrette-dressed pasta salad keeps better than a mayo-based one from the deli—and tastes better too.

Recipe:  Spinach and Orzo Salad

Raspberry Lemonade

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Refresher: Almond Raspberry Lemonade

For the most thirst-quenching drink, look for a less-sweet brand of lemonade such as Santa Cruz Organic.

Recipe:  Almond Raspberry Lemonade


cupcake brownies

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

Chewy, and big enough to share—though you may want every bite. For the richest flavor, use dark chocolate and cocoa such as Scharffen Berger.

Recipe:  Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies


best picnic spots

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Bike routes to killer picnic spots

Olympic National Park, WA: Park at the end of East Beach Road and cruise down Spruce Railroad Trail for 4 miles with turnoffs overlooking Lake Crescent and the Olympic Mountains. 800/833-6388

West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA: Stop at one of the bluffs or benches scattered along this spectacular oceanside road, or try the grassy lawns of Lighthouse Point, looking out at surfer hot spot Steamer Lane. or 831/420-5270.

The Rio Grande Gorge, NM: From the tiny town of Cerro, cycle 10 miles south to the Wild Rivers Recreation Area picnic sites. They’re right on the rim of the gorge, with views to match. 575/758-8851 

Biking picnic

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Travel in style

Bicycles: We like classic Velorbis bicycles, distributed exclusively by Copenhagen Cyclery in Chicago, with shipping nationwide. Men’s Scrap Deluxe in aluminum, $1,895;

Bike basket: Basil Rattan Look basket, $80;

Pannier bag: Made from water-repellent canvas. Basil Kavan II, $141 for the double bag; 

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