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Upscale Summer Picnic Menu?

We're planning a birthday picnic for my mom and brother in early April, and I'm trying to start coming up with a menu. It's going to be probably 15 or 20 people, and it'll be "lunch-ish", in other words nibbling throughout the afternoon. So far, I've come up with cold platters of things like roasted asparagus and thin-sliced rare beef tenderloin. Steak is a huge favorite in my family, especially tri-tip. It's practically mandatory! Any ideas for salads, mains, sides, and/or dessert and drinks? Thanks!

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  1. Post on Home Cooking board for suggestions.

    1. I have a really good bean salad - can't remember where the recipe is from but it is basically

      cannellini beans (think it is meant to be butter beans but I hate them - are they lima beans in the states?)
      cooked french/green/fine beans
      and some roasted red peppers.
      Mix all together and pour over a dressing of olive oil, dried oregano, lemon, some raw garlic (not too much), salt and pepper.
      If you want you can also add some finely sliced raw red onion, but again, I hate raw red onion so I omit.

      Easy peasy - very quick to make, and very transportable for a picnic!

      1. Agree you might get more suggestions by posting in Home Cooking:).

        My two cents; this is really a spring picnic, so think about what's freshly in season - perhaps a rhubarb dessert, like a cake with a rhubarb filling and soft whipped cream frosting.

        a spinach/feta/stawberry salad with a champagne viniagrette would be nice with roasted asperagus and cold sliced rare beef. You might make a pissaladiere or foccacia with roasted peppers, caramelized onions and blue cheese on it, which would be tasty with the beef.

        my favorite thing in spring is nettles; if you could find some at a farmer's market, a bright green light creamy nettle soup served in shooters would be a lovely thing too.

        1. A nice sangria to drink would be nice (if you were looking for adult options) maybe a jalapeno potatoe salad (don't know if that's upscale enough) I like Ina Garten's curried cous cous which is great cold. Maybe a trifle for dessert using berries in season. I also like Ina's shrimp salad which is perfect for a picnic, served cold. Have fun.

          1. Great ideas, guys! I hadn't realized that I didn't post in Home Cooking :)