Menu: A French Picnic for Early Summer

By Anna Stockwell

Published on June 1, 2011

Photograph: Marc Gabor

Perhaps no one understands the concept of le pique-nique better than the French. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like — a crunchy baguette, good cheese, good friends, and a bottle of wine is all you need to watch the afternoon shadows elongate over the banks of the Seine in the summer. But no matter where you are this June, you can capture a bit of Parisian joie de vivre in a basket with our favorite traditional French picnic dishes. Perfect for sharing among four, this seasonal menu can be cooked a day or two in advance, chilled, and easily transported to the nearest or most far-flung patch of early summer grass. Spread out a colorful blanket, pour enough chilled rose for everyone, and pass the pate!


A loaf of fresh French bread
Duck pate
Cornichon pickles

Dijon mustard, such as Maille
A selection of French cheeses
Aioli with young vegetables
Punitions (French shortbread cookies)
Fresh strawberries

Wine Pairing: 2010 L'Esprit de Sainte Marguerite Cotes de Provence Rose or a similarly crisp, faintly sweet bottle. (Keep it chilled with a cooling sleeve.)

Product Credits:
Peterboro Basket Company Traditional Picnic Basket; Picnic Fashion
Pendleton Chimayo Throw Blanket; Pendleton (transport it with a leather carrier)
Eco-friendly bamboo composite plates; Amazon
Red Chill Bowl; Sur La Table
Dubost Red Laguiole Flatware, 20-Piece Set; Sur La Table
Miltered Hem Napkins; Sur La Table
Bormioli Rocco Fido Canning Jars; Sur La Table
J.K. Adams Artisan Cutting Board; Sur La Table

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