Vegetarian Picnic Meal Ideas

| December 2, 2011

Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yield: 10 servings



2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups vegetable stock
1 medium onion, poked with a fork
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper


2 pounds plum tomatoes, seeded, quartered
2 medium Italian eggplant, quartered, sliced
2 large red bell peppers, seeded, quartered
1 large Spanish onion, halved, cut into eighths
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup calamata olives, pitted, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ziti pasta, cooked al dente, drained
1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat broiler. Make sauce: In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook, whisking about 2 minutes. Stir in vegetable stock, a little bit at a time. Add onion and Parmesan cook until the thickness you would like. Remove onion. Set aside. In a roasting pan arrange tomatoes, eggplant, red peppers, onion and toss with garlic, olives and oil. Place pan in the oven on the top shelf for 30 minutes or until vegetables are beginning to brown. Remove from oven to a cutting board and roughly chop all the vegetables. Transfer them to a bowl. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Ladle about 1/3 of sauce on the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch pan. Layer 1/2 of vegetables, 1/2 cooked pasta, 1/2 of mozzarella, 1/2 pasta, 1/3 sauce, 1/2 mozzarella, 1/2 vegetables, 1/3 sauce, Parmesan. Bake, covered with foil, for approximately 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes more or until bubbly.

Source: Curtis Aikens,

Cucumber, Mustard and Dill Salad


2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon mild olive oil
1 large seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped; 1 lb), peeled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill


Whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt, and sugar in a bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking. Halve cucumber lengthwise and remove seeds with a small spoon, then cut halves crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Add cucumber and dill to vinaigrette, tossing to coat.Makes 4 servings.

Source: Gourmet Magazine, October 2004

Southwestern Succotash

This colorful side dish gets a hint of heat from roasted poblano chiles. Its bold flavors make it a great accompaniment to grilled meats.


3 fresh poblano chiles (3/4 lb total)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups fresh corn (from 3 to 4 ears)
1 lb tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
1 lb yellow squash, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Lay chiles on their sides on racks of gas burners, then turn flames on moderately high and roast chiles, turning with tongs, until skins are blistered, 5 to 7 minutes. (Or broil on rack of a broiler pan about 2 inches from heat, turning, 8 to 10 minutes.) Transfer chiles immediately to a large bowl and cover tightly. Let steam 10 minutes, then peel or rub off skins and discard stems, seeds, and ribs. Cut chiles into 1/3-inch pieces. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute onion and red bell pepper, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, black pepper, cumin seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and saute, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add corn, tomatoes, squash, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook over moderately high heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender and have exuded liquid, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove lid and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in chiles, cream, lime juice, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon cilantro. Makes 8 side-dish servings.

Source: Gourmet Magazine, July 2005

Macaroni, Tomato, Corn and Basil Salad

Ripe tomatoes, basil and fresh corn enhance a terrific side dish.


3/4 cup uncooked elbow macaroni (about 3 1/2 ounces)
4 medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
5 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup thin slices halved English hothouse cucumber
1 cup fresh corn kernels or frozen, thawed
1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled


Cook macaroni in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Drain well. Transfer macaroni to large bowl. Add tomatoes, green onions, cucumber and corn. Blend basil, yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice and garlic in processor until basil is finely chopped. Add basil dressing to macaroni mixture and toss to blend. Season salad with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Per serving: calories, 189; total fat, 2 g; saturated fat, 0.5 g; cholesterol, 6 mg. Serves 4.

Source: Bon Appetit Magazine – Cooking for Health, August 1999

Grilled Gorgonzola, Pear and Watercress Sandwiches

Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.


4 ounces chilled Gorgonzola cheese (for strong flavor) or 6 ounces chilled Saga Blue cheese (for milder flavor)
1 firm-ripe pear such as Bartlett or Anjoufour
1/2-inch-thick slices whole-grain bread
1 cup watercress sprigs (about 1/2 bunch, coarse stems discarded)


Preheat broiler. Cut cheese into thin slices. Halve pear lengthwise and core with a lemon-ball cutter. Slice pear thin crosswise. On a baking sheet toast both sides of bread about 3 inches from heat until golden. Divide watercress among toasts and cover with overlapping pear slices. Arrange cheese over pear slices and broil sandwiches until cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Serves 4.

Category: Picnic Recipes

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.