During the warm months I definitely enjoy being outside, taking in the sunny days, and planning meals beyond the confines of my home, but unfortunately some days just don't allow for those al fresco dinners. Recently, to get that grilling experience, I put together something I like to call the faux picnic. Rather than give up on that BBQ feel entirely, I took some inspiration from the outdoors to create a picnic inside. Using seasonal vegetable combinations like sweet corn, tomatoes, and basil, along with gourmet burgers that were made on the stove-top the indoor meal was worthy enough to replace that outdoor feel. I threw in some colorful accents and a sparkling drink to brighten up the dining room table too.
Here are a few of my tips to create the perfect indoor picnic:
- Find high quality burger patties and buns, then switch up the toppings by using pesto as a spread, heirloom tomato slices, and arugula as a green (Whole Foods has great pre-made patties). Cook them on a non-stick grill pan like this one.
- Combine sweet corn that is quickly blanched, sliced cherry tomatoes, and julienned basil to create an end of the summer salad. Toss with a little olive oil for a dressing.
- Layer textured placemats and bright napkins to create a sunny feel inside. This blue patterned version is a great way to mix patterns and textures.
- Top everything off with a sparkling and colorful drink. I combined vodka, pink lemonade, and ice in a my favorite cocktail shaker, then topped it with club soda to create a fizzy pink drink.