Backyard Picnic Perfect

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You don’t have to hike out for a perfect picnic. Simply step out your back door, throw down a blanket, some big pillows for the kids and folding chairs for the grownups and take the fun – and delicious eats (thanks to the cooks at – outdoors.


Seven-Bean Salad

2 cups fresh green beans, ends snipped

1½ cups frozen edamame, thawed

2 cups snow peas

1 cup fresh green peas

1½ cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1½ cups baby lima beans, rinsed and drained

1½ cups white (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained

1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tsp fresh thyme

1 tsp lemon zest

¼ tsp kosher salt, or more to taste


Lemon Dijon Dressing

6 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp champagne vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp lemon zest

½ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Lemon Dijon Dressing: In a food processor or blender, combine oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, mustard seeds, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Pulse 2 or 3 times until well combines. Set aside.

For the salad, bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add green beans and edamame. Turn heat to low and cook for 1 minute. Add snow peas and green peas and cook for 1 minute more. Drain and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Once cold, drain again and pat dry completely. Place in a large bowl along with chickpeas, lima beans, white beans, parsley, thyme, lemon zest and salt. Pour dressing over salad, toss well and refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Serves 8 to 10


Lemon Dill Grilled Chicken

Citrus Dijon Marinade

2  shallots, cut in half

¾ cup fresh lemon juice

3 tbsp lemon zest

¼ cup Dijon mustard

¼ cup olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

10 sprigs fresh dill, washed and uncut


6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

2 lemons or limes


Citrus Dijon Marinade

In large bowl, whisk shallots, lemon juice, zest, mustard, oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour into a glass 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Place chicken between two sheets of waxed paper and pound to even thickness, about ½ inch thick. Add to marinade, scattering dill sprigs on top. Refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours, turning once.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush and oil the grate. Discard marinade and dill, grilling chicken breasts for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until cooked through. Squeeze some lemon or lime juice over the cooked chicken and serve with a wedge of lemon or lime.

Serves 6



Snake in the grass

2 oz     vodka

1 oz     crème de menthe

1 tsp   fresh lime juice

Lemonade to top up glass

Fresh mint, for garnish


Fill tall glass halfway with ice. Add vodka, crème de menthe and lime juice.
Stir to combine and top up with lemonade.
Garnish with fresh mint.

Serves 1

All Ages Proof

For the kids, teetotallers or designated drivers, skip the vodka and crème de menthe to make a lemonade mocktail.