Tips for the Perfect Picnic

In Parade Magazine, A Year of Picnics author Ashley English offers tips for the perfect way to celebrate International Picnic Day  on June 18th or for your next picnic outing this summer.

From what types of fabrics to use for a picnic blanket (rugs or something waterproof), to ways to carry your picnic items (she suggests an old suitcase), and the best tableware (lightweight stainless steel), you'll find these tips and much more in her book.

Parade Magazine also shares one of our favorite picnic classics from the book: Smoky Cauliflower Spread (pictured below).

See the whole Parade Magazine post here

Smoky Cauliflower Spread

Cauliflower doesn’t get enough love, in my book. Often served barely steamed and hardly edible as a side-dish afterthought, it’s a delicious vegetable that needs to have its day in the sun, and that day is today! Roasted, the florets develop a wonderful sweetness and tenderness. Cream cheese, sour cream, and paprika aid in taking things from ho-hum to hallelujah! 


2 cauliflower heads
½ cup olive oil
1 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp smoked sea salt (plain is fine too)
1 Tbsp smoky paprika
Juice of 1 lemon
Crusty bread, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Break the cauliflower heads down into florets. Put on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with ¼ cup of the olive oil. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, until browned around the edges.

3. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for a few min­utes. While still warm, transfer the cauliflower to a food processor and puree. Add the cream cheese and process until incorporated. Add the sour cream, salt, paprika, and lemon juice and puree.

4. Serve with bread, at room temperature or lightly chilled.

Makes 5 to 6 cups