Go to picnic hot spots — parks, beaches, outdoor concerts and the like — and see what people are carrying. Mostly, it’s bags of store-bought food, not coolers of home-cooked. While grab-and-go counters of picnicky food are almost universally mediocre and exasperatingly expensive, I do understand the temptation to outsource. The weather is hot, you might not feel like cooking in the first place and, in addition to actually making the food, you have to pack it, transport it and ensure that it’s still edible by the time it reaches its final destination.
The recipes here are built to last, so you don’t have to worry about timing. Not only are they hardy enough to hang out in the fridge for a while, but many also benefit from that resting time, like the classic French “bathed bread” sandwich and salads featuring sturdy ingredients like lentils, green beans, seaweed and chicken.
Read the rest of this column and get the recipes here.