Originally the French word piquenique was used to describe nibbling simple foods in a frugal atmosphere. To this day, a picnic represents an “improvised lunch” enjoyed outdoors, on a meadow, alongside a river, or on the beach. And in the carry-out basket, there is no shortage of tasty and delicious recipes which can be prepared in the home kitchen and then carried on the go.

As well as providing a perfect backdrop for an outing, Tuscany also features many gastronomical ideas: genuine flavours and quality ingredients to put in your cooler and share with friends.

Perfect Tuscan picnic recipes

Easter Monday, April 25, May 1, and more: many meals can be prepared for a springtime trip in nature. Our advice is to cook simple but tasty recipes which are not particularly heavy and above all easy to eat. Finger food, for instance, which allows eating without using a knife and fork, can be a good trade-off between gourmet and traditional cuisine.

Sandwiches

Sandwich lovers can indulge their appetites with a variety of Tuscan cold cuts and cheeses. Pane Toscano DOP can be served with Pecorino Toscano DOP (fresh or semi-aged), Prosciutto Toscano DOP, Tuscan salami or Cinta Senese DOP guanciale.

Salads and rustic pies

In addition to sandwiches, vegetables can also be added for a balanced lunch: a mixed salad is a great way to stay light. Those who don’t want to give up their Tuscan taste can combine lettuce, Finocchiona IGP, melon, and prunes for a perfect combination of freshness.

If you want to add a touch of creativity to your picnic, why not try a savoury pie? The torta d’erbe (o d’erbi), as an example, is a typical recipe from Lunigiana and is prepared with wild herbs and seasonal vegetables. The torta di Villa Basilica, on the other hand, is a savoury rice pie and perhaps the most typical dish of the municipality of Villa Basilica: it is strong and zesty as a result of the combination of two strong cheeses, in addition to pepper and spices.

Panzanella croccante (a fresh and crispy Tuscan bread crouton salad), sformatini di carciofo monoporzione (bite size artichoke flans), and Farro della Garfagnana IGP spelt salads are all alternatives to the classic sandwich and can also be enjoyed cold.

Fruit and desserts

Let’s not forget the fruit. As we enter the warm season, we can delight in a colourful fruit salad before moving on to desserts. Cantuccini Toscani IGP biscuits are a must in the basket, but also apple pies or tarts with homemade jam.

What to drink for a spring toast

If you are a beer enthusiast, you can choose Tuscan craft brews; on the other hand, for an old-fashioned picnic, you can play it safe with your favourite wines. From Maremma to Chianti, from Lucchesia to Terre di Pisa: here is a wine list to be inspired.