With summer just around the corner, the President’s Lawn (or Pres Lawn, as it’s affectionately called) is now the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon. Rather than spend your meal time cooped up inside one of the dining halls, try a putting together a picnic to enjoy with a group of friends and soak up some sun.
If your not frantically cramming for your summer organic chemistry class and have some extra time, you’ll find that Tufts and Somerville have everything you’ll need to create a great picnic lunch.
The best picnic, in my opinion, is what my friends and I like to call the “Euro Lunch.” Rather than buy a whole bunch of prepared foods, buy a selection of quality ingredients that lend themselves well to a prolonged, leisurely meal.
First up, the bread. Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or a self-professed meat-lover, a great loaf of bread gives you a great base for the meal. Try Pepe Bocca for hearty Italian loaves or focaccias, or Dave’s Fresh Pasta for a wide variety of rustic loaves and rolls. Flying Pig Bakery also has a nice selection of specialty breads, with flavors that range from cranberry-orange to roasted garlic.
Next, to put on your bread, you’ll want a variety of delicious, yet easy to transport fillings. A nice cheese, such as gruyere or chevre is great if you’re willing to splurge, and if you’re looking for a more affordable option most local grocery stores sell sharp cheddars at a good price. Cured meats like salami, prosciutto, and jamon serrano are also nice, and if you don’t consume either meat or cheese buy some hummus or roasted peppers and eggplant from the prepared foods section at Dave’s Fresh Pasta.
You’ll also want some spreads and condiments to add to mix; a nice olive tapenade or roasted red pepper spread adds a nice flavor and richness, while honey highlights the sharp nuttiness of aged cheese.
Finally, throw a few pieces of fruit into the picnic basket to pair with the cheese and cleanse the palate at the end of the meal. If they’re on sale, strawberries are nice, while thinly sliced apples also do the trick. Slice some fruit and place it on some good bread with cheese and honey, and you’ll understand why the French and Italians serve fruit and cheese together.
Lastly, don’t forget a few things to make the picnic more enjoyable. Bring a blanket to sit on (the ones you get for free at orientation work especially well) with a few heavy things to weight down the edges if it’s particularly windy out. Pack plenty of napkins, utensils, and cups, as well as some water to wash off your hands in case they get sticky. Then head out to the Pres Lawn with your food, grab some friends, and get ready to enjoy a nice meal on the last few days of this semester!
Cover image source.