The Salmon Niçoise Pasta Salad is a twist on the classic French dish, with hearty noodles and salmon in place of the traditional tuna. A grilled vegetable salad makes good use of seasonal favorites-zucchini, squash, peppers, and basil-accented by creamy goat cheese.
For a light finish, try Lemon-Mint Melon Compote. (The quick dish is even easier when you buy cut fruit from the market.)
These three simple salads can be made up to a day ahead, giving you more time to plan activities.
Salmon Niçoise Pasta Salad
Whether you're planning a portable feast on your sailboat or simply cruising to the local park, follow these guidelines for a tasty and safe outdoor meal.
• Freeze bottled water and juices in plastic bottles for cool drinks later in the day. Pack with the food to keep items chilled.
• Bring a plastic tarp to place under your blanket or quilt if the ground is damp.
• Pack antibacterial gel for eager shell hunters and sand castle builders to use before eating.
• Eat soon after setting up your picnic so food doesn't reach unsafe temperatures.
• Remember to bring along bags for trash you'll dispose of later.
• Bring moist towelettes for before-and after-mealtime cleanup. Improvise with several damp paper towels folded in a zip-top bag.