In the heat one thing really makes for a nice treat.

Fruit salad.

Fruit salad is great for the heat and less expensive this time of year. Mix 1/2 pack of vanilla instant pudding mix with the pineapple juice from a can of pineapple to make a mildly sweet sauce. Add the pineapple, apples, mandarin oranges (in juice but don't add the juice), peaches, grapes, blueberries, kiwi, cherries, blackberries, plums, apricots, and whatever else you love or is on sale.

Pulled pork is a good main dish; drop a Boston butt in the crock pot for 8 hours and shred with a fork and add or offer BBQ sauce. You could offer slider buns too.

Homemade mac n cheese works great for a cookout since even if it isn't super hot it still tastes great.

I'm a picnic-er. I probably do one or two a week.

  • Mark Bittman is my herofor this list of 100 picnic ideas
  • I'm having a moment with roasted zucchini. It is great at room temp and would travel well (although it won't look like this picture since it doesn't really brown.) This recipe is also great with a touch of paprika.
  • If you don't mind taking things in separate containers this panzanella recipe is very good. You could combine everything but the bread beforehand and just dump the whole thing over the bread when you get there.
  • Lots of sandwiches (and salads!) work better if you let them sit. My fave is buttered toasted onion roll blue cheese roast beef or steak thin sliced red onion horseradish. Or kings hawaiian roll sandwiches without pork.
  • For a nice picnic I'm a fan of charcuterie. Pick 2 or 3 hard cheese, a meat or two, some cornichons and crackers. Done. Depending on what you've got some fruit might be nice (prosciutto and cantelope, blue cheese and figs, etc) For a more downscale I just make adult lunchables (turkey deli cheese good crackers grapes or apples)
  • Elote is amazing for picnics.