There is something about fresh air and outdoor environments that seems to make good food taste even better. Especially (but not only) when the weather is great, why not celebrate the good things in life with outdoor dining? The possibilities are wide and the experience is always a pleasure.
If outdoor cooking and eating makes you think of plain old barbecues, possibly with the menu a version of charred hamburger patties and beer, think again. Barbecues offer all sorts of options beyond the usual ones. For a special Sunday roast with a difference try pot roasting meat and finishing it off on the barbecue for a meal with oodles of extra flavor. A fish and seafood barbecue is a light and tasty alternative take on the conventional red meat version. In fact, lateral thinking is the secret to creative and fun AL Fresco meals.
For convivial meals with family or friends, or both, there is a lot to be said for brunch on the patio, in the garden or by the pool if you have one. It is a wonderfully versatile meal, with all sorts of opportunities for light, fun food. You can theme it sweet or savory and for entertaining it is not half as much as effort as a lunch or dinner party. Think smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or exotic omelets for a substantial and satisfying late breakfast. For special occasions, throw in some freshly squeezed orange juice and a bottle of champagne.
Home baking has been making a comeback around the world, bringing up another possibility for al fresco dining. The institution of afternoon tea went out a long time ago but is ripe for revival. A spread of homemade and specialist store bought cakes, cookies and pastries can be a delectable occasion. Tea is optional, or splash out on some specialty types.
The picnic concept is another idea that is adaptable for AL Fresco meals. Lots of different cold snack dishes, meze or tapas style, are always delicious and great for an informal gathering. Crusty fresh bread, Mediterranean snacks and some special delicacies make for easy living and socializing. For a sunny day, a good bottle of cold, crisp white wine probably wouldn’t go amiss as an accompaniment!
Al fresco meals are not just for balmy spring and summer days. Outdoor eating on a bracingly cool day can be great if you have patio heating, such as gel fuel outdoor fire, or a fire pit. Think chunky soups in mugs you can warm your hands on while you watch the stars.
Part of successful AL Fresco dining and entertaining is the setting. A all weather patio furniture set will take care of most of your seating problems, or for a sit down meal, outdoor dining table and chairs can be a practical and stylish addition. All you need to come up with is a creative menu….