Portable Summer Eating, Mediterranean Style

The outdoors calls to us this time of year: picnics, ball games, bonfires, and beaches – they all beckon with a promise of good time under the open sky. So, we pack our blankets, bug spray, and sunscreen and off we go, right?

But, what about them snacks and drinks? Is your picnic menu as dented and well used as your cooler? Shake things up this summer with fresh and flavorful Mediterranean dishes that can no only withstand the heat, but help relieve it as well.

Start with a refreshing Hibiscus-Strawberry cooler, which is appropriate for all ages (add vodka, tequila, bourbon or rum at your own discretion). Pack a container of zesty hummus and add some crunchy vegetables for dipping; carrots and celery sticks, sugar snap peas and cucumbers work well.

The American tuna sandwich has a fierce competitor in the Tunisian Tuna version, which has no mayo and therefore can withstand the summer temps. Cut each lemony, spicy sandwich in half and then wrap individually in wax paper before stashing in your cooler.

One of the most popular Israeli summer desserts is a watermelon-feta salad. The sweetness of the watermelon is heightened by the saltiness of the feta for a remarkable summer-y taste. You gotta taste it to believe it!

If you are still craving that sweet baked goodness, try a date cookie, which will not melt or spoil in the heat either.

Before you pack your cooler, consider freezing a few water bottles to pack in it. They can serve as ice packs and then can be drunk as they thaw.

Let your mouth feast on these flavors and your mind will almost believe that you are on a faraway vacation soaking in the Mediterranean sun – for the price of a homemade picnic!