Al fresco dining is simply “eating outdoors”. It adds a lively and enjoyable dimension to dining and gets you out of the house into the fresh, open air, encouraging a good appetite and an appreciation for the slower pace of life.
First: Find a Location
Sheltered from wind and direct sun.
Spacious so your guests have plenty of space to relax and enjoy their meal.
Comfortable and pleasant – try to avoid facing blank, dull features such as a concrete wall. If you have problem walls, etc., try to enhance these or cover them with plants, decorative items, etc.
- Near the kitchen for ease of bringing out the food, or at least accessible easily via a pathway, etc.
- A tablecloth, some flowers, a lantern, etc. are the types of items suitable for decorating an outdoor table. Remember that you will have to cart all these items from the inside to outdoors and vice versa, so minimize this by being smart about your decoration choices. Even grabbing a pot plant from outside and placing it on a clean saucer for a feature piece can work well and it’s easier to restore to its place after the meal.
Third: Select a Menu
- Cold food is often an easier choice than hot food, unless you have a barbecue or warming pad near to the table. A mixture of barbecued food with salads, sliced vegetables/fruit, pasta, cheeses, pâtés, etc., works well for al fresco dining.
Fourth: Use Insect Deterrents
- This one is important especially here in the South. Place insect repellent herbs near the dining area (e.g., lavender, tansy, pyrethrum, etc.) and burn citronella candles or oil to keep the insects at bay.
Dinning Al Fresco is simple, easy but adds a big punch to your party or just a quiet evening with friends an family. And for your Al Fresco Dining Pleasure……We thought we’d share this healthy Potato Salad recipe via www.fitsugar.com
- 1lb potatoes, washed and cut into 1″ chunks, skin-on
- ¼ lb bacon (4 oz)
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 1lb asparagus, trimmed, washed and cut into ½” slices
- 5 fresh chives, chopped (approx 2-3 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Par boil potatoes until fork tender, approximately 10-12 minutes, depending on size. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- In a large frying pan, saute shallot with bacon on medium heat 4-5 minutes
- Add asparagus pieces and saute for another 2-3 minutes
- In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar and oil
- In a large mixing bowl, combine potatoes, asparagus, bacon, chives, and dressing mixture. Toss well to combine
- Season with salt and pepper
- Serve warm or cold!