Afternoon Delights: An Autumnal Picnic Menu

With a nod to classic Italian delis, this casual lunch was designed to celebrate Ontario’s harvest season and all the produce it has to offer. Savour the last warm days of the year with this alfresco menu that captures all the things we love about fall in every bite.




Celery & Tarragon Soup




Roasted Cauliflower & Oven-Dried Grapes





Pine Nut & Rosemary Brittle


Picnic menu tips

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Divide and conquer 

Make dressings, toppings and spreads the day before for easier assembly.

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Wrap it up

Wrap sandwiches in parchment paper and then plastic wrap for trouble-free transport. When it comes time to serve, cut through both layers rather than unwrapping (this will keep ingredients in place and help you create tidy, compact slices).

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Make it ahead

Cook the soup the day before and the brittle up to a week in advance.


What to serve

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Celery & Tarragon Soup with Beau’s Country Vibes Amber Lagered Ale

This craft brew’s rich, malty texture, herbal hops and pleasant spice tones work wonderfully with the soup’s flavours and consistency. The carbonation refreshes the palate. 

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Roasted Cauliflower & Semi-Dried Grapes with Fielding Riesling VQA

Riesling’s perfectly balanced sweetness enhances the flavours of cauliflower and grapes. The crisp acidity in a wine like Fielding Riesling VQA counters the texture and the richness of the nuts and anchovies.

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Italian Cold Cut Sando with Ruffino Chianti

This food-friendly red offers earthy red fruit and dried herb notes, and enough structure to complement and contrast the flavours and ingredients in the sando.

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Raw Rapini Salad with Folonari Valpolicella Classico

Cherry, spice and herb flavours harmonize with the greens, while this wine’s structure matches the intensity of the rapini and garlic, and the sharpness of the cheese.

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The Veggie Muffuletta with Ace Hill Pilsner

The palate cleansing carbonation, crisp hops and malt flavours of a Pilsner (like Ace Hill's) offer a refreshing match to the chili spice and richness of the olives, vegetables and cheese.

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Pine Nut & Rosemary Brittle with Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge

For an easy match, serve the orange liqueur from the recipe. Enjoy it in a snifter or on the rocks, or add it to coffee.