LABOR DAY: PicNic Time

LABOR DAY: PicNic Time

Sep 07, 2020Donatella Mulvoni

Summer is over, at least according to tradition: when Labor Day comes around, we all have to say goodbye to vacations and hello to a new season of work and projects. 



This year, Labor Day falls on September 7th. It is a national holiday to honor working people, their efforts, their sacrifices, and their achievements.

The 2020 Labor Day weekend will be different from ones in the past. We are still living in a world affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, in which social distancing and mask-use are still essential despite the reopening of many offices and restaurants. We will not be able to participate in all the traditional activities that cities like New York or San Francisco organize for this festive weekend. Recent surveys also show that many Americans will spend the holiday at or near their home. But not to worry: we can still honor Labor Day with the activity Americans most love to do during this holiday: a picnic. 

You can picnic anywhere that has a little space and greenery, be it a garden, a park, or a beach. However, the global health emergency makes it imperative not to mingle with too many people, especially individuals we don’t know. But as long as we pay attention to these rules,  we can celebrate!

Labor Day was first celebrated in 1882 in New York City, as organized by the Central Labor Union. Starting in 1884, however, the city turned the festivity into a regular holiday recurring on the first Monday of September.



With the summer’s warm weather, eating outside is a real pleasure. Of course, we need to come prepared to any picnic with a blanket, a book, some music, and some really delicious, light food. Today we are going to share with you Italians’ favorite summer picnic food.



This is without a doubt Italy’s most popular summertime recipe. We love to make it for lunch al fresco, picnics, or dinners with friends and family. It’s simple and quick, but suits any occasion and time of day. Insalata di riso can be very light, because it is simply boiled rice mixed with chopped vegetables, and there is an infinite variety of recipes to prepare it: anyone can choose their preferred condiments! You can add meat, fish, or keep it plain with only vegetables. The most traditional ingredients Italians use for their insalata di riso are olives, tuna, tomatoes, prosciutto cotto, fontina or mozzarella cheese, zucchini, roasted red peppers, artichokes in oil, and mushrooms. Some like to add mayo, though the most important part of your insalata di riso is the olive oil you dress it with.



We recommend using top-quality rice like Tenuta Margherita’s Carnaroli Brown rice. This rice has a nutty color, which is preserved by only removing the kernel’s outer husk upon processing.  Rich in vitamins, fibers, and mineral salts, after being boiled, it is perfect for side dishes and salads. For your extra virgin olive oil, go for Redoro’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Obtained from organically-certified farming, it is naturally clear with golden overtones. Its flavor is balanced, with just a bit of spiciness and a slight hint of fresh olives. 

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