For summertime meals on the go, think beyond the basket. Anything that can be served cold or at room temperature - grilled steak and corn, for example, taste great either way - has picnic potential. A gazpacho-like soup is a natural contender, as is a toss-together bulgur salad. Our orzo-chicken salad is eaten in crisp lettuce cups, so you can even forgo utensils.

SKIRT STEAK AND CORN WITH CHIMICHURRI

The steak and corn can be grilled up to a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator, in separate containers; serve them cold or at room temperature. The chimichurri can also be made up to a day ahead; store it in the refrigerator in a jar, with a thin layer of olive oil on top. Shake to combine before serving, at room temperature.

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

1 1/4 pounds skirt steak, room temperature, cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

4 ears corn, husks and silk removed, cut into quarters

1/3 cup packed finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/3 cup packed finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems

1/4 teaspoon minced garlic (from 1 small clove)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

Baguette, sliced into 2-inch pieces, for serving

1. Heat grill for direct heat. Season steak with salt and pepper. Grill, flipping once, until charred in spots, 4 to 6 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board; let stand 10 minutes.

2.Meanwhile, grill corn, turning a few times, until blistered in spots and crisp-tender, 6 to 7 minutes.

3.Stir together herbs, garlic, oil and vinegar in a bowl; season chimichurri with salt and pepper. Thinly slice steak against the grain. Serve with corn, chimichurri and baguette slices.

CHILLED SPANISH-STYLE TOMATO SOUP

Don’t overlook the importance of the accompaniments. Eggs, tuna, cured meats and other protein-rich items make this otherwise light-bodied soup a satisfying meal. Set everything out in separate dishes, and let everyone pick and choose among the offerings.

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Servings: 4

2 1/2 pounds tomatoes

1 small clove garlic, smashed

3 slices white sandwich bread, torn into 2-inch pieces

1/3 cup blanched almonds, toasted

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Assorted accompaniments, such as chopped hard-cooked eggs, tuna in olive oil, sliced ham or prosciutto, Spanish olives, Marcona almonds, manchego cheese and crackers

1.Make a 1/4-inch-deep X in bottom of each tomato with the tip of a paring knife, then core. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch tomatoes 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl of ice water and let stand until cool. Drain; peel and quarter tomatoes.

2.Transfer tomatoes to a blender along with garlic, bread, almonds, vinegar and oil. Puree until smooth, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Serve soup with accompaniments.

GRILLED RATATOUILLE AND BULGUR SALAD

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

1 medium eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips

1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips

1 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips

1 large onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

2 medium tomatoes, halved crosswise

Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing and drizzling

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

3 cups cooked bulgur or couscous (from 1 cup dry)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

1/2 baguette, halved lengthwise

1 clove garlic, halved

1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves (from 1 bunch)

1. Heat grill for direct heat. Brush eggplant, zucchini, squash, onion and tomatoes with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill, flipping once, until lightly charred and tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Place bulgur in a container, and pour vegetables and accumulated juices on top. Sprinkle with lemon juice and drizzle with oil. (Store in refrigerator up to 2 days; let come to room temperature before serving.)

2.Brush both sides of baguette with oil. Grill, flipping once, until edges are crisp and charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Rub top of bread with garlic; cut into 1/2-inch croutons. (Store at room temperature up to 2 days.) Top salad with basil and croutons before serving.

CHICKEN, ARTICHOKE AND ORZO LETTUCE CUPS

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

1 cup orzo

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 2 tablespoons juice

1 shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

2 teaspoons packed finely chopped fresh oregano leaves

2 boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves (about 6 ounces each), butterflied, sliced in half and pounded 1/4 inch thick

9 ounces thawed frozen artichoke hearts, patted dry

1 to 2 romaine-lettuce hearts, trimmed and leaves separated

1.Cook orzo in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together 5 tablespoons oil, lemon zest and juice, shallot and oregano; season with salt and pepper. Drain orzo, transfer to a bowl and toss with half of dressing.

2.Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl in remaining 1 tablespoon oil; add chicken in a single layer. Cook, flipping once, until golden and just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes a side. Transfer to a plate. Add artichoke hearts to skillet; cook, stirring until warmed through, about 1 minute. Transfer to bowl with orzo. Shred chicken; add to orzo with remaining dressing. Toss to combine; season with salt and pepper. (Store in refrigerator up to 2 days.) Serve in lettuce cups.

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