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5 Picnic-Perfect Recipes

Published August 6, 2020

1. Panzanella
Cut ciabatta or other good bread into cubes. Chop ripe tomatoes, oil-cured black olives, anchovies, garlic, and capers; combine with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and lots of black pepper. Add the bread, tossing to absorb the dressing. garnish with fresh chopped basil and shaved Parmesan cheese.

2. Black Bean and Mango Salad
Rinse and drain a can of black beans (or use a couple cups of homemade beans) and combine with a diced mango, a chopped red bell pepper, two or three chopped scallions, and some minced fresh chile. Drizzle with olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Toss with fresh chopped mint or cilantro and serve.

3. Rice Noodles with Cilantro Pesto
Soak rice vermicelli in boiling water to cover. In a food processor, puree two large handfuls of cilantro, the juice of a lime, a few tablespoons of olive oil, a slice of soft butter, salt, and pepper. Toast a handful of peanuts in a skillet lightly until fragrant and just golden. Drain the noodles and toss with the cilantro pesto; garnish with the toasted nuts.

4. Grilled Lemon-Tarragon Chicken
Mix the zest of a lemon with some chopped fresh tarragon (no more than a teaspoon or so; it’s strong). Brush thin chicken breasts with olive oil, smear with the zest and tarragon, and season with salt and pepper. grill the chicken, turning it once, until cooked through. Squeeze more lemon juice over the chicken, then serve, with coarse-grain mustard on the side.

5. Pound Cake with Mascarpone and Marmalade
Spread mascarpone on slices of your favorite bakery pound cake and drizzle with warmed marmalade or honey.