Inspiration for your next picnic. A big beautiful salad that requires little prep and a couple of mason jars. Hit your local farm stand for some summer freshness and you are half way there.
Mason jar #1: layer with fresh summer corn (cook it then cut it off the cob), black beans, diced cucumbers, farm fresh heirloom tomatoes, and diced avocado (swap in or out what you like)
Mason jar #2: shredded roasted chicken (grilled shrimp also works well)
Additional mason jars: fill with fresh slices of pineapples, local strawberries, or other summertime favorites. Yes, the jars add some weight to the cooler but you can reuse the jars (save a tree and use less plastic).
Pack a small container of your favorite dressing along with small container of feta. The avocado and feta combo really makes this salad creamy and super tasty. Don’t forget a large bowl and wooden serving utensils to prepare your salad. Serve salad in large cups like a solo cup with forks. So much easier to eat!
Tips to save time:
Buy a roasted chicken then shred it yourself. Pre-washed greens of any kind makes this a fast and easy salad. Honestly you don’t even need greens if you want to pass totally up on them. Perhaps toss in some fresh herbs instead.
A summer classic and one you should make yourself. Pesto is just fresh basil plus five other on hand ingredients, a food processor, and minimal effort. Spread it on a fresh tomato mozzarella sandwich, drizzle it over grilled veggies and meats, or simply add it to pasta. Pesto on everything!
Pesto recipes are all pretty much the same with slight variations but I am particularly fond of Ina Garten’s recipe. She mixes pine nuts and walnuts which is provides a nice balanced nutty flavor. A bit of fresh squeezed lemon is also nice. Play with the garlic; this recipe is not shy with it. Ina just hits recipe home runs. Her cookbooks are ones to own and you’ll always find yourself flipping through for inspiration.
Ingredients: 1/4 cup walnuts 1/4 cup pine nuts 3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves) 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 1/2 cups good olive oil 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Directions: Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top