A Salad For Your Next Picnic

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.

Enjoy!

It Is All About The Citrus!

Citrus comes in many shades with flavors ranging from tart to sweet.  A bit like candy but not.  Part of my winter survival will be finding tasty ways to get my daily dose of vitamin C.  Here is a lovely winter citrus salad paired with toasted hazelnuts and fennel from Smitten Kitchen (no surprise).  My orange cutting skills could use some improvement but other than that, this dish is pure sunshine.  Don’t be afraid to mix up the citrus.  I used two blood oranges, a sumo orange, and a grapefruit.  Fennel and blood orange salad recipe and images from Smitten Kitchen.  So good, so clean, so refreshing!   

1/4 cup hazelnuts or walnuts
1 medium-large fennel bulb, leaves and stems trimmed off
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
2 large blood oranges
1 small shallot, peeled and cut into paper-thin slices
10 mint leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lime zest

Place nuts in dry skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, to toast. Let cool. If using hazelnuts, roll them around in a dishcloth (or, if cool enough, in your hands), discarding any loose skins. Coarsely chop nuts; set aside.

Slice about 1/2 inch from bottom of fennel and discard. Slice fennel very thinly on a mandolin, benriner or with a knife, starting with flat bottom side. Toss in serving bowl with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Trim all peel and pith from oranges. Holding peeled fruit over bowl containing fennel, use sharp knife to cut sections from membrane and let them drop into bowl. Squeeze remaining membrane over bowl to sprinkle salad with remaining juice, and discard membrane.Add shallots, mint leaves, olive oil and reserved nuts and toss gently. Sprinkle with lime zest.

Do ahead: While the mint leaves will look and taste best on the first day, I really enjoyed the leftovers from this salad for lunch the next day.

Fruit Lovers Only

The season for fresh juicy peaches and vibrant berries is here. Last weekend, the peaches and berries were on full display at the farmers market.  I am already regretting not buying more of them.   The season is short and you must take advantage of your local farmer’s bounty.  Pick them yourself if you have the time.  Such a wonderful summer activity.  I have found two different ways to enjoy these summer delights from epicurious that if times allows, I will give a go.  Otherwise, I will add them to my greek yogurt or enjoy them one bite at a time while lounging on deck.

Peach Salad, Blueberry and Corn Crisp from epicurious.  And if you are really up for enjoying some peaches long after the season then this jam looks damn tasty (maybe it is the bourbon that caught my attention).