A Tisket A Tasket…Our Mission: Picnic Basket

Author: Corinne  //  Category: Uncategorized

With all the hustle and bustle in our lives these days, there’s nothing more relaxing than spreading out the blanket and having a good old fashioned picnic.  Romantic, family friendly and just plain fun!

A friends husband recently planned her birthday party picnic at a local park.  As I was standing ’round the grill and watching other picnic fanciers and families, I was overwhelmed with a sense of Rockwellian nostalgia.  When we’re out and about with some of our yacht clients, a picnic is a sure fire way to please the guests and get them off the boat and out exploring the great Northwest or Alaska shorelines….just have to wear bells and be careful for bears.  Your dining sense of adventure and freedom will make memories for years to come. 

First, pick a day or date.  Certainly weather is an important factor but here in the Northwest we have a devil may care attitude.  You aren’t going to melt in the rain but sunshine sure helps. Impromptu picnics when the weather is right can be the best!   The site or park you choose may have overhead protection, so in the event of inclement weather, you have options.  I’m headed to some of the local wineries this weekend on my bike with backpack in tow (oh, and a bottle of wine too!)  What’s your favorite venue?  I’d love to hear about your picnic adventures!

A picnic basket,  a backpack, a small piece of luggage, a hamper, or a few coolers…anything works to pack your food in.  Remember the rules on food safety and storage and to keep things that need refrigeration in a cooler and cold.  Anything with mayonnaise should be carefully considered before being a part of meal plan.  I’m including a few picnic recipes for your enjoyment, but I love hearing about what your favorites are.  I say ”You can never have too many recipes”…as in “you can never be too rich or too thin”…HAH!  Enjoy food (the healthy kind).  Life’s too short.

Moveable Feasts come in all shapes and sizes.  For some a simple cheese and fruit board with baguettes is just right.  If you keep things simple your picnic outing will be more enjoyable.  A good rule of thumb is to keep it to 4 items plus a beverage.  That should be plentyof food to feed the masses and you won’t have to lug a bunch of food back or have waste. 

Don’t forget these items:  S&P, Bread, Fruit, Drinks, Corkscrew, Plates & Utensils, Napkins, Cutting Board & Knife, and a cooler.

Al Fresco here we come!  Bon Appetit!

Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad

1 cup basil, packed
1 can quartered artichoke hearts
1-2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. vegetable broth
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
salt, to taste
8 ounces whole wheat pasta, cooked
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

Place the basil and 3 artichoke hearts (12 quarters) in a food processor, and pulse to coarsely chop. Add the garlic, vegetable broth, and lemon juice, and process until it becomes a thick paste. Add salt to taste.

In a serving bowl, combine the cooked pasta with the pesto and blend well. Add the remaining artichoke hearts, the tomato, and the pine nuts and toss. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings. 

Caponata

 

 Ingredients:

¼ cup EV Oil

1 large onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Red Bell Pepper, diced

2 Eggplant, peeled and diced

1 15 oz can tomatoes, diced and in juice

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup Fresh Basil, chiffonade

¼ cup capers, drained

½ cup toasted pinenuts

¼ cup zante currants.

 

Directions:

 

  1. In a large pan in oil, sauté onion and pepper until soft.
  2. Add egglplant and continue sautéing until soft. 
  3. Add tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar.  Stew until eggplant is soft and beginning to macerate.
  4. Fold in remaining ingredients.

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