I’m not sure if it’s the spring fever that overtakes me every year when the weather warms, or the recent closing of my favorite site for resizing images, Picnik, but I’ve been thinking how enjoyable a picnic would be.
It really is one of life’s simple pleasures, doesn’t cost anything but time, and yet I’m certain it’s been years since hubby and I have packed up and made some destination our goal for a picnic.
You can prepare and pack a picnic lunch or you can buy sandwiches and the trimmings already made for you, either way, there is something so relaxing about eating outdoors, communing with nature.
You can drive, bike or walk to the nearest suitable location, throw a blanket on the ground or on top of a park table and I guarantee the food will taste better than you remember the last time you had the very same meal.
I personally love the picnic table and benches for my picnic dining. This setting is pretty spectacular…trees and quiet your only companion (besides you and hubby, of course!)
Don’t have a picnic basket, not to worry. Visit HERE for a DIY project for making one!
Here’s a recipe for a pressed picnic sandwich by Martha Stewart. I think it sounds delicious! I’ll schedule my picnic, make it and let you know.
- 3 medium red bell peppers
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 loaf rustic Italian bread, such as ciabatta
- 1/2 cup prepared black-olive paste
- 8 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 8 ounces marinated artichoke hearts
- 6 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
- 1/4 pound peppered salami, thinly sliced
- 2 1/4 cups loosely packed mixed fresh herbs, such as basil, cilantro, or parsley
- Heat a grill or grill pan to hot; or heat broiler. Cook peppers until completely charred, turning frequently so all sides cook evenly, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Place peppers in a deep bowl, and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set bowl aside until the skins loosen and the peppers are cool enough to handle. Using your hands, rub off the charred skin, rinsing your hands frequently under cold running water. Slice peppers in half, and remove the seeds and stems. Cut flesh into 1-inch-wide strips.
- Make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, combine mustard and vinegar. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Whisk in 2 tablespoons warm water. Whisk in salt and pepper to taste, and set the vinaigrette aside.
- Slice loaf of bread horizontally, and remove soft crumb; reserve crumb for another use. Spread olive paste on the bottom crust, and add the pepper strips. Crumble goat cheese on top of peppers. Arrange artichoke hearts over goat cheese. Drizzle half of the reserved vinaigrette on top. Arrange prosciutto and salami over artichoke hearts. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Scatter herbs over meats. Place the top crust on sandwich.
- Wrap the sandwich tightly with plastic wrap. Set a weight, such as a brick or large cast-iron skillet on top for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, slice sandwich into ten pieces.
And while we’re on Martha’s site…here are her recommendations for:
Make sure to bring a blanket (look for one with a waterproof bottom) and other picnic essentials: plates, napkins, silverware, serving pieces, cups, lanterns or candles if it’s nighttime, condiments, a corkscrew, trash bags, paper towels, sunscreen, and bug spray.
I hope you’re having a wonderful spring and that a picnic is on your calendar.
I’m having fun at The Polohouse with the Favorite’s on the First, have a look!