Packing for a Texas picnic

May 30, 2017 - garden totes

There are dual food events we roughly always avoid: brunches and picnics. The former since they are day-killing affairs that customarily engage temperate mimosas and overcooked eggs; a latter since we don’t like to receptacle around food containers.

That said, spasmodic I’ll suffer a unequivocally good brunch and there are times when I’ve damaged my order about no picnics, too — and with this month’s kickoff of a Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s Concerts in a Garden series, that encourages dusk eating on a grass, I’m revisiting my prior ban. I’d like to be someone who can, during a moment’s notice, only contend approbation to a picnic, make something, container it up, afterwards go. So we gave this some thought.

In Paris, le pique-nique is a approach of life, a approach to accumulate with friends on a weekend, in parks and on rags of weed all over a city. Like so many other things a French do with ease, they’ve also towering picnicking to an art form. If you’re in Paris on a Sunday afternoon in a late open or summer, you’ll see what we mean. They cut their perfect, simply sharable tarts, supplement salads, and toast any other with cosmetic eyeglasses of cold rosé. They are not worried by a intensity messiness of a event or sitting on a ground. Then again, there aren’t a lot of flies or mosquitoes ruining a experience.

Right now in North Texas, before a bugs arrive and empty for a long, prohibited summer, we can try to cruise with French finesse. For me, this amounts to a few pivotal elements: a food needs to be easy to eat, it has to be something we love, and it should be beautiful.

So we channeled my middle Parisienne and came adult with these 4 recipes, all versions of that you’re expected to find during any French cruise on a Champ de Mars on a Sunday — a French tomato tart, honeyed pea hummus, carrot-zucchini salad, and orange cake for dessert. Simple and summery, with an discretionary Eiffel Tower view.

Ellise Pierce is a author of ‘Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking With a French Accent” (Running Press). Read her blog ( and follow her on Twitter (@cowgirlchef) and Instagram (cowgirlchef)

Pea hummus

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 bruise peas, uninformed or frozen

Sea salt, to taste

2 heaping tablespoonfuls tahini*

1 shallot, chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice, and liking of 1 lemon

 1/4 crater pistachios, toasted and chopped, for serving

White and black sesame seeds for serving

Pistachio oil for portion (or we competence use olive oil)

1. Put a middle pot of tainted H2O on to boil. When it boils, supplement a peas, spin a feverishness down to medium, and set a timer for 2 minutes. Remove a peas to a colander and run cold H2O over them to stop a cooking.

2. Put a peas, sea salt to taste, tahini, shallot, lemon extract and liking in a blender and whirr until well-spoken (you competence need to supplement a small bit of H2O for a right consistency). Refrigerate or offer right away, with chopped pistachios, sesame seeds, and a drizzle of pistachio or olive oil on top.

*I like a Al Wadi code of tahini. It’s easy to flow and has a light, eccentric taste.

Carrot-zucchini salad

Makes 4 servings

4 vast carrots (I used a brew of colors)

1 vast zucchini

A handful of mint, torn

Lemony vinaigrette, recipe follows

 1/2 crater hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

1. With a hand-held julienne slicer or a mandoline, cut a carrots and zucchini into prolonged strips. Put these into a vast bowl.

2. Add a packet and some lemony vinaigrette and toss. Top with hazelnuts and some-more mint. Serve.


Lemony vinaigrette

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons champagne vinegar

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 crater grapeseed oil

Put all of a reduction in a jam jar and give it a good shake. Taste for seasonings.

French tomato spicy

Makes 6 servings

1 prebaked Whole wheat olive oil spicy crust, recipe follows

2 heaping tablespoonfuls grainy mustard

2 to 3 vast heirloom tomatoes

6 to 8 cherry tomatoes

A handful basil leaves for serving

1. Prepare a spicy membrane and let it cool.

Save time: You competence bake a spicy membrane a day in allege and keep it in a fridge.

2. Heat a oven to 375 degrees.

3. Spread a mustard over a bottom of a spicy crust.

4. Slice a vast tomatoes into  1/2-inch-thick slices and a cherry tomatoes in half. Arrange these in a pan, creation certain to fist in as many as we can — there will be shrinkage. Bake for 45 mins or until a tomatoes are baked by and soft. Let cold and offer during room feverishness with uninformed basil leaves sparse on top.


Whole wheat-oatmeal spicy crust

Makes 1

2 cups whole wheat flour

 1/4 crater oatmeal (quick)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 crater olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 crater ice water

1. Line a bottom of an 11-inch spicy vessel with vellum paper (this will keep your membrane from adhering to a vessel and ripping apart), and feverishness a oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a middle bowl, drive together flour, oatmeal, and sea salt. Add a oil and sugarine and brew with a wooden spoon. Add a H2O a small bit during a time (you competence not need all of it), and brew only until a brew comes together.

3. Roll out a brew on a easily floured surface, lay it into a spicy pan, and trim a edges by simply rolling a rolling pin over a top. Prick a bottom with a flare and cold for an hour or cocktail in a freezer for 30 mins (my favorite method, since it’s faster), until a brew is good and firm.

4. Blind bake a crust. Line a solidified membrane with vellum and fill with cake weights or dry beans. Put a spicy vessel on a cookie piece and bake for 20 minutes. Remove a weights and parchment, and bake for 10 some-more minutes, so a bottom cooks through. Let it cold a bit before filling.

Cowgirl tip: Make delicious crackers with leftover pieces of dough. Just widespread a pieces out on a cookie piece — creation certain to rip them into pieces approximately a same distance so they’ll prepare uniformly — shower with sea salt, peppers and whatever uninformed spices we have on palm (I like thyme), easily press or hurl into a dough, and bake for 10 minutes, or until a pieces start to demeanour crispy. This brew is eccentric and somewhat honeyed and these small crackers remind me of Wheat Thins — and are only as addictive. You’ve been warned.

From “Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking With a French Accent”

Lime cake

Makes 1 loaf

1  1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 crater grated orange zest

1 crater sugar, and 2 tablespoons for a top

1 hang (1/2 crater butter), softened

2 extra-large eggs, during room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 crater orange juice

1/2 crater buttermilk

1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a bottom of an 8  1/2-inch-by-4 1/4-inch fritter vessel with vellum paper.

2. In a middle bowl, differentiate together a flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In another bowl, massage a orange liking into a sugar. Put a sugarine in a mixer play with a butter and brew until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

4. While a mixer is running, supplement a eggs one during a time (after any egg, we brew about 1 minute). Add a vanilla.

5. Put a orange extract into play with a buttermilk.

6. Starting and finale with a sifted flour mixture, supplement a flour, afterwards a soppy reduction to a blending bowl. Pour a beat into a vessel and shower a 2 tablespoons of sugarine on top. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester in a core comes out clean. Remove and let cold in a vessel on a rack.

Adapted from “The New York Times Cookbook”

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