The Cowgirl Chef: Pack a Mediterranean-style picnic

June 1, 2015 - garden totes

Like so many things in Paris that have to do with food, a thought of picnicking, too, has been towering to something impossibly stylish, when frankly, a cut of homemade pate, a uninformed baguette, a crowd of slimey Camembert and a bottle of Burgundy would contend “picnic” to me — and has, many times.

Every year, a food magazines underline elaborate, stylish spreads on picnics, since that’s what people do here — they adore tossing down a sweeping wherever there’s a bit of belligerent and enjoying lunch or dinner.

After being cooped adult for months or differently slogging by a unconstrained cold, gray and soppy days, when a object finally shows a face, we wish to be out in it — even if that means sitting on a weed in a park with a few hundred others who have a same idea.

Anyone who has lived by a slimy North Texas open understands this idea.

The French are arrange of experts in a art of le pique-nique. It is, in fact, a possess season, kicking off around May and durability until a finish of September, give or take. Stores run out cruise displays with this year’s versions of wooden knives, forks and spoons and dinnerware and bowls done of bamboo.

There are skinny string cloth napkins that come on rolls like paper towels, in splendid colors and prints, and naturally, champagne and booze eyeglasses — a thought being for all of these things, that we can use them once, afterwards toss them in a nearest poubelle (trash bin) on a approach behind to a automobile or house.

I indeed cite to use things for picnicking that we already possess — my stout Duralex bistro eyeglasses work as good for booze and H2O during a cruise as they do during home, and my plates, all flea-market finds, transport easily, too, generally when we use cloth linen napkins in between them to keep them from breaking. The thought is to keep a menu simple, and to use as few utensils as possible.

Dips, such as a artichoke and spinach hummus that follows, usually need pita chips or another imperishable drop holder.

The dual salads need usually a image and a fork. And a yogurt cake, some-more robust than delicate, can be eaten, hand-held, with unequivocally few descending crumbs.

Not that a French would ever eat a square of cake like that, though we won’t tell if we won’t. Pass a rosé and let’s toast to eating outdoor on balmy days.

Ellise Pierce is a Cowgirl Chef and author of “Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking With a French Accent” (Running Press, $25). www.cowgirlchef.com, @cowgirlchef.

Chopped Greek toasted pita bread salad

Makes 4 first-course servings

  • 3 pieces seared pita bread, ripped into 1-inch pieces
  • About 1/2 crater olive oil, divided use
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped shallot
  • 3 tablespoons red booze vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 immature onions, chopped
  • Handful Kalamata olives, halved
  • Small handful uninformed packet leaves
  • Small handful uninformed oregano
  • About 1/4 crater crumbled feta

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss a pita bread pieces with 2 tablespoons of a olive oil, a splash of sea salt and pepper, and lay out on a cookie sheet. Bake until pieces are brownish-red and crispy, about 10 minutes; afterwards take them out of a oven, flip them over and prepare for 5 mins more.

2. Make a vinaigrette: Put chopped shallot, vinegars, mustard, and a splash of salt and peppers in a jam jar and give it a good shake. Let it rest for about 10 minutes, afterwards supplement a remaining olive oil and shake again. Taste for seasonings.

3. Put a rest of a reduction in a vast play and, only before serving, supplement a crispy pita pieces and some of a vinaigrette, and toss. Eat right away.

Nutritional analyis per serving: 378 calories, 30 grams fat, 24 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 291 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber, 69 percent of calories from fat.

Radicchio and basil pasta salad

Makes 6 servings

  • 1/4 bruise tiny pasta, such as orzo
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 2 tiny heads radicchio, chopped into ribbons
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 12 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons hunger nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red peppers flakes
  • 1/4 crater creatively grated Parmesan
  • Small handful uninformed basil leaves, torn

1. Cook pasta in easily pickled H2O until al dente. Let a pasta empty and cold in a colander.

2. When a pasta is cooled, place it in a vast play along with all else solely a Parmesan cheese and basil. Toss reduction and cold until right before portion (or going on your picnic). At a final moment, supplement a Parmesan and basil, and toss again. Taste for seasonings and offer right away.

Cowgirl tip: Buy a best pasta we can find. It’s value profitable a additional sire or dual for something that’s flavorful.

Nutritional analyis per serving: 170 calories, 9 grams fat, 19 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 3 milligrams cholesterol, 170 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 45 percent of calories from fat.

— Inspired from a recipe in Bon Appetit

Artichoke and spinach hummus

Makes 3 cups

  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, emptied and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tiny clove garlic
  • 2 vast handfuls uninformed baby spinach
  • Zest and extract of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
  • Sea salt (to taste)

1. Pinch a skins off of a chickpeas (yes, unequivocally — it’ll make for a smoother, creamier hummus) and put a peas in a food processor. Blend, adding a bit of H2O to assistance a peas puree.

2. Now supplement a rest of a reduction and blend. Let rest for during slightest a half-hour before serving.

Nutritional research per 1-tablespoon serving: 25 calories, 1 gram fat, 3 grams carbohydrates, snippet protein, no cholesterol, 49 milligrams sodium, snippet dietary fiber, 46 percent of calories from fat.

French yogurt cake

Makes 8 to 10 servings

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 crater sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 crater whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 crater unfeeling oil (I use sunflower oil in France), and somewhat some-more for oiling a sides of a pan
  • Powdered sugar, for powdering (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a bottom of a 10-inch springform vessel with vellum paper and easily oil a sides. Place a vessel on a cookie piece to locate any spillage.

2. In a tiny bowl, drive together a flour, baking powder and salt. Set this aside.

3. Mix together a liking and a sugar, regulating your fingers to massage a liking into a sugarine — by doing this, we recover a oils, creation a cake some-more fragrant.

4. Using a mixer, kick a eggs until light, afterwards supplement a yogurt, liking and sugar, vanilla and oil, and brew well. Now supplement a flour reduction and brew only until total — we don’t wish to overmix. Pour beat into a pan, and bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let cold on a rack. Slice and shower with powdered sugar, if we have some on hand. (It creates a cake pretty.)

Nutritional research per serving, formed on 8: 320 calories, 10 grams fat, 51 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 83 milligrams cholesterol, 337 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 28 percent of calories from fat.

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