The weather is finally warming up. It’s the perfect time for picnics before it gets too hot outside. Below are some fancy and delicious recipes to eat out in the sun. Get that vitamin D!
1. Herb & Lemon Pasta Salad
Recipe / Image Credit: Love & Lemons
- 3 cups uncooked fusilli pasta
- 2 heaping cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 cup Persian cucumbers, sliced into thin half moons
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup basil leaves, torn
- 1/2 cup minced parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped mint
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence or dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions, or until slightly past al dente.
2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, herbes de Provence (or Italian seasoning), red pepper flakes, and salt. (Note: the dressing will have a strong flavor, but it will mellow once it coats all of the pasta ingredients.)
3. Drain the pasta, toss it with a little olive oil (so that it doesn’t stick together), and let it cool to room temperature. Transfer to a large bowl with the tomatoes, chickpeas, arugula, cucumbers, feta cheese, basil, parsley, mint, and pine nuts. Pour the dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with more lemon, salt, pepper, and/or a drizzle of olive oil, if desired, and serve.
2. Spinach Hummus Wrap
Recipe / Image Credit: Love & Lemons
- 4 large tortillas
- Several handfuls of spinach leaves – about 8 per wrap
- 1 cucumber, cut into long thin slices – 2 per wrap
- 2-3 mixed (mild) peppers – about 6 slices per wrap
- Fresh parsley sprigs, optional
- Sprinkle of hemp seeds, optional
Spinach Hummus* (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth (or water)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups packed fresh spinach
*Of course, you can use your favorite store-bought hummus instead of creating your own.
1. Make the Spinach Hummus (if you’re creating your own hummus): In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, vegetable broth, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, parsley, cumin, paprika, and black pepper and blend well. Add the spinach and blend again. Chill until ready to use.
2. To assemble the wraps, spread about 1/4 cup of hummus on each wrap, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Add the spinach leaves followed by the cucumber and pepper slices. Top with the fresh parsley, protein of choice, and hemp seeds (if using). Roll up the wraps and then wrap in foil. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Brie and Prosciutto Sandwich
Recipe / Image Credit: Half-Baked Harvest
Balsamic Fig Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fig preserves
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread, halved lengthwise
- 1/2 cup pitted mixed olives, chopped
- 2 roasted bell peppers, sliced
- 9-12 ounces assorted deli meat (prosciutto spicy salami and Spanish chorizo)
- 1 (8 oz) wheel Brie, sliced
- 2 cups baby arugula
1. To make the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a glass jar and whisk until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
2. Lay the bread cut side up on a cutting board. Working with the top piece of ciabatta, pull out some of the insides to create a space for filling. Drizzle both cut sides of bread with vinaigrette. Then, layer on the olives, bell peppers, assorted meats, and Brie. Sprinkle the arugula over the Brie and drizzle generously with the vinaigrette. Add the top half of the ciabatta and gently push down on the sandwich.
3. At this point, you can slice the sandwich and serve, or wrap the sandwich tightly and place in the fridge for up to 1 day. Before serving, cut 6-8 sandwiches.