It’s totally spummer out. (Ya know, that season that’s right between spring and summer.) One day it’s 87 and the next day it’s 65. This weather is cray. But on the ideal spummer day it’s good to have picnic fixings on the ready! You see, this day would be about 75 and sunny, and it wouldn’t rain as soon as you sat on your picnic blanket, and you sure wouldn’t cut your thumb on the an I-had-no-idea-they-were-so-sharp cheese knife before taking one single bite of your new fave orzo salad.
But mostly, I’ve had a giant focaccia bread sandwich on my mind for awhile now, and I totally needed some picnic-salads in my life. I spent most of Sunday getting this stuff together, and I had the most fun! These salads are a easy breezy. I want to make that orzo one again pronto, and bring it to a party with pretty lemon slices in it. Sometimes salads look even better once accessorized.
So the moral of the story is this: have a picnic! I’ll cross my fingers to prevent rain and hand-wounds.
French Potato Salad (serves 4)
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
- 1 lb. fingerling or assorted small potatoes
- 1 T champagne vinegar
- 1 1/2 T grainy Dijon mustard
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 small bunch chives, chopped
- kosher salt and pepper
- Place pots in a large pot, cover with water by an inch and season with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and run under cool water.
- In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, mustard, olive oil, shallot, chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with potatoes. Store in the fridge. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Asparagus and Orzo Salad (serves 4)
Recipe adapted from Two Peas and their Pod
- 1 cup orzo
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- juice from 1 large lemon
- 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook orzo in salted boiling water for about 9-10 minutes, or until cooked. Run under cool water. Drain and set aside.
- Cut asparagus into bite size pieces and bring to a boil in a saucepan of water. Cook just until brightened in color, just a few minutes. Remove from water. Meanwhile heat garlic and olive oil in a skillet. Add asparagus and cook just until garlic is fragrant and asparagus is tender. Remove from heat and stir into orzo with lemon, feta, almonds, salt and pepper. Add more lemon juice or seasoning to taste.
Focaccia Sandwich (serves 4-6)
- 1 (9-inch) loaf of focaccia bread*
- spinach or rocket pesto
- 2 grilled chicken breasts (marinated in lemon, garlic, and olive oil)
- asiago cheese
- goat cheese
- 2 slices crispy prosciutto
- 1 1/2 avocados
- romain lettuce
- garlic mustard, optional
*I made this recipe and made two 9-inch loaves instead of three 6-inch loaves.
- Slice the loaf of focaccia in half and spread half of it with pesto. (Spread mustard on the top half, if using.) Sprinkle with cheese, top with prosciutto, lettuce, and chicken. Mash avocados and spread on the top half. Top the sandwich. Skewer and slice! Wrap up in plastic wrap to bring to the picnic!
Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipes above.
Fancy orange soda. It’s just the best color ever!