I can't remember a stretch of time when I've been home more often than these last few months. I imagine it's the same for most of you. Unless you're an essential worker, how could it not be? I doubt the stir-craziness will fully subside until we're allowed to roam as freely as we did before, and that will likely take time (in some places more than others).
But to the extent that we're allowed/willing/able to safely get out of the house, maybe it's time for a picnic. Sure, enjoying a meal in the fresh air, on the grass, or the sand, or the dirt, with family, socially-distanced with friends, by ourselves, or whatever phase we're currently in is little more than a minor victory, but small wins still count. Now that it's more or less peak picnic season, here are five mini-recipes that are fast, easy, and perfect for packing up and eating somewhere that's not your house.
Here's what we've got: 1. A classic Panzanella that's chewy and juicy all in one bite, and gets an extra salty kick from capers, anchovies (optional, of course), and oil-cured black olives. 2. Black Bean and Mango Salad, which is really colorful and fresh, an excellent repository for cooked or canned black beans that you may have lying around, and something you can either eat with a fork or wrap in a flour tortilla (with some shredded lettuce if you have it). 3. Rice Noodles with Cilantro Pesto. I suppose you could call this fusion (the pesto is made of cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil, and garnished with toasted peanuts). I'd just call it delicious. 4. Grilled Lemon-Tarragon Chicken, which is exactly what it sounds like, a no-brainer, because chicken and tarragon go so well together, and a perfect dish to eat at room temperature. 5. Pound Cake with Mascarpone and Marmalade, which is, unapologetically, little more than a really appealing combination of three things that you can buy at the store.
Of course, you can eat any of these in the comfort of your own home, but if you're itching to get out for a bit, throw one or two of these (or a sandwich, or leftovers, or whatever) in a container, pack a bag, and enjoy the air.
Talk To Me, Goose!
Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.