2 Recipes From 'The Picnic' Cookbook

Marnie Hanel, Jen Stevenson and Andrea Slonecker are the authors of "The Picnic." (Mona Johnson)
Marnie Hanel, Jen Stevenson and Andrea Slonecker are the authors of "The Picnic." (Mona Johnson)

With the summer season underway, Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst joined us today with recipes suitable for a picnic, like salad and parfaits in Mason jars. Kathy also mentioned a new cookbook called "The Picnic: Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket," by Marnie Hanel, Jen Stevenson and Andrea Slonecker. The authors shared these two picnic-friendly recipes from their book:

Excerpted from The Picnic by Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker, and Jen Stevenson (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015. Illustrations by Emily Isabella.

Kale Panzanella with Burnt Lemon Caesar Dressing

(View/print a PDF of this recipe)

Kale Panzanella (Emily Isabella)

Serves 4 to 6

To complement kale’s robust flavor, upgrade classic Caesar with smoky, charred lemons. You’ll crave their complexity and admire the dramatic touch they add to your salad bowl.

2 lemons, halved crosswise
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
2 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained
2 garlic cloves
1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
Fine sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1⁄3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups 2-inch cubes artisan bread
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
2 bunches kale, washed and dried well, coarsely chopped

In the Basket:
-Salad server
-Extra dressing

1. Heat a stovetop grill pan or cast-iron skillet over high heat. When it’s smoking hot, place the lemons in the pan, cut sides down, and sear until nicely charred, about 2 minutes. Squeeze the juice from one of the lemon halves to get about 2 tablespoons; reserve the remaining lemons for garnish.

2. Whirl the lemon juice, egg yolks, cheese, anchovies, garlic, sugar, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a blender until smooth. With the motor running, drizzle in 1⁄3 cup of the oil through the hole in the lid in a slow stream until the dressing emulsifies and thickens. Stop and scrape the sides of the blender as needed. Transfer the dressing to a small container, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

3. Position an oven rack about 4 inches from the top heating element and preheat the broiler. Toss the bread chunks with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and a pinch of salt and spread them out in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil the bread, stirring occasionally, until evenly charred and crisp on the outside but still a little soft within, 3 to 5 minutes. While still hot, sprinkle the croutons with the rosemary and toss to coat. Cool completely, then transfer the croutons to a resealable plastic bag.

4. Just before leaving for the picnic, toss the kale with just enough of the dressing to lightly coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl. Use a vegetable peeler to shave large flakes of Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top and place the charred lemons around the edges of the bowl. Cover to transport to the picnic. Toss the croutons into the salad at the picnic site; before serving, squeeze in a little of the charred lemons’ juice, and add more dressing, if needed.

Blueberry Cardamom Crisps

(View/print a PDF of this recipe)

Serves 8

Take your summer blueberry crop straight from the patch to the jar with darling single portions of a classic crisp.

In the Basket:
-Vanilla bean ice cream on dry ice (if serving ice cream)
-Ice cream scoop (if serving ice cream)

Blueberry Cardamom Crisps (Emily Isabella)

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

4 cups fresh blueberries
2⁄3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. To make the topping: In a bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cardamom, and salt. Add the butter and rub the mixture together with your fingertips until the butter is broken into pea-size bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes while you make the filling.

3. To make the filling: In a bowl, stir together the blueberries, brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, and lemon zest and juice.

4. Divide the blueberry filling evenly among eight 4-ounce heatproof glass jars, pressing on the berries with the back of a spoon so that they are snug in the jar, and leaving about 1⁄4-inch headspace for the topping. Spoon the topping into each jar, dividing it evenly. Place the jars on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the topping is crisp and the filling is bubbling slightly, 18 to 20 minutes.

This segment aired on June 8, 2015. The audio for this segment is not available.


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