Picnics for Grownups

Susan Spungen reinvents food-on-a-blanket with some surprise ingredients (think farmers’ market and ethnic inspired). Add a couple of sweet crowd pleasers, and you have portable meals to delight the most discerning of foodies

By Susan Spungen
PICNIC PERFECT >> Clockwise from top left: Cheddar and Onion-Marmalade Sandwich, Fresh Pea Salad, Cold Cucumber-and-Honeydew Soup, Gorp Cookies.
Photograph: Anna Williams

Cold Cucumber-and-Honeydew Soup
Cheddar and Onion-Marmalade Sandwiches


Fresh Pea Salad

Asian Chicken Salad

Red-Quinoa Salad

Spicy-Greens Frittata

Arnold Palmers

Gorp Cookies




Prep time: 20 minutes

2 English cucumbers (about
1½ pounds)
½ large honeydew, cubed
(about 5 cups or 2½ pounds)
½ cup fat-free Greek yogurt, plus
more for garnish
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice,
plus more to taste
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
Green Tabasco, for garnish

Peel, seed and chop 1½ cucumbers. Dice the remaining half, and reserve for garnish. Puree half the chopped cucumber and cubed melon with ¼ cup yogurt and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Pour into an airtight container. Puree the remaining chopped cucumber and melon with ¼ cup yogurt and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Add the mint, and puree a bit more. Combine with the first batch, and add more lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Chill. Serve cold, garnished with a dollop of yogurt, diced cucumber and a dash of green Tabasco.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 37 minutes
Makes 8 sandwiches

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large red onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 multigrain baguettes
16 ounces sharp aged Cheddar, sliced by hand
4 cups watercress, preferably hydroponic

1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onions until translucent but not brown, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to medium; sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar. Cook 5 minutes more, and add vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and ½ cup water. Simmer until juices have thickened, about 20 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Cool in a bowl.
2. Split each baguette lengthwise. Spread marmalade on the cut sides of the bread. Divide cheese, and place on the two bottom halves of the bread. Top each with watercress. Cover with top bread halves. Cut each baguette into four sandwiches. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Prep time: 22 minutes
Serves 6

For the Olive Salad
½ cup pitted green olives, chopped
½ cup pitted black olives, chopped
½ cup chopped jarred artichoke hearts
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
2 anchovies, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers
¼ cup roughly chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon dried oregano

For the Sandwich
1 large loaf ciabatta (about 1 pound)
4 ounces sliced mortadella
4 ounces sliced salami
4 ounces sliced provolone cheese
4 ounces sliced sopressata
1. To make the olive salad: In a medium bowl, toss to combine all ingredients.
2. To make the sandwich: Using a large bread knife, split the loaf of ciabatta, making the cut in the lower third of the loaf. Scoop out the top portion a little to create a hollow. Spread half the olive salad on the bottom piece of bread. Layer the bottom portion with the mortadella, then the salami, then the provolone, then the sopressata. Top with the remaining olive salad. Cover with the loaf top, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate. Slice into 6 portions before serving.


First Published May 27, 2011

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Fred Brenson06.24.2011

Yummy....too much tasty!! mini laptop Would you mind can I join with you in a dinner or launch? SEO link building

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