Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Picnic-ing


I have decided I don't picnic nearly enough. I love everything about picnics. Sitting in the grass, lounging on a blanket, planning out a delicious meal and sharing it with good friends. Throw in some amazing outdoor music and wine and I am as content as can be. Last week my boyfriend, a friend, and I went to a concert at a gorgeous venue just north Chicago, called Ravinia Festival. It is a beautiful outdoor amphitheater with a sprawling flat green lawn. I have been there a few times now, and it is always a great excuse to make fancy picnic food and grab a few bottles of wine and enjoy a great show. The spreads that people come prepared with are insane, and one of my favorite things to do there is just to walk around and see the creative food and set-ups people brought. Most people don't just show up to ravinia with some pb&j's and a can of beer (not that you aren't welcome to), you gotta go all out and bring your cute picnic basket with homemade goodies and actual glass wine glasses. So that is exactly what we did.

We had a fantastic chicken salad with giardinera on sourdough bread, Israeli cous cous and wheat berry salad with cauliflower and zucchini, and edamame hummus with garlic naan bread. It was a perfect meal to munch on throughout the serene performance by the Swell Season. The weather was beautiful, candles were glowing, wine was flowing, and the night was wonderful. If you live in the area and have never been to Ravinia for a show, make it a priority, you will not regret it. It really doesn't even matter what is playing that night, the ambiance more than makes up for any lack of interest in the music itself (however I must say that Swell Season, aka the couple from the movie Once, were absolutely incredible).


Edamame Hummus
makes a LOT of hummus, about 4-5 cups, feel free to halve the recipe

1 large can of Chickpeas
1 16 oz bag of frozen edamame, cooked according to package directions and cooled
3-4 cloves of garlic
juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup tahini (you can add more if you like your hummus very tahini-y)
1/4 cup olive oil (may be more or less depending on desired consistency)
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine garlic, chickpeas, edamame, lemon juice, and tahini in a food processor and pulse until ground into a paste. With processor running, slowing stream in olive oil until it reaches your desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste and pulse to combine.

Serve with pitas or my personal favorite, toasted naan bread. Someday I will make my own, but for now you can buy some really great packaged naan in many grocery stores, all you need to do it brush it lightly with some olive oil and toast in the oven for a few minutes.

As we are nearing the waning days of summer, I hope you have time to grab some friends or loved ones and settle in on a nice comfy blanket at least once more before the leaves start changing colors.

5 comments:

Yesica N. Cook said...

Hi there - this looks great - love hummus, love edamame, had never thought of combining them! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are getting good use out of that classy picnic basket...do you know how hard it was to find one in December in Minnesota!? Merry Christmas, indeed!
I love your blog (and you, too)
I'm out of your business cards, so send me more!
Mama

Bossy Chef said...

YES! You read my freezer ingredients! I just grabbed a bag of shelled edamame at the store instead of the ones still in their pods which I meant to grab as a healthy snack and now I still can... thank you, thank you!

Bria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bria said...

Bossy Chef,

Haha, glad to help! I have decided that there will always be a bag of edamame in my freezer from now on. It is so good whether it be in hummus, or just to snack on. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Yessica,

It really is a great combo, I bet it would be great with the addition of some other Asian flavors as well! Thanks for visiting!

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