|St. Peter & Paul Church, North Beach, San Francisco|
We packed a large blanket and a few books into a bag and headed for Washington Square Park, located in North Beach. This also called for light and delicious picnic foods, made from the lovely produce we just bought at our farmers market. All of these recipes are very simple – and take hardly any time to make.
Arugula Pesto Crostini
4 cups arugula
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
2-3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup of ricotta
Olive oil, for drizzling (optional)
1 baguette, sliced at an angle
Toast your baguette slices in the oven. Since the pesto will have a good amount of fresh garlic in it, you don’t need to rub the bread with additional garlic.
Using a food processor, blend the arugula, cheese, and garlic cloves together. With the blade running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until well mixed.
Top each slice of baguette with some pesto and a dollop of ricotta, and drizzle with olive oil if desired. Arugula’s natural spiciness goes beautifully with the cheese, and the ricotta helps to soften the bite of the fresh garlic.
Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
2 beets, peeled (I used golden, but use whatever you prefer)
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
2 T orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Using the largest holes on a grater or the shredding disc on your food processor, shred the beets into strips. In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange juice and olive oil, then toss the beets and parsley together in the vinaigrette. Salt and pepper to taste.
Puy Lentil Salad with Parsnips
3/4 cup lentils, washed and picked over
2 cups water
1 sprig of thyme
2 parsnips, peeled and cubed
juice of 1 lemon
3 T olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped finely
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
In a medium saucepan, put the lentils, water, bay leaf, and thyme, and cook for about 25 minutes, until the lentils are tender yet still retain their shape. Drain and set aside.
While the lentils are cooking, heat a non-stick skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil, and saute the parsnips until tender. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, shallots, and lemon juice, then add lentils, parsley, and parsnips, and coat in vinaigrette. Salt and pepper to taste.
|a blooming magnolia tree on our walk|