These simple salads are great for the beach picnic, alfresco dinner on the dock, or can be toted along in the cooler for the camping trip. Vary the veggies to use what’s fresh and in season.
Picnic Tomato and Green Bean Salad with Toasted Croutons
Serves 4 to 6
This is great when made ahead so that the flavors mingle and the croutons soften. For a heartier version toss in cubed salami and shredded Parmesan.
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 to 5 cups cubed artisan bread (preferably sourdough)
1¼ pounds green beans, tips removed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the bread cubes with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the oil. Spread on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Turn into a salad bowl.
Fill a skillet with 1 inch of water, set over high heat, bring to a boil and cook the green beans until they are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on their size and age, but be careful not to overcook. Drain and pat dry. Cut into 3-inch pieces. Turn into the salad bowl with the toasted bread and add the tomatoes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and remaining olive oil and toss with the vegetables to lightly coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Picnic Carrots with Coriander and Cumin
Serves 4 to 6
The longer these marinate, the better they taste!
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch crushed red pepper
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ pound carrots, cut into thin matchsticks (cut but not mixed with dressing)
¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley
2 tablespoons chopped mint
Smash the garlic with the flat of a knife. Transfer it to a small bowl, and then add the cumin, coriander, crushed red pepper, and the lemon juice. Whisk in the olive oil. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
Put the carrots into a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Toss in the cilantro and mint. Turn into a covered container and allow to stand at least 30 minutes before serving.