250 mL ( 1 cup) quinoa
335 mL (11/3 cups) water
375 mL ( 1½ cups) diced grilled chicken
125 mL (½ cup) dried cherries
125 mL (½ cup) celery, diced
60 mL (¼ cup) sweet onion, minced
125 mL (½ cup) Kirkland Signature™
walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Chopped fresh thyme (optional)
80 mL (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
60 mL (¼ cup) white wine vinegar
5 mL ( 1 teaspoon) sugar
2 mL (½ teaspoon) salt, or to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
FRUIT AND FETA SKEWERS
12 2-cm (¾-inch) cubes of seedless watermelon
12 fresh mint leaves
12 2-cm (¾-inch) cubes of each of the following:
peeled English cucumber, feta cheese, kiwi fruit
12 10-cm (4-inch) cocktail picks
BALSAMIC REDUC TION
80 mL (1/3 cup) balsamic vinegar
15 mL ( 1 tablespoon) liquid honey
15 mL ( 1 tablespoon) freshly squeezed lime juice
Grated zest of 1 small lime
Assemble the skewers in the following order:
1 watermelon cube, 1 mint leaf, 1 cucumber cube,
1 feta cube and 1 kiwi cube. Place skewers on a
serving dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
while you make the balsamic reduction.
Whisk together balsamic vinegar, honey and lime
juice in your smallest pot or skillet over medium-high
heat. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat
immediately to a gentle simmer. Let the mixture simmer (not boil!) until it begins to get syrupy and reduces in quantity by about half, whisking occasionally.
This should take no more than 5 minutes. It will coat
the pan or skillet if you swirl it around. Remove from
heat and stir in lime zest. Cool slightly before serving.
Drizzle skewers with balsamic reduction before serving. Makes 12 skewers.
Recipe reprinted from Yum and Yummer, by Greta Podleski (One
Spoon Media, 2017).
Bring different accompanying salads,
as many as you can be bothered to make,
and always some crunchy romaine lettuce.
Remember that pasta salads can take a bit
of battering in transit. And boiled potatoes, dressed with a little fresh mint, are
hard to beat.
For dessert, I always pack lots of fruit
and maybe a carrot cake—something moist
and easy to prepare. Strawberry shortcake
or bread pudding always goes well as a treat;
if you want something a bit lighter and
healthier, try plain yogurt mixed with cin-
namon, honey, a squeeze of lemon juice and
a little bit of sugar.
Drinking it in
For beverages, think cool and thirst-quenching—even for the red wine. Rosé is
generally considered the quintessential
picnic wine, but if you want to try something a bit different, go for a light red such
as Gamay. On the white front, there’s
plenty to choose from, but I gravitate
toward Riesling and lower-alcohol whites
for this occasion.
You can’t go wrong with fizz either—
look to crémant from the Loire or Alsace.
Your local Costco has all the elements for
a perfect picnic, including fresh fruits and
vegetables, freshly baked bread, rotisserie
chicken, drinks and more.
WALNUT, CHICKEN AND CHERRY QUINOA SALAD
Rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer; drain well. Bring water and
quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan; reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes, then fluff
with a fork and let cool.
Place the cooled quinoa in a large bowl with the chicken, cherries,
celery and onion.
Prepare the dressing: Whisk together all ingredients and pour over
the salad; toss well to coat. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
Add walnuts and thyme to the salad just before serving.
Makes 6 servings.
Tip: Replace the dried cherries with halved and pitted fresh
cherries when they’re in season.
Recipe courtesy of the California Walnut Commission.
Family-friendly options include iced tea
and homemade lemonade, which you can
make before you go. And bring plenty of
water, of course—it’s easy to forget.
Thoughtful preparation is the key to
making a picnic as special as the company
you share it with. C
Fiona Sims is a writer in London, England.