(Family Features) Heading outdoors for a fresh, homemade meal is an alluring activity when warm weather and sunshine provide a perfect opportunity for dining on the patio. Or, if some time away from the house is calling your name, packing a lunch and taking off for the park can be an ideal getaway without getting too far from home.
Next time the sun’s rays call your name, invite friends and family for a delicious picnic loaded with warm-weather flavors. Just lay out your favorite blanket on the grass or don an outdoor table with a classic checkered tablecloth then share recipes that make al fresco meals truly memorable.
No picnic is complete without sandwiches loaded with all your favorite toppings, and these Picnic-wiches with Greek Artichoke Beet Salad provide the freshness that outdoor meals are made of. This recipe starts with a homemade relish loaded with Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets, artichoke hearts, olives and green onions that complements the winning combination of turkey, feta and ciabatta.
Pair your party tray of sandwiches with a perfect partner like Bean, Tortellini and Pesto Salad made with READ Bean Salad for a complete spread that’ll leave you waiting for the next opportunity to take mealtime outdoors. With just a handful of ingredients and customizable with your desired stir-ins like tomatoes, peppers and green onions, it’s ready in next to no time.
Picnic-wiches with Greek Artichoke Beet Salad
- 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie's Sliced Pickled Beets
- 1 jar (about 6 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata or ripe olives, sliced
- 3 tablespoons sliced green onions
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
- 6 romaine lettuce leaves
- 1 pound thinly sliced deli turkey
- 6 ciabatta or sandwich rolls, sliced horizontally
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- Drain beets and artichoke hearts, reserving 1/4 cup liquid from each. Coarsely chop beets and artichoke hearts. In medium bowl, combine beets, artichokes, olives and green onions; set aside.
- In small bowl, whisk reserved beet and artichoke liquids. Pour over beet mixture; toss gently to coat. Season with black pepper, to taste, if desired.
- Layer lettuce and turkey on bottom halves of rolls. Top with relish, as desired; feta cheese; and pine nuts. Top with remaining halves of rolls. Wrap tightly; chill up to 4 hours. Serve with remaining relish.
Bean, Tortellini and Pesto Salad
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ 3 or 4 Bean Salad
- 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated tortellini
- grape tomatoes (optional)
- halved cherry tomatoes (optional)
- chopped bell pepper (optional)
- thinly sliced green onions (optional)
- Drain bean salad, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. In bowl, combine reserved liquid, pesto and salt, if desired; set aside.
- Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain, rinse in cold water and drain again. Add pesto dressing; toss to coat. Add grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper and green onion, as desired. Toss with bean salad.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled.