Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Italian Inspired Picnic Food


Ricotta Spread
French Bread
Fresh Red Grapes and Fresh Strawberries
Celery Sticks and Baby Carrots
Almond Crescent Cookies
Sparkling Lemonade


Ricotta Spread

1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese

1 3-ounce package of smoked sun dried tomatoes, cut into small pieces

2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

2 green onions, thinly sliced (greens and all)

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

salt to taste

In a medium mixing bowl combine all the ingredients. Stir.
Serve with french bread.

Blaze enjoyed this, because it tastes a little like pizza.



2 cups pimento-stuffed green olives, drained (2 5.75-ounce jars will give you just a little over 2 cups)

1 cup Kalamata olives, drained and pitted (1 11.1-ounce jar will leave you with a few extras)

1 cup black olives, drained and pitted

1/2 cup capers, drained ( 1 31/2-ounce jar was just enough)

6 flat fillets of anchovies

2 cloves garlic

Zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Place the garlic and anchovies in a blender or food processor and blend. Add olives and capers to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped ( this will probably require stopping a couple times, to stir and scape down the sides of the bowl). Transfer the olive mixture to a medium-size bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir until everything is well blended. Cover the bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator over night. Stir before serving.

Can be stored in the refrigerator, in a sealed container for up to a month.

Serve on crackers or french bread.


Almond Crescent Cookies

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cups powdered sugar + 1/3 cup more for sprinkling on the cookies

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups ground almond

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream butter in a large mixing bowl, gradually add powdered sugar. Add salt, almonds, and vanilla. Next, gradually add flour and mix well.
Using walnut-sized lumps of dough, form each cookie into a crescent shape and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Do not let them brown.
While the cookies are still warm, coat them with powdered sugar. They can be coated with sugar a second time once they cool.

Cookies can be made ahead of time and frozen.


Twisted Cinderella said...

That looks wonderful!

SANDRA said...

What a wonderful picnic meal! Look great! Thank you for sharing the recipes.

Little Brick Ranch said...

This is exactly how I like to eat - a little of this, a little of that...perhaps it is due to my Italian heritage! :) If you get a sec, pop on over to Foodie Friday and link up!
Oh, and I found you at Fireflies and Jellybeans!

Crafty Crow