A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of shooting a campaign for Le Creuset and the authors of THE PICNIC up in Portland.
You can check out those images and more of that celebration on Le Creueset. During our preparation and the shoot days, I got to know a few of the ladies behind this adorable new book -- They were so generous in their cooking and effusive in their love of picnics, I wanted to stay up there and linger for their next monthly outdoor eat fest! Instead, I'm cooking my way through their delightfully written, beautifully illustrated new masterpiece, THE PICNIC.
I'm giving away a copy to one lucky person via instagram, hop over there, leave a comment and be entered to win a book!
For my summer of picnic eating (I'm inspired to start a Santa Barbara Picnic Society!), I made a beeline for the page about jarred salads. Such a cute idea and makes a great work lunch too! The basic concept is that you get out your cutest mason jars and layer dressing on the bottom of the jar, then stack hearty, colorful ingredients from top to bottom, mix them up a little upon serving and voila, everyone has a beautiful light meal on their hands.
The ladies developed this jar salad series of recipes in a very loose, approachable fashion -- it's illustrated beautifully, more of a picture story than written -- I love this idea and presentation. It echoes my beliefs about food and recipes, that things don't have to be complicated to taste amazing.
The Greek Jarred Salad
(adapted from The Picnic)
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
handful of kalamata olives, pits removed
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette. Ladle 2 tablespoons into the base of 4 medium mason jars (or any other jars you have around will do), you will have a little extra dressing which keeps in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
Layer the jars with the ingredients, starting with the onions at the bottom (they marinate in the dressing and tenderize beautifully!), cucumbers, olives, feta, tomatoes and peppers. Repeat if you have any room or extra ingredients.
Allow to sit in fridge for about 2-4 hours for flavors to meld. Serve with plenty of lemonade or white wine and plenty of baguette.