May 31, 2022
Recently, my friend, David--who's cooked with me in Spain, France, and Italy--wrote to ask for my go-to picnic recipe. Immediately, I thought of my favorites from the Mediterranean. From the Greek Isles, to the Spanish hills, people all over the Mediterranean take picnics seriously. Not serious in a stuffy way-- it's just how they care about the food and drink they will share with friends and family.
For example, on the island of Syros, Greece, my friend Elias introduced me to the joys of having a seaside picnic-- like plucking fresh sea urchins, giving them a squirt of tomato water, a sprinkle of sea salt, and enjoying them with Santorini Favas with Preserved Lemons and a refreshing glass of tsipouro.
Italians add their own style to the picnic table, like pork tenderloin seasoned with herbs and fennel and roasted inside a loaf of bread, just like they make in Tuscany. Or perhaps they'll prepare a chicken salad loaded with colorful peppers, salty olives, and fresh herbs, like the Pollo Forte recipe that I shared with David.
In France, a perfect picnic can be simply some robust local cheese, a baguette, and wine, of course. Yet, they may think nothing of packing a yummy shell bean salad with seared tuna and tomatoes, and a luscious Cherry and Apricot Galette to serve on a table along with linens and proper wine glasses they've pulled from the trunk. And in Spain? They'll go all out and make a giant Paella on the shores of a riverbank. Now, that's my kind of picnic!
Back to the serious part. It's really about sharing your picnic table, or any table for that matter, with love. So while following a good recipe is important, I think love was the ingredient that made my friend's dish such a hit at his picnic last week. Well done, David!
Kalí treks, Buen Provecho, Buon Appetito and Bon Appetit!
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