Sunday, July 10, 2011

a quick fix picnic

For those of you who survived the Colorado monsoon of 2011, congrats! This last week primarily consisted of working, gymming, and trying to stay dry through the daily, torrential downpour. Luckily, Colorado weather is as sporadic as it is fabulous, and there was still plenty of sunshine to go around- there was just enough blue sky to fit in some kayaking today, and a lovely picnic yesterday.

Since finding a little dry weather was rare, the picnic was planned, prepared, and devoured quickly. Regardless of the time crunch, the food was fantastic, and the company was even better.

Here is the menu for some speedy picnic prep in under 30 minutes or less:
Appetizer: Raw vegetables and pita chips with hummus
Main: Pesto bowties with cherry tomatoes and feta
Side: Watermelon slices
Dessert: Strawberries and whipped cream over angel food cake
Everything was very semi-homemade, but I'm most proud of the pesto bowtie dish. It was inspired by one my friend's mom who made it for a party, and it was to die for! The flavors are outstanding, it looks elegant, and if you use all pre-prepared ingredients, it comes together crazy fast.

Stuff you need: 1. Bow-tie pasta 2. Pesto- homemade or store bought 3. Cherry tomatoes 4. Feta cheese

While the bowtie pasta is boiling, chop up all the veggies and fruits for the rest of the meal- carrots, celery and red bell pepper for hummus dipping, little cherry tomatoes for the pasta, watermelon for the side, and strawberries for dessert.

When the pasta is al dente, drain it, rinse it, and then toss it with the pesto, tomatoes, and feta in a large bowl. Pop the dish into the fridge and let all the flavors mix up to one hour. Once you have everything else prepped, packed, and ready to go, grab your pasta, your picnic blanket, and head to the park!
It would taste even better with homemade pesto, but I was in a time crunch, and this worked out perfectly. For a vegan version, all you'd have to do, is use a pesto without parmesan, and substitute dairy feta, for tofu feta crumbles.

It was brief, but delicious. Just as we were digging into some strawberries and angel food cake, the storm rolled in, and we all scarfed down our desserts. It was quickly made, and quickly consumed, but the memories will last much longer- no? Too cheesy? Yeah, I know. Anyway. Great pasta! Great picnic! :)

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