Picnic Recipes & Tips
Written By Marissa Jamison
Wine & Food
During the Victorian Era, picnics were often elaborate and creating a suitably “rustic” ambience might require more effort than a formal banquet. Hampers full of special delicacies were carried to remote outdoor locations along with a bewildering array of china and glassware, chairs, cushions, ground covers, tents, sunshades, games and amusements—plus all the children, pets, and any guests who happened to be visiting.
Thank goodness today’s picnics are much simpler! By keeping everything quick and easy, you can enjoy the entire experience from start to finish—even without chairs and china. Our staff has several tips to try, plus our chefs have pulled together their ideal picnic recipes and suggested wine pairings.
Try these tips:
- Slice a loaf of fresh bread and your favorite cheese into wedges (eliminates the need for utensils), then pair with wine. Consider our refreshing Biltmore Sauvignon Blanc with goat cheeses, or our Cabernet Sauvignon with savory smoked Gouda. Bring along finger-friendly foods such as olives, nuts, and fresh veggies or fruit for a little extra texture.
- Make a variety of sandwiches the night before. That way, you can be ready to picnic the next day with no prep. Sandwiches also mean you don’t have to bring many separate items—everything’s already combined into a tasty package. Try our Harvest Turkey Sandwich with Blackberry-Whole Grain Mustard.
- Set the scene with a few special touches, such as fresh flowers or a favorite quilt as a picnic cloth. Tip: a sparkling wine like our Biltmore Estate Pas de Deux Sparkling makes any occasion special—and won’t leave a stain if spilled on cloth.
Holiday Bacon Deviled Eggs
• 12 hard boiled eggs
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
• 2 tablespoons finely shredded Cheddar cheese
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Slice eggs in half lengthwise; remove yolks and set whites aside. In a small bowl, mash yolks. Stir in the mayonnaise, bacon, cheese, mustard and pepper. Pipe into egg whites. Refrigerate or keep cool until serving.
Harvest Turkey Sandwich with Blackberry-Whole Grain Mustard
Yields one sandwich.
Turkey Sandwich Ingredients:
• 2 slices of focaccia bread, toasted
• Small handful of fresh baby arugula
• 2 slices of cooked bacon
• 2 oz of sliced brie
• 5 oz of smoked turkey, thinly sliced
Toast the focaccia, spread the mustard on the top portion of the bread after it is toasted, place the turkey on the bottom, then the sliced brie and add the bacon and arugula and lastly place the top of the focaccia and serve.
Blackberry-Whole Grain Mustard Ingredients:
• 3 fresh blackberries
• 1/2 oz Whole Grained Mustard
Mash berries and mix with mustard. Yields 2 oz.
Herb Marinated Grilled Vegetables
• 2 zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
• 2 yellow squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
• 2 portabella mushrooms, remove gills
• 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, cut in 6 pieces
• 1 bunch asparagus, remove bottom two inches and discard
• 1 red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
• 1 vine-ripe tomato, sliced 1/4 inch thick
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 6 oz olive oil
• 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
• 2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
• 6 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
• Salt and pepper to taste
Place oil, garlic, and herbs in a large mixing bowl and stir together. Add all remaining vegetables to bowl except portabellas.Toss vegetables with oil mixture. On a separate plate, rub the portabella with some of the oil mixture on both sides of it.
Let vegetables marinate for 10–15 minutes at room temperature. Drain any excess oil off of the vegetables and grill each piece for 1–2 minutes on each side. If the grill flares up, remove more oil from the vegetables. Place vegetables on a platter. Can be served hot or chilled.
Smoked Mozzarella and Gemelli Salad
Yields 8-10 servings
• 3/4 pound Smoked Mozzarella, large diced
• 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese – grated
• 1 pound Gemelli pasta
• 1/2 cup spinach, julienne
• 1 large red bell peppers, julienne
• 3/4 cup mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
• 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
• 1/2 cup red onion, small dice
• 1 tablespoon +2 teaspoon garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup sour cream
• 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta until just tender to the bite. Drain and shock in ice water. Drain again thoroughly and place in large mixing bowl. Add smoked mozzarella, parmesan, spinach, red peppers, red onion, and parsley.
In a separate bowl, assemble dressing by adding mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, red wine vinegar, honey, lemon juice, Tabasco, black pepper, and salt. Whisk together.
Add dressing to pasta mix and toss together gently, using a rubber spatula. Refrigerate until needed.
Yields 1 dozen large cookies or 4 dozen small cookies
• 8 oz. chocolate, unsweetened
• 1 pound, 8 oz. chocolate, bittersweet
• 4 oz. butter
• 8 each eggs
• 1 pound, 8 oz. sugar
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 4 oz. cake flour
• 2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 pound, 12 oz. chocolate chips
• 8 oz. walnuts
Melt the chocolates and butter together. Beat together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts. Dough will firm as it sits. Scoop and bake at 325 F for 10–14 minutes.