Have you made plans for the 4th yet? I typically think of backyard BBQ’s with cheese covered burgers, a simple pasta salad and brownies (or apple pie).
This year, I’d like to recommend something a little different – a 4th of July picnic.
We had a picnic on our back patio this weekend, and even Ellie got in on the planning. She prepared the cupcakes and brought her own blankets. Oh, and tea too.
For the meal, I tossed sliced strawberries and whole blueberries in a little vanilla sugar. Then, I whirred together the creamiest white bean dip that was gently flecked with fresh chives.
Served with chilled white wine, there were sandwiches for the adults (sliced bread for Ellie) and star-shaped candies for everyone.
The sandwich recipe is an old one from Cupcakes and Cashmere that I had nearly forgotten about. The flavors work together perfectly in it – salty prosciutto, creamy brie, peppery arugula and sweet fig. Wrapped in parchment paper and tied with twine, this is one special sandwich.
This pretty picnic took me under an hour to prepare, and I didn’t have to turn the oven on once. That’s success in my book.
4th of July Picnic Menu
Prosciutto, brie and arugula sandwiches with fig jam
Sliced strawberries and whole blueberries tossed in vanilla sugar
White bean dip with sliced red bell peppers and carrots (recipe below)
Star and bear shaped gummy candies (I picked these up at Whole Foods, but really any kind of candy would be great.)
So, the white bean dip here is really mild, because I knew we would be sharing it with Ellie. She really loved it (and so do we), but if you’d like to amp it up, I think crushed red pepper flakes would be a nice grown-up addition.
Lemon & Chive White Bean Dip
1, 15 oz. can cannellini beans
1 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
Freshly cracked black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Rinse and drain the can of beans. Add them to the bowl of a food processor. Then, toss in the chives and squeeze in the juice from a lemon. Process on high until chunky, but combined. Then, while it’s running, stream in the extra virgin olive oil, as you count to four. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides. Now, start it again, streaming in the extra virgin olive oil for another four count. Add salt and pepper to taste. I adjusted this several times until I arrived at a flavor I liked, so don’t be afraid to play with it a bit.