September has a way of making sure we live every day like it’s our last day of incredibly perfect weather. We never know when that final just-the-right-temperature, no-bugs-bothering-you, sunlight-streaming-at-all-the-right-angles day will be before it drops to sweater weather with absolutely zero warning.
And there’s no better way to savor September than with easy late-summer picnic food and wine. Grab a blanket, a basket, bottles of Bogle (Chardonnay for the chicken salad, Essential Red for the pasta salad), and some friends for a golden-hour picnic.
Both of these recipes we’re sharing below keep well in the fridge for a few days, so you can make them ahead and they double equally well as packed lunches for eating on park benches during a full hour break. Inhaling a desk lunch 10 minutes under florescent lighting is not allowed. :) Notice the patches of color in the trees and breathe in the crisp, but-still-warm air.
We’re so thrilled to be working with one of our favorite vineyards again. Bogle is a constant go-to in our wine cellar (pantry) and you can find them at your local wine shop or grocery store. Happy picnicking!
Roasted Tomato Pasta Salad (add to plan)
- 2 lb tomatoes, a mix of plum & cherry, the larger tomatoes halved or quartered depending on size
- 12 oz your favorite pasta, something fun, but on the short side
- 1 head garlic, cloves separated but left unpeeled
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, plus more if needed
- 8 oz ricotta salata, thinly sliced or cut into small cubes
- ½ bunch fresh basil, roughly chopped
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°F and bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- On a large sheet pan add the tomatoes and garlic cloves and drizzle with oil. Use your hands to gently coat all the tomatoes in oil. Season with a few good pinches of salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven.
- After 15-20 minutes remove the garlic cloves to a small bowl and give the sheet pan a little shake so the tomatoes cook evenly on all sides. Return pan to the oven for another 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, once the water boils, add the pasta and cook according to package instructions (12-15 minutes). Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
- Peel the garlic (it may be easier to simply squeeze on one end) onto a cutting board, add a pinch of salt, and chop. You want a paste to form. Scrape over the pasta and drizzle some olive oil on top. Stir to combine, making sure the garlic is evenly distributed.
- Add the roasted tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, ricotta salata, basil, and a few grinds of black pepper. Gently mix and taste for seasoning and acidity.
- Serve immediately or keep in fridge until needed.
Thai Basil Chicken Salad with Jalapeño & Market Celery (add to plan)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 2 bone-in chicken breasts, about 1.5-2 lb., room temperature
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 stalks celery
- ½ red onion, small
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ bunch Thai basil
- 1 loaf your favorite bread, sliced and toasted
- sea salt
- black pepper, freshly ground
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a tiny bowl mix the spices with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
- Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Add a teaspoon or two of oil all over the chicken and begin to loosen the skin by gently pushing your fingers underneath it. Rub the seasoning all over both breasts and underneath the skin. Transfer to the oven and roast 20-25 minutes, until golden-brown and the skin is slightly crispy. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
- While the chicken is roasting, chop the celery and onion in a small dice and transfer to a medium-sized bowl. Finely chop half the jalapeño and add to bowl (you can add the entire pepper but taste the salad first with just half).
- Stir in the mayo, mustard, and 2 teaspoons lemon juice.
- Shred the chicken meat off the bones. You can remove the entire breast from the bone or use your fingers to pull off small pieces of the meat. Chop into small cubes.
- Add to the bowl and gently mix to combine with the rest of the ingredients.
- Roughly chop the Thai basil (seriously how amazing does that smell?!) and give the chicken salad one more stir to combine. Give it a taste and add more lemon juice if needed, extra jalapeños, more basil, mayo, salt, pepper, let your tastebuds guide you.
- Serve with slightly toasted bread, a baguette, or soft grainy bread slices. A glass of crisp white wine makes it a real meal. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
This post is sponsored by friends who make products that are already in our pantry.