During the Summer, most cities host some sort of outdoor concert series. New York has Summer Stage in Central Park, in San Francisco's there's Stern Grove, and Chicago's home to Ravinia. While these events are about enjoying music in the open air, the food cannot be overlooked: a scrumptious picnic makes an outdoor concert! So this week pack a basket and head to your local amphitheater.
Steak sandwiches are a portable favorite, and Ina Garten's recipe with sautéed onions, arugula, and mustard mayonnaise will impress your friends. Make use of Summer's ripe tomatoes with a fresh tomato salad. When placed on a bed of watercress and drizzled with a blue cheese dressing, potato salad goes glam. Be sure to keep the salad's three components separate until serving. No picnic is complete without fruit, and watermelon cubes are a refreshing treat. To look at these recipes,
1 (12-ounce) 1-inch thick New York strip boneless beef top loin steak
Freshly ground black pepper
2 yellow onions, sliced in rings
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 recipe Mustard Mayo, recipe follows
2 mini focaccia buns, sliced in 1/2
1/2 cup baby arugula
- Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saute pan over high heat until it's almost smoking, then sear the steak on each side for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and cook the steak for about 7 to 10 minutes, turning once, until very rare in the middle. Remove to a plate, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Slice the steak into strips.
- Using the same saute pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and thyme and saute for 10 minutes, until the onions are brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally.
- To assemble the sandwiches, spread a tablespoon of Mustard Mayo on the bottom half of each bun. Place a layer of the steak strips on top of the mayo, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with the caramelized onion rings. Place the baby arugula on top of the onion rings, and cover the sandwiches with the top half of the buns.
Makes 2 sandwiches.
3/4 cup good mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve at room temperature.
- Main Dishes, Sandwiches
- North American
8 plum tomatoes—seeded, quartered and thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
In a medium bowl, toss together the tomatoes, onion, basil and parsley and dress with the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Vegetables, Side Dishes
1/4 cup Sherry wine vinegar
1 large shallot, chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
12 medium red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled (about 2 3/4 pounds)
Additional olive oil
2 bunches watercress, stems trimmed
3 green onions, chopped
- Combine vinegar, shallot, and mustard in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Mix in cheese. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender, about 16 minutes. Drain; cool completely. Cut potatoes into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Brush rounds on both sides with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Arrange watercress on platter. Grill potatoes until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
- Mound warm potatoes atop watercress; sprinkle with green onions. Spoon vinaigrette over potatoes.
- Potato, Salads
One 5- to 6-pound watermelon, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup Campari (optional)
- Using a very sharp knife, slice the rind from the bottom of each watermelon half. The halves will now lay flat on a cutting board.
- Working from top to bottom, trim the rind from the watermelon flesh in 4 cuts, creating 2 large squares. Cut each square in half to make 4 smaller squares. Cut the squares vertically into thirds. Rotate counterclockwise and repeat the cut. Rotate once more counterclockwise and cut into thirds again.
- Place on dessert plates and serve each with 2 tablespoons of Campari, if desired.
- Other, Snacks