The last few weeks have been in the mid-90's here in Philadelphia and we are thanking our lucky stars we have a pool membership! Daisy absolutely LOVES the pool - she loves being in the water, she loves watching older kids play and she has become very confident going underwater and holding onto the sides of the pool. We are so proud of our waterbaby!
Here's what we're bringing to the pool this weekend:
For the Adults: Arugula and Fennel Salad with Pea Shoots & Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
For the Salad
1 Fennel Bulb, thinly sliced (I use a mandolin)
1 Bunch Pea Shoots
1 Bag Arugula or Rocket
2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese grated on a microplane
1 Clove Garlic, grated on a microplane
1 TSP Lemon Zest
Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
I made this a few weeks ago because I had fennel leftover from a dinner party and I really loved the combination. The fennel gives a licorice-y bite and the arugula is bitter, the cherry tomatoes sweet and the parmesan salty. Just perfect with a bright, natural dressing. Measure vinaigrette ingredients to taste – some tolerate more citrus than others - whisk ingredients fervently, season generously and either serve or keep in a jar until serving and shake before using.
Baguette Toasts with Garlic Scape & Pea Shoot Pesto
If you frequent farmer's markets, you'll see garlic scapes making an appearance this time of year. They look a bit like long, swirly chives with blossoms on the end. Turns out, they carry this delicious flavor that's a cross between garlic and onion with some green freshness in there too. You can do a lot with garlic scapes: pickle them, slice them and put them on pizza, sprinkle them into salads - or my favorite, make them into a pesto. I got the inspiration for this recipe from my dear friend Meghan's food blog, Bread & Ginger. Instead of peas, I used pea shoots for a pesto with a bigger bite. Just roughly chop the raw garlic scapes (remove ends and buds) and toss them in your food processor with a clove of garlic, two handfuls of pea shoots, generous salt & pepper, a big squeeze of lemon juice then drizzle a whole bunch of good EVOO and whir. In seconds you should have a delicious pesto. I love this with fresh pasta and parmesan, but for the pool, I'll pack a Ziploc bag of baguette slices & a tub of pesto - when we arrive, I spread the pesto on, add a few cherry tomatoes and a pinch of sea salt and they're good to go!
Strawberry Rhubarb Fennel Kombucha from Inspired Brews Philadelphia
While everyone else is sipping rose all day, I’ve found a lovely non-alcoholic substitute that has enough sparkle and delicious flavor to feel like a perfectly elegant stand-in. Inspired Brews, a few miles from our house, makes the most amazing handcrafted small brew kombucha using the most incredible flavors. Kombucha is a fermented tea that dates back 2,000 years to ancient China. Now all the rage with health enthusiasts, people drink it to help with everything from fatigue and hypertension to arthritis and it’s thought to help ward off cancer. This particular flavor has 100% raw kombucha, Pennsylvania strawberries and rhubarb, fennel and peppercorn. Sometimes if I close my eyes and try hard enough, I can convince myself – even just for a moment – that I’m drinking champagne.
For Daisy: Orzo with Heirloom Tomato Puree and Parmesan
Daisy continues to be an absolute dream when it comes to eating. Everything we give her, she seems to love. She is particularly fanatical about pasta, so, lately I’ve been making variations of small pasta noodles like ditalini and orzo. This week I had a bunch of beautiful heirloom tomatoes from our neighborhood coop and I whirred them in the food processor with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, a little salt and pepper, then mixed them in with some orzo. I kept it in a jar in the fridge and served batches at a time with a light sprinkling of parmesan on top. She loved every bite – and how nice it is to have several meals pre-made in a jar just waiting in your fridge!
Blueberry, Raspberry & Banana “Mash”
Whenever we have berries in the fridge, I throw them together in a food processor with banana and coconut oil and whir them all together. This is a simple way to make the most of your fruit and get nutrients in baby’s body! Blueberries are one of Daisy’s absolute favorite snacks & they have so many benefits for babies that help advance bone growth, keep hearts healthy and further cognitive development.
Do you have any amazing family recipes that are good picnic foods? Share them with me!