Couleur Nature Loves a Picnic!

Looking for fresh, new, but easy recipes for your 4th of July pinic?  We combed our favorite recipe sites and located these three fabulous choices – there’s a sandwich, salad and dessert.  All healthy, different and easy to transport to your favorite outdoor gathering.  We’re going to try them all this weekend. . .

First, there’s Radicchio, Roasted Pepper and Provolone Ciabatta Sandwiches


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head (7oz) radicchio, cored and separated into leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces (3/4 of a loaf) ciabatta bread, split horizontally
  • 1 jar (16 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry, and halved
  • 6 slices regular or aged provolone cheese (about 4 oz.)
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Put radicchio on a large rimmed baking sheet. Lightly brush all over with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake until wilted, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, open up bread on another baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, 8 minutes. Let radicchio and bread cool.

2. Layer radicchio on bottom half of ciabatta, then top with roasted peppers, provolone and basil. Close bread and cut into 4 sandwiches. Combine vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Just before serving, drizzle dressing into sandwiches through a cut side. Serve with plenty of napkins.

Keeps: Up to 2 hours at room temperature, 3 hours with ice packs.

    Next, try this yummy recipe for Spinach/Orzo Salad:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • About 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quart lightly packed baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 12 pitted kalamata olives, sliced

1. Cook orzo according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, oregano, basil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the pepper and reserve.

2. Drain pasta, rinse with water until cool, and drain again. Add to bowl with dressing and gently mix in spinach, tomatoes, and olives to combine. Add more salt if you like.

Keeps: Up to 2 hours at room temperature, 4 hours with ice packs

And for dessert?  How about Summer Fruit with Wine and Mint?

  •   1 1/4 cups dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 ripe cantaloupe, halved, seeded, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 3 cups)1 basket (8-ounce) fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

Bring the wine and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.  Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.  Chop and combine the cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes, and mint in a large bowl. Pour the warm wine mixture over; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until cold, stirring occasionally, at least 2 hours.

Transfer to the fruit mixture to a wide jar with a tight-fitting lid. Keep chilled.

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  1. Beautiful blog!

  2. That sandwich sounds just perfect! I love the pairing of bitter, tangy and sweet. Yum.

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