Sunday, June 23, 2013

evening picnic at the park (and a rice salad)

Our boy's field hockey ended a week ago which meant the end of late afternoons sitting around a field chatting with friends watching the boys play. So I thought of inviting a few of them to have a picnic in the park at the beach just over the railway tracks from where the boys played hockey. It was a grey and drizzly day but there were patches of blue developing through the afternoon. By the time we all rolled into the park, it was mostly sunny and clear and warm enough to be pleasant. We snagged a couple of picnic tables, shooed off the birds, and laid out our shared meal. Some buns, deli meats, a roast chicken and a couple of salads.

The kids ran around playing war and dodgeball and my boy waded in the surf up to his armpits. We watched the new lifeguards in training and enjoyed the evening. This went by.

My contribution was this brown rice salad from Catherine at Ben and Birdy which was a big hit.

Brown Rice Salad with Asparagus, Feta and Lemon (adapted from Ben and Birdy)
2 c brown rice
1 large bunch of asparagus
1 shallot, minced
5 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 c crumbled feta
3/4 c chopped, toasted almonds

Add the rice to boiling water (cook it like pasta) and let cook for 25 minutes. Drain well and then add back to the pot, cover with a towel and the lid and let steam for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, lay out the asparagus on a baking sheet, and roast for about 5 minutes in a 375 deg F oven until the asparagus is slightly tender and slightly browned. Cut into 1" pieces.

Dry roast the almonds over medium high heat until the almonds are toasty brown.

Mix the lemon juice, shallots and olive oil in a small jar and shake to mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

For the picnic, I kept all the pieces separate - rice, asparagus, feta, almonds and dressing and then combined them all at the table. Lovely.

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