The Novel Bakers have had a full & delicious week packing picnic baskets and cooking up recipes for picnic week!
Here’s a final picnic to wrap up the week and with a little fall flavor to end on!
Fall is my favorite season and the perfect time to picnic or tailgate!
I found a vintage Redmon picnic basket from a favorite antique mall for $15 to pack up and take home with me. . .
The brown woven plaid basket reminiscent of football, fall sweaters,
leaves and thermoses filled with steaming soup!
Our leaves don’t typically change in North Carolina until October so I packed some fall photos from the archives to add for some additional seasonal color!
My galvanized bottle tote (from Pottery Barn) makes a convenient picnic caddy. . .
And makes it easy to tote jars of flatware, napkins, food, flowers/ leaves and bottles or glasses for a picnic. We’re picnicking with Shelton Vineyards Madison Lee, a Yadkin Valley North Carolina wine. You can enjoy a visit and sample some other Bottled Sunshine, here.
Spinach Salad with Pears, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts can be enjoyed year round, but would be especially good with pears in season in the fall.
No recipe required for this salad, just a combination of baby spinach, firm ripe pear, peeled and sliced, crumbled Gorgonzola cheese and walnuts.
I tossed my sliced pears in some canned pineapple juice, less tart than lemon juice, before assembling the salad to prevent them from oxidizing.
Toast your walnuts on a baking sheet in the oven until lightly browned and fragrant at 350 degrees (about 7- 10 minutes) for maximum flavor and crunch! This recipe called for adding endive, cored and thinly sliced, to the spinach, which you can add or omit. It would be great with dried cranberries too for some extra sweetness and color.
Bring along your favorite dressing in a jar to add before serving. If you’re looking for a wonderful salad dressing for fall, try Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette, a mix of maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, shallot and Dijon mustard.
We’re picnicking with our favorite fall soup, Roasted Pear and Butternut Squash. It’s flavorful, healthy, and easy, since you roast all the ingredients in the oven and then puree them with chicken stock!
I prefer the flavor of chicken stock but you can substitute vegetable stock for a vegetarian alternative. Use an immersion blender in your dutch oven or stock pot to blend the roasted vegetables with the hot stock for easy clean up and no risk of exploding soup in your blender.
Garnish your soup before serving with a little crumbled blue cheese, chopped walnuts and a little bacon or crispy prosciutto to top it off is delicious too!