Celebrate a Delicious Lag B'Omer or Memorial Day Picnic
On the 33rd day of the Omer, the period between Passover and Shavuos, many celebrate with a festive picnic. The explanations begin with the Omer period itself, those forty-nine days that are counted off one by one between the two festivals. This is a time of semi-mourning, when weddings and other celebrations are forbidden. There are several explanations as to why the 33rd day, Lag B'Omer is a happy day, interrupting the sadness of the Omer period.
Whether you are planning a Lag B’Omer picnic for Thursday, May 26, or one for Memorial Day weekend, or just enjoying a picnic at other times of the year, we have gathered ten suggestions for scrumptious picnic foods.
BEET SALAD: Peel beets and grate them (a food processor will keep the juice contained). Add pistachios or hazelnuts; dress with orange zest and juice, and olive oil. Add bits of goat cheese and chopped parsley. (Recipe adapted from the The New York Times)
PESTO CHICKEN ROLLS: Season and grill chicken cutlets. Brush lavash or any other wrap–type bread with pesto; layer with the chicken, sun–dried tomatoes and arugula; roll up and cut on the bias. (Recipe adapted from the The New York Times)
CURRIED EGG SALAD: Make egg salad with hard–cooked eggs, mayo, curry powder, Dijon mustard, fresh lime juice, salt, pepper, cilantro, red onion and, if you like, diced apple. (Recipe adapted from The New York Times)
CORNFLAKE CHICKEN BITES: Cut boneless chicken breasts into small pieces. Dip in parve rice milk; dredge in seasoned crushed corn flake crumbs, cornmeal or panko bread crumbs. Pan–fry in oil, drain, cool and eat cold with celery sticks, with parve ranch dressing such as Mauzone brand. (Recipe adapted from The New York Times)
COLD PEANUT NOODLES: Cook Chinese egg noodles or regular spaghetti. Drain and rinse. Toss with sesame oil, peanut butter , sugar, soy sauce, ginger, rice vinegar, black pepper (lots) and chili oil (optional). At the picnic, toss in some seeded cucumber, chopped scallion and if desired boneless chicken pieces or kosher faux shrimp. (Recipe adapted from The New York Times)
GAZPACHO TO GO: Combine a couple of pounds of ripe tomatoes, one of cucumbers, a slice or two of bread, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender. Chill and pour into a thermos. (Recipe adapted from the New York Times)
ISRAELI SALAD: Toss green and black olives, parsley and mint, salt and pepper, bits of chopped–up lemon (rinds and all; preserved lemon is even better), chopped seeded tomatoes, chopped seeded cucumbers and chopped red pepper. When ready to serve at picnic, mix with olive oil and garnish with toasted garlic flavored pita chips. (Recipe adapted from The New York Times)
LAYERED PICNIC IN–A–JAR by Melissa D’Arabian of The Food Network.
We love this creative picnic creation – a meal layered in a classic glass Ball quart jar. The layers include cooked brown rice, green olives, cilantro, olive oil, red wine vinegar, chickpeas, eggplant cubes, tomatoes and chicken. There are many ingredients, but assembly is easy, and we think well worth the effort. For the entire recipe visit, Food Network.
PESTO POTATO SALAD by The Neely’s.
What’s a picnic without potato salad? We enjoy this pesto version from Food Network’s The Neely’s. It would go well with a corned beef sandwich and some slaw! (Just omit the parmesan cheese for a parve, dairy free version.)
CAPONATA PICNIC SANDWICHES
by Giada De Laurentis.
What a lovely picnic sandwich; Enjoy a bottle of chilled white wine as you munch this creation by one of our favorite TV chefs, Giada.
PICNIC TIPS and TRICKS:
• Pack foods in a thermal picnic basket if possible.
• Freeze water in old plastic soda bottles – fill to no more than 1-inch from top. These will help keep food chilled and to act as extra drinking water. Disposable too!
• Take along a citronella candle to help keep insects awa.
• Anti–bacterial hand gel (Baby wipes are great stand–ns for hand cleaner) or bring along some wet wash clothes, packed in a plastic bag.
• And Remember:Sunscreen, insect spray, trash bags, picnic blanket and/or table cover, and a first aid kit.
Let us know how you picnic, and share your favorite foods to go! May you enjoy Lag Ba’Omer, and may your spring and summer days be sunny – each day a picnic!