Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Farm Stand Sandwich for a Festival

That's right.  A sandwich made from farm stand produce for an evening picnic at a local music festival.  Minimal refrigeration needed and local brews are available at the festival.  Sounds like a good plan to me.

I love going to music Festivals.  Most take place in the summer expecially up here on the east coast.  Who wants to go to a music festival in the snow?  Well, I am sure there are a few amazing fans that would show up, but it probably wouldn't be me.  This year to start the summer off, we went to Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in Delaware and saw Chick Corea, then midsummer we went to the Xponential Music Festival and saw Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and this weekend we went to the Riverfront Blues Festival and enjoyed some really awesome blues including the Bernard Allison Band starting off their set with a stellar version of Voodoo Child.
 Here are a few shots from the festival.  The weather was perfect and it was a nice evening for an outdoor event. 

At the Xponential Music Festival, the music was great but sadly the food was not.  Have you ever been to an outdoor art or music festival and the food just all taste the same?  Although, once we got to the Riverfront Blues Festival, they seem to have a couple of venders that were above par.  In particular, there was a booth that served Jamaican entrees that looked and smelled fantastic and we bought a Jamaican Fruit cake that was delicious. We didn't test the enticing entrees because we brought our own food.  Doesn't that figure?!

Since the last festival food experience wasn't that great, I decided to pack some food for the evening.  What did I have on hand?  Zucchini (surprised?), Zebra green tomatoes, arugula, onions and goat cheese.  I picked up some mini french breads and roasted red peppers on the way home and started working on some veggie sandwiches.

This is how it all happened:

First, there was this gigantic Zucchini which I could not ignore. I sliced the zucc thin and sprinkled it with salt and pepper. Then the slices were sauteed in a medium hot pan with a little olive oil and touch of butter until they were lightly browned. Isn't that the best way to cook? . . .a little of this and a touch of that.
It seemed like sauteed onions were the right thing to do.  I had these small red onions from the farmers market so I sliced them and sauteed them in about 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil until they were browned
and then sprinkled them with salt. I added 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and continued sauteing until the pan was dry and the vinegar was absorbed
Next, the french loaves were sliced lengthwise and toasted. No burnt ones, the stars must be lined up just right.
About 4 ounce of goat cheese was mixed with about 3 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil that I had handy in the garden.  Basil, thyme and mint are always in a pot or in the garden somewhere at my house, even in the winter.  I use basil and thyme for many recipes and the mint is mainly for my daughter because she likes it.  Take the goat cheese and spread it on the toasted bread.
I could eat them right now, but don't stop here.  Layer the sauteed zucchini on next.  (Sorry about the bokeh in some of the following pictures but the lighting was low and it was and overcast day.  We'll call these pics "artistic".)
Now add some roasted red peppers (mine are from a jar but feel free to roast you own like I did here).  If you use ones from a jar then dry them a bit with a towel.
Then add those addictive sauteed onions.
Then come the sliced tomatoes and here I am using some Zebra greens that I grew in my garden. They are tangy that I think will go well with the sweetness of  onions, peppers and zucc.  Use any tomato that you have or none at all.  If you are traveling with these sandwiches then you might want to pack the tomatoes separately and add them later because they can be the culprit of soggy bread.  Soggy bread is something I campaign against.  The world would be a better place.
Arugula was in the frig which sounds good to me with it peppery flavor, but any lettuce will do.
Put the tops on and you are done.  Wrap and go.
I brought fruit, chips and salsa (salsa recipe coming soon!).  Of course, some water also.  I put everything in an ice chest in my car and took the food out when I got there and left the ice chest in the car.  I knew we were going to eat soon so I didn't worry about lugging an ice chest around.  It turned out to be a nice evening with tasty, healthy food.  We weren't dependent on tasteless, greasy festival food this time.  Nice. 

This is a great picnic sandwich.  This sandwich is also very forgiving for personalization.  Feel free to use eggplant, mushroom, raw sweet onions, thin slices of cucumbers, sprouts, some leftover grilled steak or chicken, oregano or red peeper flakes.  Did I really just type that?  I mean red pepper flakes.  Use your imagination and roll with it.  Personally, I'll save the meat and cheese version for the winter when there are not so many delicious farm stand veggies around.  I am going to give those cows and chickens a break this time!  We all could probably do with a little less protein and more fiber anyway.  What do you think!?

So here is what I recommend (you asked, right?), put those ipods down, look up a local music festival and enjoy some live music from someone in your area.  Support those hard working artists and show them some love.  What would our world be without them?

No printable recipe this time.  Why?  Because you don't need one.  I made a list of all the ingredients that I wanted on the sandwich so I would not forget something.  Yeah, that's right because I am a master at forgetting something, always something.  This time I forgot to bring the okra chips and the smoked mixed nuts.  I will write it down next time, but then I will probably forget, that is to write it down.

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