The West Coast has always been blessed with all the elements of a great summer picnic. Since moving to the Sierra Foothills from the Bay Area, we don’t get over to the gorgeous beaches or the lake in the area as much as we would like. But that doesn’t stop me from creating a fantastic picnic recipe. After three years of watching how our land would handle summers and winters, we decided on organic farming. We are not only cutting down our food costs, but we are eating healthier home grown foods. Tomatoes are great to grow in your garden. We’re trying our hand at four different kinds this year.
Since childhood, I have always loved to picnic. Memories of the roar of the ocean calling, my family would carefully load our feast of picnic food and head into the California sunshine for a sunny-day beach picnic.
Here’s a recipe you can create with your fresh garden tomatoes and perfect for a picnic day. Whether it’s a picnic at the beach, lake or park, it’s definitely on our picnic menu! Time in the kitchen: About 20 minutes Cooking Time; About 20 minutes Prep time. Makes: 4 servings
4 large ripe tomatoes (2 1/2 pounds total)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup minced onion
1 cup cooked long-grain rice
1/4 cup diced jicama
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1. Slice off tomato tops; set aside. Hollow centers with spoon, leaving a thin wall; reserve flesh. Generously sprinkle hollow tomatoes with salt, turn upside down, set aside.
2. In an 8- to 10-inch skillet pan over medium heat, stir oil, carrot, and onion until vegetables are golden, about 8 minutes.
3. Chop enough tomato flesh to make 1/4 cup (save remainder for other uses); add to vegetables with rice, jicama, parsley, lemon peel, and juice. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into tomatoes; cover with tops.
Tip: When packing your picnic, keep foods cold and hold at room temperature no more than two hours.