If you’re anything like me, when the weather is warm, you try to spend as much time outdoors as you can. You may not always have the time to commit to a weekend getaway, but enjoying a meal al fresco with family or friends can feel like a mini-vacation and takes almost no planning or preparation.
When I was younger, I learned from my mother how to quickly pack a summer lunch that can be eaten on a blanket in the park or anywhere with fresh air and a pleasant view. These days, this meal might be called “charcuterie”, but to my brother and I, it was a picnic or a “beach lunch.” An assortment of sliced salami, cheeses, crackers, fruit, nuts and veggies with hummus is still one of my very favorite summer meals. It’s very filling, requires no cooking, and can be consumed cold.
We always packed our beach lunches in glass Mason jars. As kids, we could get involved in the kitchen by portioning out servings for each of us. The jars kept our leftovers away from the ants while we enjoyed being outside, and made clean-up a breeze because there was no trash. They also kept my little brother from eating my portion of homemade coleslaw – my summertime favorite.
This recipe is a modern take on a classic slaw. Remember, if you don’t like soggy slaw, put the dressing at the bottom of the Mason jar and the cabbage mixture on top. When you’re ready to eat, give the jar a shake or two, and voila! Crunchy slaw!
- 6 cups red cabbage, shredded
- 6 cups green cabbage, shredded
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cups swiss chard or kale, cut in ribbons
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ cup peanut or sunflower oil
- ½ cup unsalted peanuts, rough-chopped
In a large bowl, toss cabbage together with salt, let sit an hour. Mix in swiss chard or kale ribbons. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, mustard and cumin; add oil slowly, whisking constantly. Toss cabbage mixture with dressing just before serving. Season with salt and pepper.
Photography By Kayce McClure