Every October I look forward to picking out pumpkins. There's a great ranch near my parents house that has a pumpkin patch along with a picnic area and hay rides, so I'm grabbing a group of friends and hosting a picnic at the pumpkin patch! Since we'll be heading out this weekend, I invited everyone by phone.
The menu will be a hearty Fall-themed lunch. I'll start by setting up an assortment of cheeses and fruit. The elements to an autumn greens salad will be packed in separate containers. The greens, apples, and radishes in one, the cheddar frico in another, and the vinaigrette in third.
The salad can be assembled at the picnic table. Thermoses filled with a fragrant ginger, butternut squash soup are perfect for enjoying at the pumpkin patch. For these scrumptious recipes, read more.
1 wedge (about 8 ounces) Parmigiano-Reggiano Serves 12-18. 2 large butternut squash (5 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded Serves 12. Make ahead: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat gently, adding a little chicken stock to thin the soup. 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar Serves 10-12.
1 wedge (about 8 ounces) Fontina or Taleggio
1 wedge (about 6 ounces) Gorgonzola
1 tablespoon honey
8 fresh figs, quartered
1 cluster seedless red grapes
1 cluster seedless green grapes
1 cup dates
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup whole shelled walnuts or pecans, toasted
1 loaf ciabatta, sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup pecans (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small fennel bulb—halved, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
One 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 cups chicken stock
One 14-ounce can of unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
1 teaspoon hazelnut oil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup pumpkin-seed oil
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Granny Smith apples
6 radishes, scrubbed and trimmed
9 cups mixed greens (about 3/4 pound), washed and dried
10 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (about 5 cups)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 wedge (about 8 ounces) Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 large butternut squash (5 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded
Make ahead: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat gently, adding a little chicken stock to thin the soup.
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar