Are you following “The Curly Girls” on Facebook? If you aren’t you should be!
As the foodie half of the duo, I get to have fun the kitchen (as if I don’t normally have fun there, lol) with recipes and foods that I typically don’t offer as a custom baker. I love coming up with and adapting recipes to pair with the wines and cocktails Ann Marie creates.
For the September episode, we took to the great outdoors and headed on a fall picnic. We didn’t have to venture far, as Ann Marie has an amazing home on beautiful acreage that lends itself naturally as a relaxing spot to pack a picnic lunch and soak up the fresh air.
I really wanted to incorporate a nice fall salad into the show, as I really LOVE salads. Then, I needed a roll, bread or some carb to pack along with it… of course.
Then, I wanted a comforting dessert. For that I baked one of my chocolate chip cookie cakes. You can bake your own, or order one from the Kitchen.
I hope you like what I came up with. For this post, I focused on the salad components. Check back for another post featuring the biscuit recipe I found!
Wild Rice and Greens Salad
1 (6 ounce) package long-grain and wild rice mix
Salad greens – my favorites are a mix of power greens, baby kale, spinach and arugula
Cherry tomatoes, quartered (as many as you like )
chopped pecans , for topping
For the dressing:
1/4 cup fig preserves (homemade* or store bought)
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I used vanilla balsamic from Manassas Olive Oil Company ). Use what you have available to you locally !
2 tablespoons olive oil (I used my favorite arbequina olive oil from Manassas Olive Oil Company)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Cook rice according to package directions, let cool until slightly warm.
Wash and prepare salad greens , add to large bowl for mixing with rice and dressing .
Prepare the dressing : In mixing bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until well combined.
Add rice and dressing to bowl with greens and tomatoes, mix thoroughly, if desired, sprinkle with chopped pecans.
*Fig preserves, recipe adapted from “Cooking with Paula Deen”
16 ounces fresh figs (If you can find them! Once you find them, use the day you buy them)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
On stove top, combine all ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil, about 5 mins. Reduce heat and continue to cook until reduced and thickened, about 30 mins. Cool and store in container or mason jar, for up to a month.
Here’s to crisp fall days, and picnics with good friends, good food, and wine!