Featured in the latest issue of Shorelines, Bill and Siri Wilkinson offer some of their favorite summer picnic recipes. The Wilkinsons own and operate Gerson’s Garden, a beloved restaurant in Roanoke serving vegetarian dishes. Check out Gerson’s Garden here. Be sure to grab these ingredients from your own garden or from your local farmers market.
Summer Vegetable Sandwich – Serves 8
8 ciabatta rolls
Spinach and artichoke spread (recipe below)
Balsamic cucumber and tomato salad (recipe below)
- Slice ciabatta rolls in half and spread 1/8 of the spinach artichoke spread on the bottom half.
- Add one fresh tomato slice.
- Layer with fresh arugula.
- Top with 1/8 of the balsamic cucumber and tomato salad
- Add top half of ciabatta roll and serve.
Tip: For kid-friendly sandwiches, replace ciabatta rolls with whole wheat wraps or hamburger slider buns. (photo of wrapped sandwiches)
Spinach and Artichoke Spread
1 8-ounce bag frozen organic spinach
1 4-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 8-ounce block low-fat cream cheese (softened)
¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup ricotta cheese
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
1⁄8 teaspoon onion powder
Black pepper (to taste)
- Cook spinach according to package directions.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix at medium speed with a mixer until all ingredients are well-blended. Serve warm or cold.
Balsamic Cucumber and Tomato Salad
½ small red onion
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic
5 leaves fresh basil (finely diced)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of ¼ lemon
- Dice cucumbers, tomatoes and onion and place in medium-size bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients and gently toss until vegetables are well-coated. For best results, make the day before to let the flavors develop.