Of Kindergarten picnics and such…

Today was the kindergarten class picnic. My sweet young baby girl is, in a mere few days, a rising 1st grader. Wow! Where does the time go?! Anyway, it was a gorgeous day- and I was thrilled because we were hosting the bash and the last thing I wanted was 19 kids, 19 moms and 2 teachers hanging out in my house on a rainy day. Just saying…. (Note to young Moms about this picnic stuff- once you host for an older child, you can just write it in the book for the younger ones as well. Somehow-and I for the life of me cannot tell you how, Julia found out that Harrison had the Kindergarten class picnic at our house…well, ‘nough said. The decision was made- apparently before she even joined the family…the picnic this year would be here.)

Anyhoo…it was a fabulous affair with pizza for the kids and lots of great salads and wraps for the over 6 set. There were sprinklers and balls and sidewalk chalk and hoola-hoops. And, wow, can Megan hoola-hoop! Who knew?! Anyway, the adults gabbed and the kids played and the teachers were praised and all was good. But, the salads were key to adult happiness. I was not supposed to cook for this one- I know, how could that be? Aren’t I the food blog girl? However, this time, I was hosting, and that in itself was plenty, so I was off the hook. Yet, at the eleventh hour, an email came in. Disaster had struck and a mom needed me to cover a chicken salad. I knew exactly what to do. My Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad is a lunchtime favorite and a staple of past successful picnics. It is light, lemony and garlic filled-in short, everything you want in a Caesar, with none of the baggage. It is light and fulfilling and perfect for a day with children running in and out of sprinklers and Moms gabbing about summer vacation!

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
Serves 10
For the dressing:
1 ½ t. lemon zest
3 T lemon juice
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. anchovy paste
1 t. champagne vinegar
2/3 c. extra-virgin oil
sea salt/ground pepper

Combine all ingredients but the olive oil in a blender. With the blender running, slowly feed the olive oil in through the feeding tube. Season with salt and pepper. May be made ahead- return to room temperature before using.

For the salad:
2 large heads of Romaine, cleaned and roughly torn or chopped
1 c grated fresh Parmesan
½ a baguette, chopped and toasted to make croutons (or ½ box of good quality crouton)
3-4 chicken breasts, grilled and roughly chopped or shredded- may be done ahead

In a large bowl, place the lettuce, Parmesan, croutons and chicken. Dress with dressing and serve immediately.

One Comment

  1. Christine Solomon
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Awesome post! Let’s catch UP!

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