The solstice is almost upon us and these long days mean staying outdoors as much as possible to soak up the beautiful weather. New York City is busting out with great summer concerts for the next several months and there is truly something for everyone. This weekend will find me in Prospect Park to hear Bitches Brew Revisited, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Miles Davis classic by a fantastic line-up of jazz musicians. My friends and I have a favorite spot under the trees where we picnic and enjoy the music with the crowd. It is total fun and the perfect way to spend a summer solstice evening in NY.
Picnic fare can be almost anything for me. I tend to bring vegetable salads, while another friend will bring fruit and cheese. Our pot luck picnics are one of the great joys of the summer. The incredible use of outdoor space in NY is one of the many reasons why it is my favorite city on earth!
These tiny blossoms- the yellow is from mustard greens and the pink is from a radish, make a pretty and tasty garnish for summer salads.
Green Bean Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
2 quarts salted water
4 cups of trimmed green beans
1/4 thinly sliced onion
1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
1/2 teas. salt
1 teas. black pepper
2 Tbs. whole grain mustard
3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. chopped fresh herbs like dill, tarragon, basil, parsley (optional)
Bring water to a boil and cook the green beans until bright green and tender, about 10 minutes. Drain beans and rinse quickly under cold water and set aside to allow them to dry. Put sliced onions in a cup with enough cold water to cover them and let the onions soak for 5 minutes, then drain.
Make the vinaigrette:
in a small bowl put the vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking as you go to create an emulsion. The vinaigrette will be thick.
In a large bowl combine the green beans and the drained onions and toss with the vinaigrette. Chill in the fridge for an hour before serving. Just before serving toss into the salad any fresh herbs you may be using.