Featured in our 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.
Summer Vegetable Sandwich – Serves 8
- 8 ciabatta rolls
- Spinach and artichoke spread (recipe below)
- Balsamic cucumber and tomato salad (recipe below)
- Fresh tomatoes
- Fresh arugula
- 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.
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)
- Â¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Â½ cup ricotta cheese
- Â¼ teaspoon garlic salt
- 1â„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
- 3 cucumbers
- 3 tomatoes
- Â½ small red onion
- Â¼ 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 Â¼ 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.