Autumn Picnic Food


September in Petaluma means chilly mornings, followed by sweltering afternoon sun. The leaves are starting to yellow, the grass is a pale gold, and it's apple time. I suddenly feel the desire to make heartier fall food, but it's so hot by dinnertime I can't stand to be in the kitchen.  Yesterday I took advantage of the cool morning and made some things ahead of time, a few Asian takes on picnic food, using sweet and bitter vegetables, and some stuffed eggs with a little wasabi kick. Good served cold as lunch food, the salad can also be warmed up and served with pork or chicken at dinner, or with a poached egg over top like everything I seem to make...

The salad is made with roasted beets, Brussels sprouts, and apple, drizzled with a vinaigrette of seasoned rice wine vinegar made with grapefruit and a little sea salt. It's simple.

Roast the cubed produce on a sheet pan, drizzled with olive oil and a pinch of salt, 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. While they are cooking prep the vinaigrette.  I added thin slices of red onion and beet to the mix to pickle for the stuffed eggs. If doing that step, allow the slices to sit submerged for at least 15 minutes. To make the vinaigrette, mix 1 part seasoned rice wine vinegar to 1 part fresh squeezed grapefruit, with salt to taste.  The result is tangy and a bit sweet. Drizzle as much as you like over the roasted vegetables while still warm. Salad can be served at any temperature.

I made my stuffed or deviled eggs with just a touch of mayonaisse and a little fresh wasabi and sea salt to taste. Peel hard-boiled eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the yolk and mash with a fork, adding mayonaisse one heaping teaspoon at a time until you get to the right consistency.  For every egg yolk I used about 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon of wasabi, not too spicy, but flavorful. Stuff the eggs and top with the pickled vegetables, serve chilled.