Anyway, Tanglewood has a few different performance venues, this concert being held at the Koussevitzky Music Shed, which has a few sections of covered seating close to the stage, but then a huge lawn area in the back for people to picnic (do you see the food connection now?) and lounge while they listen to the music. The thing I love about it, is that unlike many other outdoor concerts that I have attended in the summer of jazz and rock/pop groups, people are really here to listen intently to the music and when the concert begins everyone is quiet (except for the small children who do their best to keep things under control!). It's really quite nice.
OK. On to the picnic! We wanted to keep things simple, but delicious. We started with some pesto, tomato, and mozzarella finger sandwiches. For these I just sliced up some ciabatta bread, spread a little pesto on each slice, and layered each sandwich with a slice of tomato and a slice of fresh mozzarella. Easy!
I did make my own pesto using this Cooking Light recipe. I really like this version because it's not as oily as store-bought.
Recipe courtesy Cooking Light
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 cups packed basil leaves (about 2.5 oz)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts **I used walnuts
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Drop garlic through food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Place basil and next 4 ingredients (basil through pepper) in processor; process 10 seconds. Combine water and oil in a measuring cup. With processor on, slowly pour oil mixture through food chute, processing just until blended.
Next, we had some strawberry spinach salad (not pictured), which consisted simply of baby spinach, sliced strawberries, walnuts, salt, and pepper with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette.
After salads...and some rain in the middle of the cello concerto (which is why I cannot call it my favorite...sadly, I couldn't hear the whole second half due to the sound of the rain on our umbrella)...
...we moved on to Brie with Grape Jelly and Wheat Thins. This is honestly one of our favorite treats ever! It was of course accompanied by a nice bottle of merlot. Notice how the sun is now shining brightly. The weather was quite fickle that day.
Finally, during Rachmaninoff, we reached dessert. I wanted something chocolaty, but fairly light. I found this recipe and then simply subbed light ingredients.
Recipe courtesy of Recipe Zaar
- 1 180z package Oreos, crushed **I used reduced fat Oreos
- 1 box instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 8oz container Cool Whip **I used light
- 1 8 oz package gummy worms **I left these out and put in some sliced strawberries instead
Make the pudding, fold in the Cool-Whip. Place half the cookie crumbs on the bottom of a glass bowl **I used three cookies each on the bottom of individual serving dishes. Spoon in the pudding mixture and place the worms, half in, half out, on top. **I just put some strawberry slices on top. Top with the remaining cookie crumbs. Chill.
The following photographs are examples of why I portioned everything instead of having us share out of one dish. I always feel like I'm racing. In the second photo, hubby's dish is on the left and mine is on the right - about 2 minutes after we started eating...