A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Picnic Penne Chunky Potato Salad Honey Mustard Potato Salad Tarragon & Walnut Chicken Salad Pimento Cheese Easy Egg Salad Macaroni Salad Tangy Three-Bean Salad Potato & Butter Bean Salad Summer

Madison County Championship Rodeo

Picnic Penne Chunky Potato Salad Honey Mustard Potato Salad Tarragon & Walnut Chicken Salad Pimento Cheese Easy Egg Salad Macaroni Salad Tangy Three-Bean Salad Potato & Butter Bean Salad Summer

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Picnic Penne Chunky Potato Salad Honey Mustard Potato Salad Tarragon & Walnut Chicken Salad Pimento Cheese Easy Egg Salad Macaroni Salad Tangy Three-Bean Salad Potato & Butter Bean Salad Summer

21 Portable Recipes for Your Picnic Basket



Picnic Penne Pasta Salad
Yield: 6 servings.

1 (16-ounce) box penne pasta, cooked al dente
1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
3 green onions, sliced
½ cup sliced green olives with pimentos
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper

Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Place pasta in a large mixing bowl and add bell pepper, green onions, olives, and dill. Toss all ingredients and set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine lemon juice, olive juice, and sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Stir in mayonnaise, salt, and pepper.

Pour dressing over pasta and toss until ingredients are evenly coated. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.


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chunky potato salad

Chunky Potato Salad
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dill pickle juice
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon celery seed
4 large russet potatoes
2 stalks celery, sliced
cup sweet onion, finely chopped
3 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped

In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, pickle juice, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and celery seed. Refrigerate while potatoes are cooking.

Wash and quarter potatoes. Leave the skin on. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add remaining salt. Let potatoes come to a boil, then adjust heat to medium. After 10 minutes, test potatoes with a fork for doneness. Do not overcook.

When potatoes are just fork-tender, remove from heat and drain in sink. Let potatoes sit to reach room temperature. Remove skin from potatoes and cut into large chunks (about 1 inch). In a large mixing bowl, add potatoes, celery, onion, and eggs. Pour mayonnaise dressing over potato mixture and toss well. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours before serving.


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Honey Mustard Potato Salad
Yield: 8 servings.

For the dressing:
1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
3 tablespoons honey

For the salad:
3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 teaspoons salt
4 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
¼ cup chives, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste

For the dressing: In a mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, mustards, and honey until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the salad: Place potatoes in a large, heavy pot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add salt. Boil potatoes until just fork-tender, approximately 10 to 20 minutes. Drain and run cold water over potatoes for 30 seconds to stop them from cooking.

As soon as they’ve cooled enough to handle, cut potatoes into large chunks and place them in a large mixing bowl.

Pour dressing over potatoes. Add eggs, parsley, chives, and onions. Gently toss all ingredients together until well coated. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired. Serve chilled.


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Tarragon & Walnut Chicken Salad
Yield: 8 servings.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Place cooked chicken in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Pour dressing over chicken and toss until dressing is incorporated. Stir in tarragon and walnuts. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour before serving.


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Easy Pimento Cheese
Yield: 2 cups.

8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 (2-ounce) jar pimentos, drained
1 teaspoon Texas Pete hot sauce
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Place grated cheese in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together mayonnaise, pimentos, hot sauce, salt, and sugar. Pour over grated cheese and stir with a wooden spoon. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy on sandwiches, crackers, burgers, or celery sticks.


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easy egg salad

Easy Egg Salad
Yield: 2 cups.

8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon yellow mustard
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
½ teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop eggs and place in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and onion powder. Pour dressing over chopped eggs and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate egg salad 1 hour before serving.


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Macaroni Salad
Yield: 10-12 servings.

1 pound elbow macaroni
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons dill pickle juice
1 cup fresh white corn, cut from the cob, approximately 4 ears
1 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Cook macaroni according to directions on the package. Drain in a colander and rinse well with cold water. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, pepper, sugar, and pickle juice. Whisk until sugar has dissolved. Pour mayonnaise mixture over the macaroni and toss well.

Add fresh corn, celery, onion, bell pepper, and chopped eggs to the macaroni and toss well. Additional mayonnaise may be added to reach desired consistency. Salt to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


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Tangy Three-Bean Salad
Yield: 6 servings.

½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can white shoepeg corn, drained
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar and sugar until sugar dissolves. Continue whisking and slowly add canola oil. Whisk in salt and pepper, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, corn, bell pepper, parsley, and onion. Pour dressing over beans and toss. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours before serving. After 2 hours, toss again so that dressing coats all the ingredients.


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Potato & Butter Bean Salad
Yield: 6 servings.

3 large red potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled, cooked, and cubed
1 pound fresh butter beans, cooked and drained
2 stalks celery, sliced
½ medium sweet onion, diced
1 teaspoon celery seed
Juice from one lemon
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or 1 green onion, sliced

Combine potatoes, beans, celery, and sweet onion, and toss. Set aside. Whisk together remaining ingredients except chives. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss well. Sprinkle with chives and mix. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Note: Frozen butter beans may be substituted if fresh aren’t available.


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Summer Succotash Salad

Summer Succotash Salad
Yield: 6 servings.

Salad:
3 ears fresh corn, cut off the cob
1 cup butter beans, cooked
2 large fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juice reserved
12 fresh okra pods, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped red onion

Dressing:
½ cup rice vinegar
Juice from the tomatoes
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
½ cup vegetable oil
Freshly cracked black pepper

Place all salad ingredients in a large glass bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together vinegar, tomato juice, sugar, and salt. Continue whisking and slowly add vegetable oil. Add black pepper and stir. Pour dressing over salad mixture. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate for 2 hours, then serve immediately.


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Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad
Yield: 8 servings.

4 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 cups fresh cauliflower florets
1 cup raisins
3 green onions, sliced
1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup salted sunflower seeds, hulled

In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, raisins, and onions. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and salt, until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the dressing over the broccoli-cauliflower mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Toss in sunflower seeds before serving.


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Zesty Whole-Grain Salad with Feta
Yield: 8 servings.

Salad:
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup uncooked farro, rinsed and drained
1 cup quinoa, rinsed in a fine mesh colander
2 cups water
1 large cucumber, seeded and finely diced
½ cup finely diced sun-dried tomatoes
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
cup finely diced red onion
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

Dressing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To cook the farro: In a medium saucepan, stir together stock and farro, and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Remove from heat, and drain in colander. Let farro cool for at least 10 minutes.

To cook the quinoa: In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and the water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, and remove from heat. Let quinoa sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool.

For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until combined.

Transfer cooked grains to a large mixing bowl, and add in remaining salad ingredients, including the dressing. Toss until combined. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.


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Apple and Blue Cheese Salad
Yield: 4 servings.

¼ cup Duke’s mayonnaise
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
teaspoon salt
2 Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup red seedless grapes, halved
1 stalk celery, sliced
¼ cup chopped walnuts
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Mix together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Set aside.

Place apples in mixing bowl. Squeeze juice from lemon over apples and toss. Add grapes, celery, and walnuts.

Pour in dressing and add blue cheese. Toss lightly, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.


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Bean Salad with Monterey Jack
Yield: 8 servings.

Dressing:
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
1 cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup canola oil

Salad:
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can crowder peas, drained and rinsed
3 stalks celery, chopped
¼ cup red onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 large pita pockets, halved (optional)

For the dressing: In a glass mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, pepper, mustard, and vinegar until sugar and salt have dissolved. Slowly add canola oil, whisking until dressing thickens.

For the salad: Place beans and peas in a large glass bowl. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, and cheese cubes. Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and toss until all ingredients are well coated and combined. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Toss salad every 30 minutes.

Before serving, toss parsley into the salad. Fill each pita pocket with bean mixture or enjoy as a side dish with sliced pita bread.


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blueberry corn salsa

Blueberry and Corn Salsa
Yield: 4-6 servings.

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh corn, cooked and cut off the cob (5 ears)
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped

In a mixing bowl, combine vinegar, lime juice, sugar, and salt. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Slowly add canola oil and continue to whisk until dressing thickens. Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, add blueberries, corn, jalapeño, cilantro, and onion, and toss to combine. Pour dressing over salsa. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

Enjoy as a side dish or with tortilla chips.


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Turkey Cobb Club
Yield: 4 servings.

16 strips thick-cut bacon, cooked crispy
4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
12 slices white bread, toasted
¾ cup to 1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
10 romaine lettuce leaves
3 avocados, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
16 slices roasted or slow-cooked turkey breast

Arrange 3 bread slices in a row. Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise over 1 side of each slice. Place a lettuce stack on top of the first bread slice, top with 2 avocado slices, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place 2 bacon strips over the avocado and top with 2 slices of turkey.

Season turkey with salt and pepper to taste.

Repeat with the second bread slice and add sliced eggs and blue cheese. Carefully place the second stack on top of the first, turkey side up. Cover with the third bread slice, mayonnaise side down.

Use 4 long toothpicks to secure the sandwich. Using a serrated knife, cut through diagonally to make 4 wedges. Repeat entire process with the remaining ingredients to make 3 more sandwiches.


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Grilled Pork Tenderloin Wrap
Yield: 6 servings.

Pork:
1 pound pork tenderloin
½ cup honey mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground chili powder

Slaw:
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
Juice from 2 limes
2 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 small head of cabbage, shredded
1 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise into thin strips
1 sweet onion, cut in half and sliced thin
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups of sweet frozen corn, thawed
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
6 (10-inch) flour tortillas
Cilantro (for garnish)
Texas Pete or other hot sauce
Pork rinds, crushed (optional)

For the pork: In a small bowl, mix together honey mustard, cumin, and chili powder. Rub mixture evenly over tenderloin. Place tenderloin in a Ziploc bag and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat grill to medium to medium-high heat, 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure grill grate is cleaned and oiled. Remove tenderloin from bag and place on a baking sheet to rest at room temperature while grill is heating.

Place tenderloin on grill and close the lid. Grill for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, open the grill, flip tenderloin over and continue cooking for an additional 7 minutes with grill lid closed. With the lid closed, turn off heat and allow pork to cook with residual heat for an additional 5 minutes. Check temperature at the thickest part of the pork, which should read 145°.

Remove pork from grill and place on a clean baking sheet. Cover with foil. Allow pork to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before slicing.

For the slaw: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, honey, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, combine shredded cabbage, red pepper, onion, cilantro, corn, and jalapeño. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss until all ingredients are coated with dressing. Taste and adjust salt.

To assemble: Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in the oven for about 5 minutes. Slice pork and place a few strips in the center of each tortilla. Top with slaw. Add cilantro, Texas Pete, and pork rinds. Fold in the ends and roll. Use parchment paper to wrap sandwiches if serving a crowd or traveling.


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Corn Dog Muffins
Yield: 24 mini muffins.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
cup sugar
2 large eggs
6 beef franks, cut into 1-inch pieces
Mustard and ketchup (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly coat a mini-muffin tin with nonstick spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter, sugar, and eggs. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until incorporated.

Scoop 1 tablespoon batter into each cup and place 1 hot dog piece into the center. Place into oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with mustard and/or ketchup (optional).


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Chilled Fruit Cocktail
Yield: 10 servings.

1 cup apple juice
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon grated orange zest
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole cloves
2 Honeycrisp apples, cored and chopped
2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup white seedless grapes, halved lengthwise
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 (15-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained

In a medium saucepan, combine fruit juices, orange zest, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Heat to boiling and then simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Cool to room temperature.

In a large serving bowl, combine apples, peaches, grapes, cherries, pear, and mandarin oranges. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves from juice mixture, and pour over fruit. Chill 2 hours before serving.


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Lemon-Mint Chess Tarts
Yield: 36 tarts.

2 cups white sugar
½ cup butter, softened
5 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
8 fresh mint sprigs, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 piecrust shells

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add milk. Lower speed and add flour, cornmeal, salt, lemon juice, mint, and lemon zest. Mix until smooth. Set aside.

Sprinkle flour on a clean countertop. Place piecrust on counter. Cut pastry rounds using a 2½-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter. Place and evenly press pastry into each cup of a mini-muffin tin.

Pour lemon mixture into pastry shells, filling each to the top.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the filling centers begin to set. Remove tarts from oven and let set before serving.


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Chocolate-Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

Yield: 48 cookies.

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups granulated sugar
cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons salt
1 cup cornflake cereal, crushed
½ cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cherries

In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla and almond extracts. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together.

Remove bowl from mixer and stir in the crushed cornflakes, oats, chocolate chips, and cherries until all ingredients are incorporated.

Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit out for 10 minutes. Pinch off dough and form 1-inch balls. Place on baking sheet, approximately 3 inches apart.

Bake for 13 to 18 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown. Cookies will spread and should be slightly soft in the center. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


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This story was published on Apr 22, 2021

Lynn Wells

Lynn Wells

Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.