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Let's Pack A Picnic

A picnic is a state of mind and can be made anywhere.  Breakfast, lunch or dinner.  At an outdoor a the beach, playground or park...  Even indoors.  Some of my favorite picnic memories are of picnics driven indoors due to inclement weather or ill health.  

Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, Vermont

Chicken Paninis make a wonderful addition to any picnic menu.

Chicken Panini
2 red bell peppers, whole
4 small focaccia or Italian rolls, cut in half
2 large, cooked chicken breasts, shredded or sliced into large chunks
baby spinach

Pesto Mayonnaise:
3 tablespoons good quality mayonnaise, preferably olive oil-style
2 tablespoons prepared pesto
freshly ground black pepper 

Preheat the grill to medium-high.  Roast the peppers directly on grill grate or under a preheated broiler until blackened, about 10 to 15 minutes, turning halfway through.  Remove and cut the flesh into strips, discarding the seeds.

To prepare pesto mayonnaise, stir together mayonnaise and pesto in a small bowl.  Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Spread pesto mayonnaise on the cut sides of each roll.  Fill each roll with chicken, pepper strips and spinach leaves.  Press the haves together.  Preheat panini grill or a flat plate or cast-iron griddle on the grill and cook the panini over medium-low heat for 4 to 5 minutes.  Flip and cook the second side until toasted, about an additional 5 minutes.  Serve warm or wrap in foil and pack for picnic.

4 servings

Did You Know:  Bell peppers are an outstanding source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.  Red peppers are also an excellent source of nerve-supportive vitamin B6, immune-supportive vitamin C and vitamin A.

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