a picnic at home: speck, eggplant, tomato, cheese


It’s what we call a picnic;  it’s our at-home hot weather meal of last resort (although because they’re such a pleasure, it’s sometimes very much a first resort, independent of an evening’s temperature and humidity levels).  We sit at a wooden table next to an open window which looks out onto the roof garden, but there are no bugs.   It may take a while to set out the fixings, but there’s no heat involved (except in the unusual case of last night’s meal, which involved grilling tiny eggplants), and there’s very little washing up afterward.  There’s also no lugging of picnic hampers or insulated wine bags.

  • slices of Alto Adige speck from Eataly (only 2 ounces on each plate); a few halved Fairy Eggplants brushed with garlic and fresh marjoram (from Central Valley Farm) then pan-grilled; 2 sliced heirloom tomatoes from Berried Treasures, covered with torn New York rooftop basil from Gotham Greens at Whole Foods, and some good olive oil; parsley from Paffenrath Farms; a handful of red radishes from Phillips Farm; three cheeses, including a soft sheep’s milk cheese, Kinderhook Creek Mini, by Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, from Whole Foods; ‘ Manchester’, a goat’s milk cheese from Consider Bardwell; and, seen on the plate here, Toma Point Reyes cow’s milk cheese from Eataly; finally, slices of a fresh Italian rye from Eataly
  • a Swiss white wine, Domaine de Beudon, Fendant Valais 2005, from Appellation wine & Spirits