Picnic Fare

/ Monday, April 27, 2009

This weekend was all about the sun, picnics & BBQ's. Like everyone else, my friends and I spent the weekend catching some rays in the park. I could not pass up the opportunity to whip up some portable snacks to sustain our afternoon outing. It takes a lot of energy laying in the grass.

The crowd favorite was a saltine-fig tart inspired by a recipe that I found in one of Food Network Kitchens cookbooks. There's something magical about making a beautiful treat out of pantry staples you already have lying around your kitchen. This tart is a perfect example of how simple ingredients can be transformed into something spectacular. For those of you who have never had fig jam, you can find it in most grocery stores and taste like the inside of a Fig Newton.

Saltine-Fig Tart

1 sleeve saltine crackers
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 egg white
1 small jar fig jam
3/4 cup whole blanched almonds

1. Preheat oven to 400 degree. Line an 8 inch round cake pan with parchment
2. Pulse the crackers in a food processor to make a fine meal. Add the melted butter and egg white. Pulse until the mixture is sandy. See photo below.
3. Press the saltine mixture flat into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool.

4. Once the crust has cooled spread one small jar of fig jam over the crust. Meanwhile, spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes.
5. Remove the toasted almonds from the oven and arrange on top of the tart. Cut and enjoy!

For a more substantial bite, I made Ina Garten's Pitas stuffed with tabbouleh and shards of feta cheese. Check out the recipe on the Food Network's Website.

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