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Neighbors of DuPage

Perfect Picnic Picks

Jun 29, 2015 03:32AM ● By Family Features
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(Family Features) Perk up your next picnic with these deliciously different sandwiches and salads that are super easy to prepare, plus they can be made ahead.

Condiments make the difference between a good sandwich and a great sandwich. Grab a jar of Aunt Nellie’s Sliced Pickled Beets. Their sweet-tangy homemade flavor makes them a perfect base for quick relish to embellish all kinds of sandwiches.

For a Greek-inspired relish, chop and toss the beets with marinated artichoke hearts and olives. Add to a basic turkey sandwich for a gourmet twist. Wrap up brunch favorites smoked salmon and cream cheese in a flour tortilla with a chopped pickled beet-red onion-caper relish. Delicious any time!

Pantry staples, such as READ 3 or 4 Bean Salad and German Potato Salad, are handy head starts to fabulous salads. A can of bean salad, cooked tortellini, veggies and basil pesto make a picnic-perfect salad in minutes. German potato salad paired with grainy mustard and sliced steak becomes a rustic entree salad to serve atop convenient packaged greens.

Patio party or potluck in the park, these new picnic picks will bring compliments. For additional recipes and serving suggestions, visit or

Smoked Salmon & Beet Wraps


  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Sliced Pickled Beets
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1–2 tablespoons capers
  • 1–2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup spreadable chive cream cheese
  • 2 large soft flour tortillas (10–12-inch diameter)
  • 8 slices smoked salmon
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves


  1. Drain beets; chop. Discard beet liquid. In medium bowl, combine beets, onion, capers and lemon zest.
  2. Spread 1/4 cup cream cheese evenly over each tortilla, leaving 1-inch border. Place 4 salmon slices over cream cheese; press lightly. Top each with spinach. Sprinkle beet mixture evenly over spinach.
  3. Roll up. Wrap each roll tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 4 hours.
  4. To serve, remove plastic wrap; cut each tortilla into 2 pieces.

Steak & German Potato Salad


  • 1 can (15 ounces) READ German Potato Salad
  • 2 tablespoons coarse ground Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 pound boneless top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick
  • 1 bag (10 ounces) hearts of romaine lettuce


  1. Stir together potato salad and mustard in medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steak in skillet and cook about 15 minutes until medium rare doneness (145°F); turn occasionally.
  3. Cool steak. Carve diagonally across grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices; reserve. Just before serving, gently toss steak with potato salad. Serve over greens.

Bean, Tortellini & Pesto Salad


  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ 3 or 4 Bean Salad
  • 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated tortellini, any variety


  1. Drain bean salad; reserve 1/2 cup liquid. Combine reserved liquid, pesto and salt, if desired; set aside.
  2. Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain, rinse in cold water and drain again. Add pesto dressing; toss to coat. Add stir-ins if desired. Toss with bean salad.
  3. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Picnic-Wiches With Greek Artichoke-Beet Relish


  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Sliced Pickled Beets
  • 1 jar (about 6 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata or ripe olives, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1 pound thinly sliced deli turkey
  • 6 ciabatta or sandwich rolls, sliced horizontally in half
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted


  1. Drain beets and artichoke hearts, reserving 1/4 cup liquid from each. Coarsely chop beets and artichoke hearts. Combine beets, artichokes, olives and green onions in medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Whisk together reserved beet and artichoke liquids in small bowl. Pour over beet mixture; toss gently to coat. Season with black pepper, if desired.
  3. Layer lettuce and turkey on bottom halves of rolls. Top with relish, feta cheese and pine nuts. Top with remaining halves of rolls. Wrap tightly; chill up to 4 hours until ready to serve. Serve with remaining relish.

Sponsored by Aunt Nellie's BeetsREAD SaladsSeneca Foods