One of my favorite parts about the summer is long picnics in the park. We’re fortunate to live only a block away from one of the best parks in the city, and every year I look forward to reading a book and eating dinner on a blanket.
Plus people watching while eating dinner feels like dinner and a show. What’s not to love? Not to mention nothing takes your mind off the heat (and feeling like you’re melting) quite like other city dwellers sweating through their clothes alongside you.
It’s hard to say whether the snacks or the people watching is my favorite part of picnicking.
People watching pro: You learn so much about your city neighbors! If you’re lucky, you’ll overhear some gossip.
People watching con: If you’re not so lucky, you make awkward eye contact with the people on whom you’re eavesdropping and then you feel like a creep. (The more you’re sweating, the more your creepiness increases. I don’t make the rules. I just follow em.)
Snack pro: On the best days, you attract all the neighborhood dogs to your picnic and then feel like a happy dog owner if only for a moment! Plus, you get snacks. Win win!
Snack con: Is there one? Maybe it’s that you make everyone jealous?
This crunchy baguette sammich is exactly the kind of thing you want to lug to the park to enjoy outside. Jealous side eye be damned! It’s like packing cheese and crackers and leaving the knife at home. (This goes unsaid, but a knife would most certainly increase your creepiness.)
Since we’re all friends here, I have no shame admitting I hardly noticed when fig jam fell out the side and onto my shirt. Like a beautiful love stamp. Proof that this sandwich is so good not even the mess it makes will bother you. But if you can shake the crumbs and jam off a blanket at the end of a meal instead of your shirt, then you’re doing something right! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Brie, bacon and fig jam panini – Serves 2, 20 minutes total
4 strips of bacon
6 3-in long slices of brie
4 tablespoons of fig jam
1/4 of a baguette cut in half and split open
- Cook the bacon in a skillet. Flip frequently. When crispy, set aside on a paper towel on a plate.
- Cut a standard baguette into quarters. Cut one of the quarters in half so you have two small subs. Put the flat part of the baguette on the cutting board so that you can slice it open. Repeat with the other portion.
- Spread fig jam on both sides of each baguette.
- Layer 3 slices of brie on top of the fig jam. Add the bacon and top with the other piece of baguette.
- Put in the George Foreman or cook on the stovetop for 8-10 minutes.
(I ate both sandwiches pictured, but it was a bit much for one person. Hence I highly recommend splitting it with a pal.)