– The Washington Post

People are always asking for recipes that can travel well, especially at this time of year, when picnicking and alfresco parties have folks scrambling for foods that can beat the heat. Here are three new recipes that fill the bill.

Keep food safety rules in mind (cold things at 40 degrees or below; pack a cooler with shallow containers for optimal chilling). But rest assured, these dishes will hold up as you enjoy the great outdoors.


12 servings

This cake is so rich and moist that it needs no icing. Serve on its own, or with whipped cream and berries.

The batter can be combined in a food processor, up to the point of adding the flour.

Make Ahead: The cake can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days. Adapted from “Cooking From the Garden,” edited by Ruth Lively and Courtney Jordan (Taunton Press, 2010).

14 tablespoons (2 sticks minus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan

1 cup sifted cake flour, plus more for the pan and berries

14 tablespoons (7 ounces) almond paste (do not use marzipan)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 large eggs

1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (berries cut in half, if desired)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use butter to lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan, then dust with flour, shaking out any excess.

Combine the almond paste, the 14 tablespoons of butter and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held mixer; beat on low, then medium speed until smooth and light. Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

hand, gently fold in the flour until barely incorporated.

Use a little flour to coat the raspberries, then fold them into the batter; avoid overmixing, or the cake will be tough. Pour the batter into the prepared pan; bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool completely before removing from the pan.

Nutrition per serving: 350 calories, 5 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 20 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 125 mg cholesterol, 35 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 26 g sugar


4 servings

Chervil, an herb that’s relatively uncommon and underused in this country, lends a subtle licorice flavor to this bright-tasting side dish. You probably won’t find chervil in clamshell packs at the supermarket; your best bet is a farmers market. If you can, do what we did: Buy the plant from a farmers market or nursery and give it a home in your garden.

Fennel and tarragon, both of which also have a licorice tang, can stand in for chervil if necessary, but in smaller amounts; they are more assertively flavored.

It’s important not to overcook the potatoes in this dish; if you do, they will start to fall apart when you toss them with the dressing. Adapted from “Cooking From the Garden,” edited by Ruth Lively and Courtney Jordan (Taunton Press, 2010).

1 pound small new potatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

1/8 teaspoon salt

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

1 small shallot, minced (1 tablespoon)

10 to 15 stems chives, chopped (1 tablespoon)

Leaves from 2 stems flat-leaf parsley, chopped (1 tablespoon)

Leaves from 18 small sprigs chervil, chopped (2 tablespoons)

Place the potatoes in a large pot and add water to cover by several inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cook for 10 to 20 minutes, just until tender; check often, as the cooking time will depend on the size and freshness of the potatoes. Drain, and allow to cool for a few minutes.

While the potatoes are cooling, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and shallot in a small bowl. Taste, and add salt as needed.

When the potatoes have cooled enough to handle, cut them in half and place them in a medium serving bowl.

Whisk the vinaigrette once more, and pour it over the warm potatoes. Toss gently until the potatoes are well coated. Just before serving, add the chives, parsley and chervil; toss to evenly distribute the herbs.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition per serving: 140 calories, 0 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 330 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugar


Makes six 2/3-cup servings

Barley seems suited to cold weather and filling foods, yet here it has pride of place in a dish that smacks more of spring. Sugar snap peas, uncooked so they stay nice and crisp, provide great crunch and vibrant green color. Red onion and lemon lend bite.

Adapted from “Eating Well 500 Calorie Dinners,” by Jessie Price, Nicci Micco and the Eating Well Test Kitchen (Eating Well, 2010).

2 cups water

1 cup quick-cooking barley

8 ounces fresh sugar snap peas, ends and strings removed, cut on the diagonal into thin strips (julienne)

Leaves from 1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped ( 1/2 cup)

1/4 medium red onion finely chopped ( 1/4 to 1/3 cup)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 or 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the barley; cover, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or according to the package directions. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Pour the barley into a colander and rinse with cool water; let drain for a few minutes, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the snap peas, parsley, onion, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition per serving: 170 calories, 5 g protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, 7 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar

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