Goodbye June Gloom Hello Summer Solstice

We celebrated the summer solstice on June 20th and what better way to kick off the summer than with a beach picnic?

June Gloom is finally over and the sun rays are piercing through again so my friends and I headed to El Matador State Beach in Malibu for a beach picnic. We spread out a few blankets and pillows for a little bohemian touch.
Golden hour, the sound of waves crashing, white wine and gourmet food, what more could you ask for?!

I centered the menu around a spinach ricotta pie. I tried out dough tresses to drift away from the traditional pie style.
As an appetizer I made rosemary cumin roasted chickpeas. That crunch and mix of spices is the perfect alternative to the usual chips people serve.
As a side I made a kale salad with toasted coconut, sesame seeds and a soy sauce dressing which was a departure from my normal kale salads with oil and vinegar dressing. My friend made a corn salad which complimented the kale salad perfectly.

We moved to the cheese board, on which a wheel of brie was displayed alongside the blue cheese. The berry jam, walnuts, almonds and  pistachios really accentuated the flavors of the cheese spread on  freshly baked artisan bread.
And now  the best part: the dessert!
I took advantage of the season’s juiciest cherries and prepared the traditional French clafoutis in individual ramekins. However, my dessert was completely eclipsed by my friend’s donuts! They tasted like heaven and were stunningly beautiful! I can’t say enough about the flavors: maple bacon and lemon berry!

We finished the picnic with refreshing seasonal fruits and enjoyed the sunset while sipping wine and splashing around in the water.
Cheers to the weekend!