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Make your own picnic for Ravinia

Basil leaves, pickled cippolini onions, fresh greens, tomato, fresh mozzarella cheese, ground mustard, pesto, ham and turkey on a ciabatta bun readied for Venue One's Italian picnic basket.
Basil leaves, pickled cippolini onions, fresh greens, tomato, fresh mozzarella cheese, ground mustard, pesto, ham and turkey on a ciabatta bun readied for Venue One's Italian picnic basket.

Create an Italian-inspired Ravinia picnic with these recipes from Chef James De Marte, chef and food consultant. Buon Appetito!

Tri-Color Panino

2 slices prosciutto (“San Daniele, but Parma is good.”)

2 slices mortadella (“I like the one with pistachios in it.”)

1 slice Provolone, preferably Provolone Piccante

1 handful of baby arugula

1 scoop of roasted red peppers

A smear of herbed goat cheese

A drizzle of olive oil

Two slices of sourdough bread

Assemble all the ingredients and wrap the sandwich in wax paper for easy transport. Recipe is for one sandwich.

Summer Peach and Olive Oil Cake

(makes 12 servings):

3 ripe peaches, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and coat with vegetable oil spray. In a bowl, toss the peaches with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the salt. Let stand until juicy, about 15 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs, the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar and 1 1/4 cups of olive oil. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Fold in the peaches and juices. Scrape the batter into the pan and bake for 35 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool. Serves 12.

You can either keep whole cake and wrap for transport, or cut individual portions and place in wax paper sacks (“which would be my vote!”)

Negroni Apertif Cocktail

2 tablespoons gin

2 tablespoons Campari

2 tablespoons sweet vermouth

1 orange twist

Splash Prosecco (optional)

Pour the ingredients into a glass with ice cubes, stir and garnish with an orange slice. Serves 1.

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