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Summer Recipe Spotlight: Our Favorite Weekend Menu for Outdoor Eating Bliss

Five Pedal Inn Summer Recipes to Rule them All…

To actually get the feeling of “summer” during summer in San Francisco, we head to the East Bay. An easy BART ride, a leisurely roll along regional bike paths and through the Livermore vineyards, a little grocery shopping and a good, sweaty climb up to the lake. This ride makes us hanker for the simple but satisfying flavors of the Mediterranean—sun-warmed tomatoes, basil,  figs, and the decadence of bacon to bolster the body. Not to mention a refreshing splash-about in the lake. Pure summer.

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Menu philosophy: This menu uses a core set of ingredients so that you won’t have leftovers at the end of you adventure.  The recipes you a common set of staples from the pantry listed below, along with some fresh and unique ingredients from each recipe.  Mix and match as you please!

Planning notes: This dinner recipe requires a fire. Make sure to build it well in advance of mealtime, so you have mature coals ready for your cheesy cauliflower-roast. And for this lunch recipe, be sure to pack a sealable container to pack your sandwich fixins post-breakfast.

Vegetarian or Vegan Variations: Just sub your favorite vegan sausage (we love Field Roast) for bacon and substitute hummus (appetizer) /  vegan cheese (dinner) /chocolate (dessert) / coconut oil (breakfast) for cheese.

GF Variation:  Sub GF bread and pasta or use polenta for dinner recipe too.


BEER – Appetizer
We love North Coast Brewery out of Ft. Bragg. They have arguably the most consistent and well-rounded beer line of any brewery in California–no hops assaults here !  Try their refreshing Acme IPA or their awesome 4 packs (from lightest to heaviest) of Puck Saison, Pranqster Golden Ale, Brother Thelonious Abby Ale, and Old Rasputin Imperial Stout.   Bonus, those 4-packs travel really well and don’t need to be cold to be enjoyed.

WINE – Dinner
We really like a picnicky red wine with this meal—like a Beaujolais or if you’re looking for body a Malbec.  Or if you prefer white try the earthy, floral flavors of a Torrentones. 

 peppermint tea with a splash of bourbon

Don't leave your Brother behind!
Don’t leave your Brother behind!


  • 3 oz olive oil
  • 3 oz balsamic vinegar
  • 8 oz orecchiette pasta
  • ¾ cup polenta
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • peppermint tea
  • flask of bourbon
  • cinnamon
  • red pepper flakes
  • coarse sea salt (sub regular salt)
  • pepper


  • aluminum foil
  • camp stove (preferably two)
  • sharp knife (always)
  • firewood
  • cutting board
  • tongs for working the fire
A weekends worth of glorious eating.
A weekends worth of glorious eating.


prep. time: 5 minutes


  • olive bread or other fresh, crusty loaf, thickly sliced
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 heirloom or early girl tomatoes, sliced
  • handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 8 oz burrata, sliced  (sub mozzarella or even a firm sharp cheese like dry jack or pecorino)
  • coarse sea salt
  • pepper
  • 1 large orange, halved and thinly sliced


If stove is easily set up, toast bread in frying pan over medium heat. Otherwise, serve fresh and untoasted. In a bowl prepare, a stir together a simple vinaigrette, with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a little squirt of orange. Dunk tomato slices in vinaigrette before placing on bread. Top with cheese and torn basil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve with orange slices.


prep time: 40 mins

  <img src="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5012d853e4b026b103fa3c77/5012d8c0e4b0bf9a8bb02a72/55943b99e4b00251f82ec20b/1435777952502//img.jpg" alt=""/>


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • ½ medium red onion, cut into crescents
  • 4 oz parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz orecchiette pasta
  • 8 oz applewood smoked bacon (like Niman Ranch), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped/torn
  • salt & pepper to taste


Put olive oil and salt in a bowl. Toss cauliflower and onions into oil mixture to coat. Set out a large piece of foil, enough to fit cauliflower mix with 2 inches of space on either side. Place cauliflower on foil and top with about 1.5 oz grated parmesan and red pepper flakes. Pour any remaining oil over cauliflower mixture. Cover with an equal amount of foil and roll edges until you create a solid seal. Set pouch on grill or near coals. Let pouch roast for 10 minutes. Flip cauliflower pouch 180 degrees and roast for another 10 minutes. Test for doneness with a fork and remove from fire when completely tender.   

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water (with a dash of salt) to a rolling boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, 7-10 minutes. Drain and set aside. While pasta cooks, begin the sauce in a second pot. Cook the bacon over med-high heat until it begins to crisp. Stir in drained canned tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Add basil and 1.5 oz parmesan cheese, then cook, stirring, until cheese begins to melt. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over pasta and serve with roasted cauliflower. Garnish all with a little more grated cheese, basil, and salt and pepper.


prep time: 10 mins


  • 1 basket of fresh figs,
    de-stemmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 oz marscapone (sub: ricotta) cheese
  • ¼ cup pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  <img src="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5012d853e4b026b103fa3c77/5012d8c0e4b0bf9a8bb02a72/55943cdee4b078805770d268/1435778271962/figs-pistacho-marscapone-camping-recipe.jpgfigs-pistacho-marscapone-camping-recipe?format=original" alt=""/>


Drizzle honey on fig halves. Roll out a large piece of foil. Reassemble fig halves and place upright on center of foil, packing them closely together. Wrap foil around figs, twisting closed at the top, and place near coals in the fire. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn 180 degrees and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes, until skins on figs soften. Remove from fire. As figs cool, mix ricotta cheese, cinnamon and pistachio nuts together. Plate fig halves and dollop with ricotta mixture. Serve and savor.


prep. time: 35 mins


  • 1½ cups water
  • ¾ cup polenta
  • 4 oz parmesan cheese
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard, chopped
    (stalks chopped, reserved for lunch)
  • 8 oz sliced bacon, cut into 1” pieces
    reserve 1 slice for lunch recipe.
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • fresh basil
  • red pepper flakes
  <img src="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5012d853e4b026b103fa3c77/5012d8c0e4b0bf9a8bb02a72/55943b47e4b0c1a905661c62/1435777865506//img.jpg" alt=""/>


Bring water to a boil with 1 tsp salt. Place chard leaves in water for 2 minutes then remove pot promptly from stove. Remove chard and set aside to dry.  Slowly pour polenta into the same water, stirring continuously to prevent lumps. Return to stove to simmer. Add parmesan cheese and continue stirring until cheese is melted and polenta is tender.  Remove from heat.  Cover.

Meanwhile, lightly oil pot on second stove and set to medium heat.  Add bacon and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until it starts to crisp. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute then add drained chard leaves; stir and cover. Cook for approximately 3 minutes. Crack 2 eggs and gently drop over chard and bacon. Sprinkle with salt. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes or until egg whites have fully set but yolks remain soft. Serve polenta and top with bacon, chard, and egg mélange. Garnish with torn basil and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.


prep. time: 25 mins (prepare at camp, eat on the road!)

  <img src="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5012d853e4b026b103fa3c77/5012d8c0e4b0bf9a8bb02a72/55943acce4b0f2448bc0ea21/1435777743335/open-face-chard-egg-sandwich.jpgopen-face-chard-egg-sandwich?format=original" alt=""/>


  • 1 bunch chard stalks, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 slice of bacon, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • red pepper flakes
  • 4 slices olive bread, sliced
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • a few basil leaves


Before cleaning up after breakfast, boil another pot o’ water. Add chard stalks and cook for 2 minutes. Spoon out chard stalks and add 4 eggs. As soon as water returns to a boil, remove from heat and let stand in hot water for 15 minutes.  Drain water and allow to cool. Meanwhile, in second pot, add chopped bacon, sliced garlic, oil, and salt. Stir ingredients together and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chard stalks and cover. Cook for another 4-6 minutes, until chard stalks are tender. Remove to a transportable container to cool. Cover.

At lunchtime, fetch chard stalk mixture, hardboiled eggs, and sliced bread from your pannier. Peel and slice eggs. Place them on bread and top with chard stalk mixture. Splash with balsamic vinegar and garnish with any remaining basil. Eat open face or make a sandwich.  

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