Marianella’s Beach Picnic Sandwiches

?Springtime in L.A. is gorgeous, especially this year since we had all the rain.  Los Angeles is green, brimming with life and a sense of expectation.  I’ve just had my gall bladder out laproscopically which is a pretty cool process but I’ve had which I call  level 3 ouchies for a few days and Vicodin has been my friend.  Today, Saturday was a perfect day to head out to Malibu with a friend and take a picnic.  My pain level was actually bearable and I felt like a human again and up to walking around, feeling the sun and wind on my face and smelling the sea air.  It was my friend Marianella’s idea and a darned good one so I was game.
First thing, we headed over to Trader Joe’s for some sandwich ingredients to make our picnic and picked up a few other things.  I love TJ’s because it never fails to surprise me with some new goodie, the food is healthy and reasonably priced and really convenient.  We picked up some sparkling mineral water, chocolate orange sticks, Burrata Mozarella cheese, tomatoes, avocados, olive oil, an olive and rosemary ciabatta and some microgreens.  Sounds good yes?
Marianella sliced the ciabatta right down the middle, then cut it in half.  These would be some monster sandwiches.  She took an avocado, mashed it with some olive oil and salt and set it aside.  She  drizzled a little olive oil on each slice of bread, then popped into the toaster oven for a quick browning while she sliced the tomatoes and Burrata from Trader Joe’s which  is mozarella cheese balls stuffed with cream. Yeah, omg.  I love that stuff, its just creamy, luscious and oh so yummy.

Once the bread was toasted, the bottom slices were covered with slices of the Burratta, a layer of sliced tomatoes sprinkled with salt, a handful of microgreens, then topped with a big scoop of the mashed avocado.  At the last minute we decided to add a few thin slices of red onion and then put the top bread on and wrapped our two monster sandwiches in foil.  We placed them in our picnic basket, added a couple of oranges and apples, two bottles of the mineral water, the chocolate orange sticks, some Ibuprofin for me, some grapes and headed out.

The drive was lovely.  We took side streets from Glendale to Malibu and just kinda moseyed along with the windows down chatting and listening to classical music.  Griffith Park was packed with picnickers as we rounded Los Feliz to Western and headed southwest to the beach.  We finally reached PCH and found some easy parking not far from the Chart House, found some nice flat rocks to sit on and opened up our sandwiches.  They were absolutely delicious.  We sat for a long while breathing in the air, eating our amazing sandwiches and chatting.  People would walk by and I’d catch them looking and could almost feel them wondering, “where did they get those?”.  I couldn’t finish mine and we never did get to all the fruit even after a slow, somewhat painful for me walk on the shore but the mineral water was refreshing, cold and perfect.

The ride home was just as stress free and companionable as the ride to the beach and halfway home we had a chocolate orange stick which seemed the perfect end to a perfect beach day.  It was as much a highlight of the day for me as the dog wearing googles riding in a sidecar on a side street off of PCH.

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