Category Archives: Salads

Opera! Jazz! R&B! Classical! Choral! World! Childrens! Gospel! : It’s a World Class Opera Festival / Music Festival – in Upstate New York!!!

Live From (Phoenicia) New York – It’s Saturday Night (Live) Opera in the Park!!!!

It’s almost here! One of the Ulster County region’s most awaited summer event – the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice. Mother father son and daughter having a picnic and chatting.

At Blue Mountain Bistro, if we have a day off, our favorite thing to do is to go to an outside event.  This summer is so full of concerts, festivals and theater – from Woodstock’s Bird-On A- Cliff Shakespeare outdoor productions, to the Belleayre Music Festival, to the second season of Phoenicia’s 4-day town wide International Festival of the Voice – and it is inspiring to be able to enjoy art and music in the Catskills.  All these events create delicious opportunities to bring along a gourmet al fresco picnic!

Since Blue Mountain Bistro-to-Go is located on the way to the fun on Route 28 in Kingston, it’s easy to phone ahead and order a delicious entrée, drink and yummy dessert to take with you. The Bistro-to-Go is the Go-To place for take away!

For a relaxing time wherever your day takes you – Woodstock’s beautiful Comeau property or Opus 40, Phoenicia’s Parish Field or kid-time at the Empire Train Museum – we have created a variety of box lunches and dinners that will be freshly made and ready to eat under the twilight stars or sparkling sun.

Made Especially For the Phoenicia Voice Fest – Your ‘Opera Box’ Dinner To-Go

On August 4th, Thursday evening, consider a concert by R & B and gospel artist Roz Morehead along with a picnic of steak kabobs, Israeli couscous salad roasted patty pan squash, a giant gourmet cupcake and refreshing drink.

Patrons enjoying the Phoenicia Festival OperaOr on August 6th, a night at the opera underneath the shooting stars of summer, listening to Mozart’s Don Giovanni or the voice of Lauren Flanigan echo off the encircling Catskill Mountains while dining on grilled salmon with summer salsa, bistro potato salad, green beans vinaigrette, delicious dessert and a beverage.

Kids have concerts to go to as well – Ralph and Ralph August 5th & 6th @11:30am & Uncle Rock August 6th @4:00pm – and if you are in a rush to get there, you will want to order a few boxed lunches to bring before they get on the Esopus stream side train that follows the shows!

We have a breaded chicken cutlet (or grilled tofu), pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella and a huge cookie along with a bottled drink all ready for when hunger strikes!

Don’t forget the day concerts with the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Choir, Mid-eastern ‘oud master Simon Shaheen and concert pianist Justin Kolb!

For a hot day, we have created a cold plein air dish of cold sesame noodles, spicy Asian slaw, grilled tofu, choice of Melinda’s giant cupcake and bottled water, ice tea or lemonade.

How Do I Get My Food?

Your orders need to be placed early enough so we have time to prepare them just for you – It’s easy and convenient – pick out your delicious ‘Opera Box’ take away choices (below) and phone us at:

845-340-9800Romantic opera picnic with wine.

Please order by 4:00 pm the DAY BEFORE the event you are picnicking at!

Put your portable gourmet dinner order in – then swing by on your way from the NYS Thruway to Phoenicia – and pick up.  It will be like having a personal restaurant cater your outdoor summer concert fun! (The folks sitting next to you will be really jealous!)

Here is a complete list of our offerings:

Box #1
Grilled salmon with summer salsa
Bistro potato salad
Green beans vinaigrette
Choice of Melinda’s giant cupcake
Bottled water, ice tea or lemonade
$18

Box #2
Steak kebobs
Israeli couscous salad
Roasted Gill Farms patty pan squash
Choice of Melinda’s giant cupcake
Bottled water, ice tea or lemonade
$18

Box #3 (Vegetarian)
Cold sesame noodles
Spicy Asian slaw
Grilled tofu
Choice of Melinda’s giant cupcake
Bottled water, ice tea or lemonade
$16

Box #4 (kids)
Breaded chicken cutlet (or grilled tofu)
Pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella
Cookie
Bottled water, ice tea or lemonade
$8.95

…and for tickets and concert schedule, please go to Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice

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Our favorite chicken salad recipe

Best Chicken Salad Recipe.
Everyone is always looking for the best chicken salad recipe. One of our favorites is this healthy chicken salad recipe that has its roots in the savory flavors of Morocco.

We thought you’d like to learn some of the secrets to our famous, ever popular Moroccan chicken salad. We do it as a wrap or put a big dollop of it on a salad, AND we also chop it finer and spoon it into phyllo cups for a tasty and satisfying party appetizer. Here are some of Richard’s thoughts:

As long as I’ve been a chef I’ve been a strong proponent of the Mediterranean style of eating: which includes lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lesser amounts of fish, meat and wine. When I was designing a luncheon menu for Blue Mountain Bistro-to-Go in the weeks before we opened, I wanted to emphasize that by taking some classic deli favorites and giving them a Mediterranean twist.  The Moroccan chicken salad was quickly a big hit. Visually it is striking from the bright colors in our homemade spice blend, ie. turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, ginger, nutmeg and more (called ‘ras al hanout’ in Morocco, literally translated as “top of the shop”).

Moroccan spice blend.

For this easy chicken salad recipe, we start by roasting Murray’s free range chicken breasts rubbed with our spice blend (mentioned above), then mix the diced chicken with dried currants, red grapes, red onion, scallion, celery and cilantro. Finish the mix with mayonnaise (to taste), a splash of lemon juice and fresh ginger juice. Take this wonderful chicken salad to your next summer picnic or neighborhood BBQ and be prepared for many compliments.

Enjoy this slide show of how it all comes together.

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Great Salad Greens!

I consider myself a salad green snob! For many years I had a very large home garden and a good portion of it was devoted to growing every variety of salad green I could find. (This was “back in the day” when you couldn’t just go into a grocery store and find interesting greens!) I studied various ways of planting and ended up loving the French intensive method, where you scatter seeds in sections and begin thinning when they’re young. I planted swaths of each variety which made such a gorgeous display as the seedlings emerged: “greens” of every color, taste, and shape!

When we moved to our new home, which is located in a very rocky and wooded area, I realized it was just too much to put in a big vegetable garden. Maybe when I’m retired!! And after all, in recent years the commercial mesclun mixes have become as standard as the ol’ iceberg lettuce used to be. So no real need to grow all those exotic greens anymore, right? Actually wrong!

There is absolutely no comparison between the mesclun mixes of today and the savory, tangy, and often spicy greens I used to grow. These mixes used to be “special” and now they’ve become “standard”. So how delighted I was to find that Richard had ordered this wonderful new product for our store: Tanimura and Antle “Get in Shape” artisan lettuce. http://www.taproduce.com/consumer/artisan-lettuce.php

It’s a delightful package that contains four actual heads of lettuce: Petite Oak, Petite Tango and Petite Gem, that are packaged in the fields when they’re picked and not pre-washed (a ritual that I used to love!) And what’s even more wonderful – they taste delicious – they actually have diverse flavors – something I used to take for granted with greens.

I admit this is not a local product, they’re grown in California – but in the dead of winter in the Northeast, I love being able to eat a beautiful and flavorful salad grown with care.

Insalata Caprese


Turn these gorgeous beefsteak and low acid tomatoes (ours are from Gill Farms) into a simple summer favorite! Slice the tomatoes and layer with fresh mozzarella on your favorite platter. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper, freshly chopped basil and a good balsamic, red wine, or sherry wine vinegar and voila!

Refreshing Summery Cucumber Salad

What could be better on a hot summer day than cold and crunchy cucumber salad? There are several Middle Eastern variations (from Greece – “Tzatziki” and from Turkey – “Cacik”) made with yogurt that we especially love and will share our quick and easy instructions here:

Peel and seed 6-8 cucumbers (especially great when they’re from your own garden or local farm stand). Cut into 1/2″ chunks or 1/4″ slices depending on the look you’re going for. Take 1 quart of Greek yogurt (thicker than ordinary yogurt) and put in a bowl with the cucumbers. Decide which herbal flavor you prefer (mint or dill) and pick the leaves off the stems, rinse, dry, chop fine, and add to mix. Take 2-3 garlic cloves, mince finely and add along with salt and pepper to taste. Richard likes to add diced scallion, sweet onion and a splash of olive oil to the mix and then toss together.

This is a wonderful addition to any midday picnic and also makes a great side dish for the Mediterranean steak kebobs we serve for dinner on Wednesdays. It doesn’t hold up well after sitting out on a buffet, so plan on serving it within a few hours of preparation.