Patti Bess: Two for the Road |

Patti Bess: Two for the Road

Road trips! They’re one of the best parts of summer – in addition to peaches, watermelons, swimming, sun, farmer’s markets and a few other things.

With the price of gas, most of us are thinking a little differently about the length and distance of our summer getaways.

One of the best ways to cut the cost of travel is to plan ahead and take more of your own food. Minimizing the number of runs into roadside establishments for snacks and restaurant stops is a huge savings for the vacation budget. If you’re on any kind of a special diet, it has even more benefits as healthful food along main highways is often pretty slim pickins.

One very egalitarian couple I know each pre-made some dish for their upcoming trip in the camper. The husband chose to make a meatloaf despite chuckles and doubts from his wife. The meatloaf turned out to be a real winner as it provided a wonderful picnic dinner one night with enough leftovers for easy sandwiches the next day.

Finding the perfect picnic spot to dine alfresco becomes a part of the adventure of travel. Even a home made spaghetti sauce with pasta cooked on a Coleman stove tastes divine after a day on the road or being outdoors. Try these simple ideas for a little culinary adventure along the road.

Patti Bess is a local freelance writer and author. She worked as a recipe developer for Weight Watchers and Land O Lakes. She is the host of What’s Cookin’ on KVMR-FM. Questions or comments at

Grilled chicken with olive pesto on peasant bread

(Makes 3 to 4 sandwiches)


Two cloves garlic, finely chopped

One tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

One tablespoon balsamic vinegar

One quarter teaspoon salt and fresh grated pepper

One boneless, skinless chicken breast half (about half pound)


Three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

One to two cloves garlic

One half cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

One quarter cup chopped pitted green olives

Two tablespoons drained capers

Two tablespoons lemon juice

One tablespoon water (if necessary)

One tablespoon finely grated lemon peel

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Loaf of rustic bread

Salad greens

In a shallow bowl, combine the garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add chicken, turn to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator up to three hours.

Meanwhile, in the food processor add olive oil, garlic, parsley, olives, capers, lemon juice, salt and pepper until mixture has a coarse texture; stir in the lemon peel and chill until ready to serve.

Remove chicken from marinade. Grill or broil, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink. To serve, slice the bread lengthwise. Spread each side of bread with olive pesto; add the sliced chicken pieces and salad greens. Cut into sandwich sizes and serve. Makes enough for 2 to 3 sandwiches.

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