It’s officially spring — the perfect time of year to enjoy alfresco dining. Pack a picnic basket for two, and head to the park, or create your own backyard bistro where friends can gather for a leisurely lunch. For the menu, stick with something simple yet scrumptious that allows you to spend more time outdoors by taking up less time in the kitchen. A gourmet sandwich is always a good choice, so try this one made from grilled turkey, brie and arugula topped with smooth, creamy apple butter. Accompanied by a salty side dish such as homemade sweet potato chips, this pairing will surely garner praise, but there’s no need to disclose how easy it is to make! Chilled white wine or sparkling San Pellegrino make a refreshing match for this mouthwatering dish.

Grilled Turkey, Brie and Apple Butter Sandwich
with Arugula

8 slices stone-milled rye artisan bread, about
   1/2-inch thick
5 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup store-bought apple butter
1 pound sliced roasted turkey
1/2 pound brie, thickly sliced
1 bunch arugula, stems trimmed

Spread 4 slices of bread with 1/2 tablespoon of butter each, and then spread each slice with 1 tablespoon of apple butter. Top each slice of bread with 2 or 3 slices
of turkey. Top turkey with 2 or 3 arugula leaves, and top arugula with 2 or 3 slices of brie. Spread the remaining 4 slices of bread with 1/2 tablespoon of butter each, and lay them (buttered sides down) over the cheese; press gently.

In a large cast-iron skillet, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat, allowing it to melt evenly and coat the bottom of the pan.

Add 2 sandwiches, and cook 2 to 3 minutes until the bread is golden-brown and the cheese begins to melt, and then flip, and cook 2 to 3 more minutes to brown the other side. Remove, and cook the remaining sandwiches for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, adding 1 more tablespoon of butter if needed.Cut sandwiches in half, and serve hot.

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence from
How to Boil Water

Sweet Potato Chips
2 sweet potatoes
1/2 cup canola oil
Kosher or sea salt to taste
Wash and peel sweet potatoes, and slice them into thin rounds about 1/8-inch thick.
Heat the oil in a shallow pan over low heat. Place the chips in the pan, turning them once or twice to brown on both sides.

Carefully remove the chips from the oil with a slotted spoon or a spider skimmer, and place them on a paper towel to remove the excess oil.

Lightly salt, and serve hot.