As we enter into our Indian Summer there is no better way to spend an afternoon than with a picnic basket and a hike through the woods or a day on the beach. The ciabatta dinner rolls we offer from Golden Sheaf Bakery make a perfect center piece for a picnic lunch. You can top them with a soft cheese and a quick jam or whole grain mustard, hummus and micro-greens from the farmers market, or ricotta with pesto and dry farmed tomatoes (also from the farmers market). You can make your own jam, mustard, hummus and pesto in just a couple of hours, a nice way to spend the morning before the picnic! Here are the recipes:

Quick Plum Jam

To make a quick plum jam you can use any amount of fruit you have, quarter it and cook it with a small amount of sugar on high heat. By using a large pan you can increase the surface area and evaporate the liquid quickly without over cooking the fruit. It is incredibly fast and simple, and works perfectly for fruit left over at the end of the week that might be a little over ripe or a little rubbery.


  • 6 medium size plums
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  • quarter the plums and place them in the widest pan you have
  • sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the plums  (you don’t need to use the whole 1/2 cup, keep some in reserve for later)
  • cook on high heat stirring occasionally to stop it from sticking
  • cook about 10 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated and the plums have softened. It should have a mushy consistency.
  • try a small amount and add sugar to taste, store in an air tight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Whole Grain Mustard

Whole grain mustard is surprisingly easy to make. If you get it started in the morning it will be ready by lunch time! All you do is soak some mustard seeds in vinegar and water, then serve it as is or blend it a little with garlic, salt, or olive oil!


  • ½ cup mustard seeds
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt


  • place all ingredients in a covered jar and let stand 4-72 hours (the longer it sits the hotter it gets)
  • add small amounts of water as needed, it should remain just barely covered
  • blend with a garlic clove or a small amount of honey or olive oil, or serve as is


You can make hummus in about 10 minutes if you have a small food processor. All it takes is a handful of ingredients a container to store it in!


  • 1 16oz can of cooked garbanzo beans
  • ¼ cup of tahini
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • paprika (optional)
  • olive oil (optional)


  • strain the garbanzo beans and keep the liquid in reserve
  • place all ingredients (minus the liquid from the beans) in a small food processor
  • blend until smooth, adding small amounts of the reserved liquid as needed
  • serve in a wide shallow dish dusted with sweet or hot paprika and a drizzle of olive oil


Pesto is an incredibly versatile spread or sauce that consists of something flavorful and leafy, a cheese, a nut, and an oil, all blended into a paste. Most pesto is made with basil, olive oil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts, but feel free to be creative! Add a little Italian parsley, sage, or arugula! Try making pesto with asiago or walnuts!


  • 1 cup of basil leaves (no stems) packed (about 1 large bunch)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ½ loosely packed Parmesan cheese
  • zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • salt to taste (start with a ¼ teaspoon)


  • put all ingredients except the lemon zest and cheese in a small food processor and blend until smooth
  • remove the blade and mix the zest and cheese in by hand
  • adjust the salt by adding a pinch at a time
  • to serve with dinner rolls, fill half of a small container or dish (8-16oz) with ricotta and spoon the pesto over it. Spread the combination onto a roll and serve with freshly sliced tomatoes.

Ciabatta dinner rolls are .75 a piece, available daily

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One Response to “Dinner Rolls for Lunch”

  1. Yum! And really good on the Ciabatta rolls. I think Golden Sheaf’s Ciabatta is one of their best-tasting breads. While I usually opt for organic spouted wheat slices on a daily basis, I make an exception for Joe’s Ciabatta. Terrific toasted with a bit of butter!

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