This pressed picnic sandwich is brilliant to make ahead of time and delight your family with on a picnic. It’s so easy to make and beyond tasty.
The weather finally seems to be warming up and eating out of doors is firmly on my agenda whether it’s cooking on a BBQ, baking in the embers of a campfire or, as we did yesterday, simply taking a yummy picnic down to the local beach.
And on yesterdays outing, this pressed picnic sandwich went down a treat! Inside were layers of ham, cheese, sundried tomato, fire roasted peppers, watercress with a generous dollop of pesto mayonnaise to moisten the crust.
And the best bit is there’s no need for any picnic side dishes – everything just gets piled up inside the loaf, so all you need is a sharp knife to slice and share. And luckily there was plenty to go round as we bumped into our neighbours at the beach and ended up sharing with them too :)
We used a crusty sourdough loaf that Jonny baked (he has become a bit of a master baker these past few months and we are in the process of putting together a little video of his bread making tips to share with you soon), however you can use any loaf you like really. You’ll be slicing the top of off, scooping out the ‘flesh’ of the loaf, piling in the filling and then squashing for 2+ hours under a heavy weight.
And as all good picnics need a showstopping cocktail (or mocktail for the drivers) we’ve just been introduced to this latest offering from Fentimans, a Sparkling Lime & Jasmine, non-alcoholic drink. It is a wicked twist on a soft drink too as, to my palate at least, it has the kick of a gin based cocktail that won’t leave you feeling like you’re missing out.
The Fentimans range of botanically brewed soft drinks are proper old school, from the adorable design of the bottles to the tempting flavours, such as Rose Lemonade, Dandelion & Burdock and traditional Ginger Beer. I am now on a mission to hunt down and find my favourite!
And now onto our scrummy pressed picnic sandwich. Once you’ve hollowed out your loaf, simply layer it up with all of your favourite flavours. Here’s the selection we went with but this really is just a starting point.
For the protein part, why not try chicken, salami, beef, pulled pork, tuna, egg or pulses? I used pesto & mayo to moisten the crust, but you could use salsa, houmous, salad dressing, or fresh herbs and oil. And finally for the veggies the world really is your oyster, just keep in mind moisture and flavour.
If you give this pressed picnic sandwich a go, I’d love to see a picture of it in action! Feel free to share with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. And if you’re a Fentimans fan, do let me know what flavour I have to hunt down first!
- 1 round loaf of bread. I prefer a sourdough but any crusty loaf will work
- Pesto & mayo
- Cheese sliced
- Ham sliced
- Sun dried tomatoes drained
- Jarred red peppers
Slice the top off your loaf and scoop out the 'flesh', leaving about 1 inch of bread lining the crust.
Spread your pesto & mayo in the bottom of loaf and then layer up all your ingredients. Aim to layer contrasting colours next to each other to make the finished loaf more attractive. Finish with another 'wet' ingredient on the top (I used the sundried tomotoes as even though I'd drained them there was still quite a bit of oil on them).
Pop the lid back on, wrap in cling film and lay a baking sheet on top. Now you need to press down on the loaf and then weight the baking sheet with something heavy - a pile of books or a cat iron casserole dish would both work.
If you kitchen is warm I would do this in the fridge, although my kitchen in March is cold enough not to worry about it spoiling!
Leave pressing for two to eight hours before squirreling away in your picnic basket.
Huge thanks to Fentimans for sponsoring this recipe and allowing me to continue bringing you tasty recipes for free! As always all thoughts (and leftovers!) are my own.