Tuesday, November 4, 2014

the ultimate in stuffed loaves

I don't know why we don't make one of these more often. I guess if there was always one in the fridge, and they can easily last a few days, it would be the perfect go to snack at any time of the day. That said, this really is picknicking taken to another level, if it ever gets to leave the house that is. There are no rules, no ingredients off limits, and certainly no restrictions on combinations. If it works for you say in a salad, or in a regular sandwich, it will work being stuffed and allowed to settle overnight before tucking in.

The stuffed picnic loaf to take down all picnic loaves

Serves about 4

1 decent round sourdough loaf
About 50g pesto
4 soft boiled eggs, quartered
8 good slices prosciutto
16 pieces of sun-dried tomatoes
1 large handful of fresh basil leaves
200g mozzarella, sliced
2 large roast peppers, peeled
2 courgettes, sliced and grilled
1 aubergine, sliced and grilled
Lots of olive oil, salt and pepper

Slice the top off the loaf and reserve as the lid of the stuffed loaf. Hollow out the bottom without breaking the crust. Keep the centre for breadcrumbs.

Thoroughly coat the inside edges and bottom of the lid with pesto, and season liberally.

Add a layer of prosciutto, then a layer of sun-dried tomatoes. Top with basil leaves, then a layer of your mozzarella. The next layer should be the peppers followed by courgette and aubergine. Finish with the eggs and a bit more basil before topping off with a last layer of prosciutto.

You should have doused each layer with a glug of olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper as you've built it, pressing well as you go. Finish with a bit more of the same before closing with the lid.

Wrap tightly in aluminium foil and place in the fridge with a chopping board on top weighted down with anything hefty to hand. Because we’re using sourdough, this could easily take an eight pack of beer at least, a softer bread vehicle and you’ll need to downgrade to a couple of tins of soup for example.

Leave in the fridge to chill and press for at least a few hours, overnight will yield much better results.

Don’t try to cut in advance, bring the whole beast to your end destination, unwrap, slice, serve and accept admiring nods from the masses.

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