Alice Arndell shares her recipe for a pressed picnic sandwich
Pressed sandwiches that you make up the night before are great for days when you have an early start. The key to a great pressed sandwich is bread with a good thick crust and a combination of tasty ingredients that are happy to sit around for 12 hours or more (see Baker’s Note below).
1 French stick, ciabatta or sourdough loaf
3 tbsp good-quality olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
300 g marinated roasted red peppers, drained
1 cup baby spinach, firmly packed
8–10 marinated artichoke hearts, drained
8–10 slices prosciutto, ham or sliced beef
½ cup basil leaves, firmly packed
125 g fresh mozzarella, sliced
½ red onion, very finely sliced
Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Slice bread lengthways and drizzle over 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Bake for 5–10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Place on a wire rack to cool.
To make the dressing, put remaining olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl, and whisk to combine.
Place a piece of baking paper on your bench and put the bottom piece of bread on it. Brush with about half the dressing.
Starting with marinated peppers layer all fillings on bread then season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle remaining dressing over fillings, put the other half of the bread on top and press down firmly and evenly.
Roll the sandwich up in the baking paper and secure firmly with rubber bands or string. Put the sandwich on a tray (or plate) and place in the fridge, put another tray on top and weigh it down with a few heavy jars. Refrigerate overnight and slice the next day with a very sharp knife.
Baker’s Note – which fillings?
The trick to the perfect pressed sandwich is to use fillings that are ‘wet’ to begin with such as marinated peppers and fresh mozzarella, or don’t mind being wet such as spinach and basil.
Stay away from lettuce (which will go soggy) and hard cheese (which will go slimy) and your sandwich will be a success.
© Bake Me Home: Delicious everyday occasions
By Alice Arndell
Published by HarperCollins New Zealand