Picnic Loaf

, from Issue #28. September, 2015
Photography by Nick Tresidder.
Picnic Loaf

The ultimate in portable food, pack this meal in a loaf for a picnic or serve it for a casual lunch. It can be prepared well ahead, and is best kept simple with a few well-flavoured layers

Serves: 6–8


1 round sourdough loaf, about 20 cm
2 eggs, hardboiled and sliced
1 medium eggplant
2 medium zucchini
olive oil
4 tablespoons pesto
100 grams thinly sliced good salami
½ cup thinly sliced, well drained sun-dried tomatoes
handful of fresh basil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper



Cut the eggplant and zucchini into ½ cm thick slices.

Brush both sides with olive oil and season. Cook on a hot ridged grill or in a sauté pan until tender but not falling apart. Place on kitchen towels to cool.

To assemble: Slice the top third off the loaf and set aside. Pull out most of the bread from the base, leaving a ½ cm thick shell. Freeze the bread for crumbs. Using the back of a spoon, spread the inside of the loaf with most of the pesto and spread the remaining pesto on the crumb side of the lid.

Layer the fillings in the loaf in the following order: a third of the salami, eggplant, basil, sun-dried tomatoes; another third of the salami, eggs; remaining salami and finishing with the zucchini. Replace the top and wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap. Place on a tray, top with a chopping board and weigh down with a heavy item (tins of food are ideal). Leave for at least 2 hours in a cool place or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

To serve: Unwrap the loaf and cut into wedges.