May 21st 2015 10:21
One of the things which I have very much enjoyed while I have been on maternity leave (and will miss now that I am back at work) has been catching up with my friend and her son for regular picnics.
Over the past 10 months we have picnicked across the state, visiting gardens, rivers, council lawns and parks. We have even, on occasion, picnicked on the lounge room floor.
Quite a while back I spied a recipe for a layered picnic loaf, and mentally filed it away as something I would like to make at some stage. After about 9 months of picnicking, it made its way to the front of my mind where I decided I could pull together my own version using some of the fresh produce pick from the backyard. The result was delicious, if a little tricky to eat while holding on to a little person at the same time.
Layered Picnic Loaf (serves 2)
1 small eggplant
1 small zucchini
1/2 sweet potato
1 green capsicum
1 long red chilli (optional)
1 small loaf of bread
1 x 250g chunky dip
50g shaved salami
50g sun dried tomatoes
100g fresh ricotta
handful kalamata olives, chopped
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Slice eggplant, zucchini, sweet potato, capsicum and chilli thinly, then drizzle generously with olive oil and bake in oven for around 20 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Allow to cool.
With a sharp bread knife, remove the top 1cm of the bread and set aside. Cut the middle of the bread loaf out, leaving a 1cm crust on all sides. Discard the middle of the bread, then spread the chunky dip over all sides, including the lid.
Layer the salami at the bottom of the loaf, then layer roasted vegetables, and sundried tomatoes on top. Combine ricotta and olives with fresh basil, then layer this on top of the tomatoes.
Place lid on loaf, then wrap in cling film. Place in the fridge with something heavy on top of it for at least 2 hours.
Bring back to room temperature, cut into slices and serve.