These Mediterranean stuffed layered loaves are perfect to bring along to a summer picnic – full of mozzarella and tasty, juicy veg, it’s a really great change from the usual cheese sandwiches. Not only does it taste delicious, it also looks really impressive too, as you can see all the colours from the different veg and mozzarella in all the layers when you cut through. Make sure you take the time to chill the sandwiches in the fridge for a few hours, as the recipe recommends, because this way the juices from the grilled veg will have time to soak into the bread, not only keeping it extra moist but also adding a really fab flavour to it. This Mediterranean layered sandwich is a great grown-up choice for a picnic, and ideal for sharing with friends! Make the night before so all you need to do is grab them from the fridge before you leave!
- 2 ciabatta loaves
- 1-2 level tbsp green pesto
- 4tbsp virgin olive oil
- 2 x 200g cartons marinated and grilled peppers, drained
- 4 plum tomatoes, sliced
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 4-6tbsp sliced black olives, drained
- Fresh basil
- 2 x 125g packets mozzarella cheese, drained and sliced
- Parchment paper and string
Bake the ciabatta loaves, if necessary (check the pack instructions) so they are crisp. Leave them to cool.
Cut the loaves in half. Scoop out some of the bread from the halves and discard it (or use it to make breadcrumbs). Mix the pesto and olive oil together, then brush this over the cut surfaces of the bread.
Use half of the rest of the ingredients for each loaf. Working on one loaf at a time, spread half the peppers over the bottom of the loaf, then arrange half the sliced tomato on top. Season the tomato with salt and pepper, and scatter over the olives and some torn basil.
Top with mozzarella slices then layer up the remaining ingredients in reverse order (i.e. olives, torn basil, tomato slices and then the peppers).
Place the top on the loaf. Wrap the loaf in parchment paper and tie tightly with string to hold it tog ether. Fill the other loaf and wrap in the same way.
Chill loaves for at least 4 hrs or overnight, turning them over once or twice so the juices from tomatoes are evenly absorbed.
To serve, keep the loaves wrapped and slice each into 4. Do this in advance, or take a knife and cutting board to the picnic.