Half sandwich, half pie, this picnic loaf crams the best of the local farm shop into one easy-to-carry meal. Prepare it the night before so the flavours have time to soak in. You can chop and change the ingredients according to what’s available. Find this and more in Pitch Up Eat Local by Ali Ray (£16.99, AA Publishing).
The picnic loaf
1 cob loaf (the crusty round one)
1 garlic clove, halved
2 tbsp pesto (from a jar is fine)
For the filling:
2 courgettes, sliced lengthways
2 red and 2 yellow peppers, seeded and sliced in thick lengths
2 tbsp or so olive oil
200g cheese (whatever you can find locally – a soft-rind/mozzarella/goat’s cheese)
200g sliced charcuterie meats or ham
a good handful salad leaves
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper
1 Carefully cut the top off the cob loaf (save this for later) and hollow out the middle to leave a shell. Don’t make the walls too thin as it won’t stay crisp.
2 Toss the courgettes and peppers in the olive oil and put on a preheated griddle or BBQ grid. Cook for about 4–5 mins on each side until soft and lightly charred. Put to one side to cool.
3 Rub the cut garlic clove over the insides of the bread shell, then use a spoon to spread the pesto all around the inside walls and under the lid.
4 Blot the grilled veg with kitchen roll, then and slice the cheese. Season both well with salt and pepper, then start building up layers of veg, cheese, meat and salad leaves. Finish with a layer of basil leaves. The hollow in the bread must be filled well.
5 Put the top of the bread back on, then wrap the whole thing tightly in clingfilm. Put a plate on top and weigh down with something heavy to let the flavours fuse together for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, in a cool-box.
6 Cut into thick, cake-style slices to eat now, or pack in your lunch-box and take on your adventures.