Tips and recipes for putting together the perfect basket.
June is the perfect month to head down to your neighborhood park for a picnic. The weather isn’t too blisteringly hot yet, and the grass is soft on your happy-to-be-free toes. So grab a blanket and fill your basket with goodies like grapes, chips—and an Italian pressed brick sandwich.
It’s an easy way to bring sandwiches on the go. Use a ciabatta loaf, sliced in half horizontally. Starting on the bottom slice of bread, layer on some lunch meats, like mortadella, Italian ham, salami and prosciutto. Then, add sliced fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, chopped artichoke hearts and roasted red bell peppers, and some fresh arugula or baby greens. Top it all off with a vinaigrette (like Newman’s Own olive oil & vinegar dressing) and the top half of the ciabatta.
Here comes the fun part: tightly wrap the loaf, careful not to dislodge any of the ingredients, in plastic wrap, and set the loaf on a cutting board. Set another cutting board on the top of the sandwich, place a cast iron pan or clean bricks on top, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Pack the whole pressed sandwich in your picnic basket and your main course is ready for the park. (Don’t forget to pack a good serrated knife to slice your sammy!)
Amy Goetz is a FoodE Expert for Lunds & Byerlys Woodbury. She helps customers with recipe ideas, teaches cooking classes and plans events. She writes about food and recipes.