Friday, June 1, 2007

Picnic in Style with an Over-Stuffed Ciabatta

Over Stuffed Ciabatta Picnic Sandwich
Make this sandwich the night before your picnic. It needs to rest, weighted, overnight in the refrigerator. Remember to bring along a cutting board and sharp knife to your gathering.
1 good sized Ciabatta loaf
Olive oil to taste
8 cloves of roasted garlic, mashed
3 Tablespoons basil or sun dried tomato pesto
1 pound thinly sliced cold cuts: this combination works well-1/4 pound pancetta or proscuitto
1/4 pound thinly sliced Genoa or hard salami
1/4 pound ham or sopressata
1/4 pound capicolla
1 small container (about 6 ounces or 1 cup) artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
Pepperoncini pepper or banana pepper slices
Marinated red peppers
Fresh Mozzarella cheese- cut in 1/2" slices
Fresh basil
crushed red pepper flakes- optional
Chalula sauce- optional
Slice your loaf of Ciabatta in half horizontally. Lay cut sides up on a foil lined cookie sheet. With your fingers remove some of the soft bread to leave a 1/2" hollow pocket on both the top and bottom sides. Drizzle both sides with olive oil. Allow the oil to penetrate the bread.
Spread roasted garlic on the top half of your Ciabatta and your choice of basil or sun dried tomato pesto on the bottom half. Layer meats, artichokes, tomatoes, peppers, mozzarella, fresh basil, and crushed red pepper flakes. Drizzle lightly with olive oil after each addition. If you like your sandwiches spicy, add a few shakes of Chalula sauce. Place the top of the loaf on the sandwich. Bring the foil up from under your loaf and wrap it tightly. Place a weight on top of your sandwich-a heavy cast iron pan works well. Refrigerate overnight. Bring it along to your picnic in a cooler. Slice and serve to your tastebuds' delight.

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