Friday, April 27, 2012

Picnic Menu - Italian Compressed Sandwich

For The Other Williams' birthday she requested a trip to Atlanta to visit the High Museum of Art's current exhibit "Picaso to Warhol". The weather couldn't have been more lovely for a picnic so I decided to surprise her with one. We were traveling a bit to get there so I needed something pretty sturdy and this menu did the trick!

I love fun food on picnic's and anything on a stick is fun! I skewered organic grapes onto a bamboo skewer. I also did a caprese salad on a stick by layering small mozzarella balls, grape tomatoes, and basil leaves onto a skewer. I brought along a small container of balsamic vinegar for our dipping pleasure.

The Italian compressed sandwich was amazing and burst with flavor from the pesto, meats, and smoky cheese! This sandwich should be made a day a head but 6-8 hours ahead would be fine also.

The picnic was a hit and the weather was gorgeous as we relaxed in Centennial Park while people watching. We hit the art museum will tummies filled with love! The exhibit was awesome and we made plans to return before summer's heat turned Atlanta into Hotlanta!

Williams Italian Compressed Sandwich
By R. Williams

Serves 4-6
Notes: We love boar's head lunch meat so if you can get that from your deli counter, it's worth it! Also I cut this recipe in half for the two of us and it was more than plenty!

1 ciabatta loaf, cut length-wise
1/2 lb deli pastrami
1/2 lb deli smoked turkey
6-8 slices deli pepperoni
6-8 slices deli smoked gouda.
3/4 cup pesto
1-2 tomatoes, seeded and sliced
Handful of fresh basil leaves
1 sm can black olives

Open the ciabatta loaf and take out some of the bread from the center. Next spread pesto lightly over the top and bottom of the ciabatta

Time to layer. 
Place all deli meat, tomatoes, basil, and black olives over the bottom piece. Top with cheese. I like to keep the wet tomatoes in the middle so the bread doesn't get too soggy. Place the top piece of bread onto the bottom piece

Wrap the sandwich up in plastic wrap. Try to wrap it as tightly as possible. I even leaned on mine to compress it further. Next place the sandwich on a small cutting board. Stack a heavy book, pan, brick, anything you can fit into the fridge on top of the sandwich. I used a cast iron pan. Wrap several rubber bands around it, or tie with a string, while compressing.

Clear out the fridge
Let the sandwich compression contraption sit in the fridge overnight or at least 6-8 hours. Take the sandwich out and using a good bread knife, cut into bricks or finger sandwiches!

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