Picnic loaves are an easy and delicious way to enjoy a day out. It is a make ahead sandwich that is perfect for lunch boxes as well. The sandwich is is assembled ahead of time ans the flavors are allowed to meld and mature.
3tbspReady-made pesto or Vegan pestoSee recipe below
Quick Creamy Vegan pesto
½CFresh basillarge stems removed
¼CCashew nutsOr sunflower seeds for nut free version !
2TbspFresh Lemon Juice
1/4TspFine Sea SaltTo taste
1 -2 Tbsp Nutritional YeastSee Notes
2-3TbspOlive Oil Extra Virgin/Cold Pressed
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180° C).
Remove the stem and seed s from the peppers and slice length wise into strips about 1” in width. Slice the eggplant and Italian squash into long strip about the same thickness as the peppers. Peel and slice onions into thick rounds.
Place all the chopped vegetables in a bowl and drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat all the vegetables in the oil. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until the vegetables are softened, about 15 minutes. You may need to do this in two batches.
Cut the top off the loaf to create a lid.
Hollow out the loaf by scooping out the soft bread and leaving an edge of around 1 inch.
Spread the insides of the loaf with pesto. And layer the cheese . If needed place the load under the broiler for about 1 minute to melt the cheese.
Layer the vegetables over the bread – keeping them as distinct layers. Repeat until the loaf is full . Place the lid back on. Tightly wrap with a plastic wrap and place in the fridge with a weight on top of it. Chill for 4 hours to overnight.
Slice and serve.
For Vegan Parsley Pesto
Place the basil, parsley , cashew nuts, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Pulse to combine, until the mixture is coarsely ground.
Add the oil and blend on low until incorporated . Add sea salt, pepper, lemon, and nutritional yeast, in batches , pulse , taste and adjust to taste .
If the veggies are watery – layer the hollowed out bread chunks between the layers of veggies.
Leaving it pressed in the fridge overnight helps the fillings stick together better.
Different colored peppers, portobello mushrooms and squashes are other good veggies in this sandwich .
I like a mix of parsley and basil in the pesto. Adjust to your taste.
Leave out the cheese for vegan version or use vegan cheese.
If making the Vegan Pesto use the nutritional yeast for the cheese flavor.
For detailed instructions go to https://oventales.com/roasted-vegetables-picnic-loaf/ .