Friday, 19 February 2010

Squashed Bread aka Pan Bagna

We used to eat this quite a bit last year when it was hot. For some reason or another I had forgotten about it.

It does require a bit of forward planning because ideally it needs to rest overnight, but it still tastes good if you make it early in the morning for eating at lunchtime.

Good to take on a picnic as it travels quite well, and I suppose it would make a good work sandwich as well.

You need:

A loaf of crusty bread(ciabatta is good, because it is a flatter bread)
Extra virgin olive oil
salami
mozzarella cheese sliced
rocket leaves or baby spinach leaves
sliced tomatoes
basil leaves
salt and pepper

Slice the top off the bread, and remove the soft crumb from both the top and bottom of the loaf. (save the crumbs for using some other time, I usually freeze them) The ideas is that you have a case to layer the filling in.

Brush the inside of the case with olive oil (you can be quite generous) then layer on the filling: salami, mozzarella,rocket, tomato, basil pressing down on each layer, and seasoning with salt and pepper as you go, I can usually get about 3 layers in before the bread case is full.

Replace the lid and put the loaf in a plastic bag (turn the ends under or tie off somehow) Place in the fridge with a weighted breadboard on top and chill overnight.

Next day, take out of the plastic bag and slice to serve.

There are plenty of variations on this: crushed garlic in the olive oil, grilled eggplant slices, roasted red capsicum, mortadella and/or salami, etc, even use crusty bread rolls instead of one big loaf.

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