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Monday, September 12, 2011

Ciabatta Picnic Loaf...mmm...buon appetito!

Buonasera mi amici!! I am still in awe of all things Italian, and when I came across a photo of someones picnic loaf on the wonderful Pinterest...I decided to make my own...with a CIABATTA loaf no doubt... delicious buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, red ripe tomatoes and REAL Italian salami...swoon!!! I was on my way! This is a great way to make 'sandwiches' for a picnic -ones that won't let their fillings spill out. The whole thing is made up the night before, tightly wrapped and weighted in the fridge. Next day...take out, pack in your picnic
basket and away you go. When ready to serve, just unwrap and slice...beautiful colourful FLAVOURFUL slices...like wedges of heaven!

So..you will need, one ciabatta loaf, some fresh tomatoes, salami, mozzarella, fresh basil and dressing of your choice. Can't believe I didn't take a pic of my freshly made garlic mayo (aioli) which I whisked BY HAND..with a hand whisk not an electric mixer (master chef here I come! lol), adding the oil just a dribble at at time..man! that was a labour of love. Ok..I digress!...assemble your ingredients..


We are lucky enough to have at least two artisan bread bakeries in Nelson...Tozetti Panetteria and the aptly named Artisan Breads at Founders Park Bakery...this loaf bought from the Artisan stall at our WONDERFUL weekly saturday market ...

Fresh basil from the supermarket...

And I even managed to find some really red truss tomatoes with a bit of flavour!...most our tomatoes right now are pale orange in colour and insipid...and something like $10 a kilo!!..so I just bought four for what we needed this weekend...

REAL buffalo Mozzarella from Italy...bought locally from Prego Mediterranean Foods - a wonderful store full of delicious goodies from all over Europe and Asia...mmmm...
Gorgeous fatty salami also from Prego...

mmm...look at the crusty goodness of this delicious bread!!

So! You're ready...slice your ciabatta loaf lengthways but not quite all the way thru...leave a 'hinge' at the back...
Open out and spread with your dressing...then begin layering up...salami, mozzarella, tomato...


A good grind of salt and pepper over the tomato...then top with fresh basil leaves.
Isn't it beautiful? Look at the sun shining thru those bright green leaves! Basil says SUMMER to me! (tho it's only just the eve of spring!)
So here is your finished loaf, ready for wrapping and pressing.
mmmmm

Wrap tightly with clingfilm, place in a dish, weight down and put in fridge overnight. I put mine in a roasting pan, with a baking tray on top then piled some dinner plates on top of that! Hey, just use what you have at hand to do the trick. You want it well weighted so it all presses into a nice firm loaf.
Next day..unwrap and here you have a firm, flatter loaf ready for slicing....

The 'reveal'..! lol...doesn't it slice perfectly?? The sandwiches just 'stand up'..no fillings falling out, just perfect. You could cut the loaf into four wedges and have them like filled rolls...but we sliced it into thin sandwiches...just cos it looks so gorgeous!!



Buon appetito!!

ciao bellas!!
luv jess x

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