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Stuffed picnic loaf

by Jacqueline Meldrum
Stuffed picnic loaf

Stuffed picnic loaf

PT30M

Why not try?

I have four picnic baskets. They are all stacked up prettily in my conservatory, housing my napkins, tea towels, tablecloths and aprons.

It’s a sad situation. They’ve never been out of the house.

I can’t resist a picnic basket you see. It’s the thought of sitting somewhere idyllic with my family on a long, lazy summer afternoon. Pulling out homemade delight after delight. Tucking in with lots of chat, then lying lazily in the sun reading a good book.

Of course reality isn’t anything like that. Since I had my little boy Cooper, who is now three, we haven’t had a good summer. We do get the odd great day, but sods law dictates that I am at work or we have something else planned.

I’m optimistic for this year. June is turning into a right corker. Lots of sunshine and a bit of warmth, so I am planning my first picnic.

In honour of this sacred event, when one of my picnic baskets actually leaves the house, I have created a colourful stuffed picnic loaf.

A stuffed picnic loaf is stunning to look at, but so easy to create.

First buy or bake a cob loaf. Slice the top off and this will become the lid. Next, scoop out the soft middle to create a bowl. Spread the base with something delicious like pesto or hummus, and then simply layer up your choice of filling until it is very full. Once the lid back on, it needs to be chilled in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Check out my tips in the recipe below.

1
Slice the top off the cob, this will become the lid
2
Scoop out the soft centre, until you have a bread bowl. The spare bread can be whizzed up into breadcrumbs and frozen until you need them for another dish
3
Spread the base of the bread bowl with pesto
4
Add a layer of baby spinach, then a layer of sun-dried tomatoes. Top with basil leaves, then a layer of creamy mozzarella. The next layer is the pepper, then a layer of sliced beetroot. Finally replace the lid
5
Wrap your cob tightly with clingfilm and place in the fridge with a tin of baked beans on top for weight. This will help compress the layers
6
Leave in the fridge to chill and compress for a few hours or overnight. Take the whole cob to your picnic, and then slice open to reveal a rainbow of colours.
Slice open to reveal a rainbow of colours
 

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