Fork ‘n’ The Road: Gourmet Picnic

FORK ‘N’ THE ROAD | GOURMET SANDWICHES

In today’s Fork ‘n’ the Road category.  I am going to start the Spring season by expanding your picnic repertoire with some creative alternatives accented with hearty gourmet flavors that are easy to make or order, versatile and tasty.  Here are the first two sandwiches I recommend for your picnic basket. I will post more as I come across more creative inspired sandwiches for a gourmet picnic.

Last summer I had brunch with some friends at Mooncake Restaurant in Soho.  Since I love spicy foods, I tried this delicious vegetarian grilled sandwich call the Spicy Tofu Banh Mi.

Spicy Tofu Banh Mi

{photo credit p.InK.e: Agedashi tofu with pickled carrots and daikon, cucumbers,  jalapeños, and cilantro with a jalapeño sauce on the side}

{resource: Mooncake Restaurant, NYC – can order this grilled sandwich for $8.00}

I also came across a very interesting food website that had some really great home cooked recipes prepared by photographer & food writer, Donal Skehan.  I wanted to share one of his recipes I thought would be another picnic inspiration for the Spring/Summer seasons.  The photo alone would had my taste buds buzzing.

{photo credit Donal Skehan: Marinated Artichoke, Proscuitto & Goat Cheese Sandwich with Balsamic Dressing}

What you will need:

1 foot long ciabatta loaf, sliced in half lengthways

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
A generous handful of baby spinach
10 marinated artichoke hearts

A small handful of sundried tomatoes

8 slices of proscuitto

A good handful of basil, finely chopped

100g of goats’ cheese

1⁄2 red onion, very finely sliced

Salt and pepper to season

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 200oC/gas mark 6.  Place the ciabatta loaf, crust side down on a large baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Pop in the oven for a few minutes until just golden and toasted.  In a bowl whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and mustard.  Remove the toasted ciabatta halves from the tin and drizzle the base slice with a little of the dressing.  Arrange layers of the rest of the ingredients, baby spinach, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, proscuitto, basil, goats’ cheese and red onion.  Drizzle over the rest of the dressing, season with sea salt and ground black pepper and pop the top slice of ciabatta on and press down.  Wrap in parchment paper and pop into the fridge, pressed down with another baking tray filled with heavy tins, overnight or until you are ready to serve.  Serve in nice hearty slices for the perfect picnic snack.

Note: I plan to try this recipe myself but will alternate the recipe just a little to make it vegetarian-friendly leaving out the proscuitto & trying a gluten-free french baguette.   

{for more recipe ideas: photographer & food writer, Donal Skehan}

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