Mediterranean Stuffed Loaf

Australia Day -  a beautiful summers day off amidst a busy work week! How exciting!!! Tom and I have been pretty busy since we got back from our trip at Christmas and decided to spend some quality time together to enjoy a lovely midweek picnic in the park. Tom and I began this 'tradition' last year and we decided to continue the trend by heading to the botanical gardens to enjoy a a delicious spread, lay about in the green grass, and enjoy the glorious sunshine. It was such a great way to enjoy the day and we came home feeling relaxed and content.

I wanted to keep the meal relaxed, healthy and simple. We were in the middle of renovating our kitchen and had strewn sheets, tins and brushes in our efforts to brighten our little space. Of course the down-side was that I was left with very little preparation space, so this recipe can be made well ahead of time, without the use of fancy appliances or much room.

The hero of the day was the delicious stuffed loaf. It's worth investing in a fresh, quality bread to make this dish. I bought a beautiful sourdough spelt loaf from 'Wood Frog Bakery' and it was perfect for the two of us. We even had some left over for Tom's work lunch the next day. 

I hope you enjoy these recipe. I can't wait to hear what you think! And lastly, I hope everyone enjoyed their Australia day as much as we did.  

Much love and happy cooking, 

Georgia xx 

STUFFED LOAF

INGREDIENTS

1 round loaf of good quality crusty bread ( I suggest using Sourdough)
1 red capsicum
1 yellow capsicum
1 eggplant
1 zucchini
100g of good quality danish feta

1/2 cup of Pesto

50g of mixed salad leaves
100g of salami
Good quality olive oil, salt and pepper

METHOD

To make the loaf start by slicing the eggplant and zuchinni into 5cm strips and place them into a bowl. Cut capsicums into wide flat pieces and add to the bowl. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil. Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pepper and toss well to coat. Heat up a griddle pan ( or frying pan) until smoking hot. Grill vegetables in batches on both sides placing on a plate when cooked. 
While the vegetables are cooking cut the top off your loaf of bread approx 1/4 of the way from the top. Scoop out the inside of the loaf leaving a thick crust around the outside. Spread 3/4 of the pesto on the bottom of the loaf then layer with eggplant, followed by red capsicum, feta, salami, yellow capsicum and zuchinni. Press each layer down into the loaf and make sure the vegetables are spread in an even layer right to the edges. Finish by topping with salad leaf and spread the remaining pesto on the 'lid' of bread. Place the lid on the loaf. Wrap the whole loaf well in clingfilm. Put the loaf under a weight ( I used a pot filled with water ) in  the fridge for two hours. Remove the weight and your sandwich is now ready to serve. Cut loaf into large chunks so you can show off the beautiful layers. 

This sandwich is great on its own but works well served with a salad on the side to make it into a full meal :)