A good few years ago some friends invited us over for lunch and made this incredible “squashed” sandwich, filled with layers of meat and vegetables, and I’ve been thinking for a while that I should try to veganise it. It’s traditionally called a Hunter’s Sandwich because it was taken out by people on hunts but that’s about as un-vegan as you can get so I’m naming mine a “Rambler’s Sandwich”.
This is really good picnic food because it ends up quite compact, but is still really filling and MUCH more interesting than a standard sandwich. It’s also packed with vegetables so nice and healthy too.
I used roasted vegetables and pesto for this one but now it’s been a resounding success I’m looking forward to trying loads of other fillings too – the one I’m most excited about is an Indian sag aloo (spinach and potato) one. I will report back once we’ve tried it!
Large, round crusty “boule”-loaf (I used sourdough)
1 aubergine, cut lengthways into long thin slices (about half a centimetre thick)
1 large courgette, cut lengthways into long, thin slices (about half a centimetre thick)
1 small jar of roasted red peppers.
100g mushrooms, sliced.
Handful of fresh, Washed spinach leaves
1 large beef tomato, sliced into 1cm thick slices.
2 Tbsp dairy free pesto (I sed Sacla aubergine pesto which worked really well).
Vegetable oil, for roasting.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/gas mark 6.
- Mix 1tbsp oil with 1tbsp pesto and toss your aubergine, courgette and mushrooms in the mixture until well coated.
- On a large baking tray, lay out your slices of aubergine, courgette and mushrooms in a single, flat layer.
- Put in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the veg is soft and golden.
- Meanwhile, use a sharp knife to cut a round “lid” in the top of your loaf of bread. Remove the lid, and scoop out as much of the bread as you can from the middle, leaving a hollow loaf with a hole on top. (Keep the “lid” for later and save the breadcrumbs for another recipe).
- At the very bottom of your hollow loaf, arrange your spinach leaves so they cover the whole of the base, this will not only provide a tasty layer but will prevent your bread from going soggy.
- On top of the spinach leaves, place a layer of the sliced tomatoes, then a layer of the roasted peppers.
- Once your roasted veg is cooked, arrange in more layers in the loaf until it’s full to the top, then spread your “lid” with some more pesto and pop it back onto the loaf.
- Wrap in greaseproof paper and tie up securely with string.
- Now for the fun bit. Place as many heavy, flat objects on top of your loaf as you can find. We used a large wooden chopping board, large casserole dish and all of our cookbooks (I can’t believe I forgot to take a photo of this stage!).
- Leave in a cool place for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
- To serve, slice into wedges, and off you go to your picnic. We had ours at home so had it with rosemary and thyme sauteed potatoes and salad.