We headed to the Races at Corbould Park for a Mother’s Day picnic on Sunday. We had a beaut day, it wasn’t too busy and the weather was perfect. There was even a kid’s club and a jumping castle to keep Miss 3 amused.
To make something a bit special for my Mum and my lovely Mother-In-Law, I decided to tackle a Pan Bagnat – a french recipe for a picnic loaf.
Sourdough loaf (ideally round or oval).
Grilled vegetables of your choice.
- Eggplant, sliced lengthways and grilled.
- Zucchini, sliced lengthways and grilled.
- Tomatoes, cut into quarters and grilled.
- Sweet Potato, sliced finely and grilled.
- Pumpkin, sliced finely and grilled.
- Portabello Mushrooms, quartered and grilled.
- Red capsicum, halved, deseeded and grilled.
2 -3 Anchovies
5 tablespoons good quality olive oil (plus olive oil for grilling the vegies)
1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Basil paste.
2 teaspoons Gourmet Garden Chunky Garlic paste.
Splash red wine vinegar.
Salt and pepper to taste.
250g Mozzarella cheese, sliced and well drained.
3 tablespoons Olive tapenade
Prepare and grill the vegetables. I did this in stages a few days before to save time. I was particularly rapt with how well the tomatoes turned out – for the record, low and slow is the way to go.
Once the vegies are grilled and cooled, combine the remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar, anchovies, basil and garlic pastes. Season the marinade and add the vegies. Marinate the vegetables for two hours, stirring occasionally.
Cut the top third off the loaf to create a lid and base. Using your fingers and a serrated edge knife, scoop out the soft bread from the base, leaving a 2-3cm shell near the crust – too thick and there will be too much bread, too thin and the crust will be soggy. Give the lid the same treatment.
Spread the tapenade inside the bread shells.
Layer the mozzarella into the base of the bread case, then add a layer of vegetables. Take care that the vegies are well drained, otherwise they may make the bread case soggy.
Continue layering the vegies and the mozzarella until the bread case is full. Turns out I went a little overboard with the vegies and I had plenty left over, so I made two Pan Bagnats.
Put the lid back onto the bread case. Wrap well in glad wrap. Place a cutting board, baking tray or similar on the top of the loaf and weigh it down with some tins/bottles from the pantry.
Set aside in a cool place for at least two hours to compress. I made ours the night before, and left it weighted overnight. The shell was a little bit soft in places, but nothing to worry about. I think somewhere between two and ten hours is probably ideal.
Serve sliced thickly.
This turned out beautifully and was a bit hit. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
D said a few of his mates have commented how lucky he is to be able to go to the track with his wife, mother and mother in law – much less on Mother’s Day! We had a terrific day, I’d happily make it our new Mother’s Day tradition.
Do you have any Mother’s Day traditions?
How did you spend your Mother’s Day?0