breadThis may not be a traditional picnic idea for the 4th of July weekend but if you are planning on making some kind of a sandwich, why not something that would catch everyone’s eye? I used my rustic bread recipe for this, but if you don’t have time for that, get a loaf in your favorite bakery.
It may remind you a little bit of the famous Pan Bagnat idea, except the original version was supposed to be combining wheat bread with Nicoise salad, where it comes from. But since my husband’s preference for bacon and prosciutto is much higher than for tuna I have decided to make some adjustments.

Serving size – 8 slices
Preparation – 20-30 minutes to grill vegetables, 1 hour resting

One loaf of bread
1 eggplant
1 small green zucchini squash
1 small yellow zucchini squash
2 medium size tomatoes
20 ½ inch slices of mozzarella cheese
25-30 leaves of fresh basil
12-14 slices of prosciutto
Fresh ground pepper
tablespoon of salt
tablespoon of canola oil

ingredients1
Prepare the vegetables ahead of time so that they have time to release any juices.
Cut the eggplant and squash lengthwise into ½ inch slices. Sprinkle some salt and canola oil and either grill them or fry on a Teflon pan. Put them aside on the cooling rack and cover with paper towels so that any fat and water gets absorbed by the towels.
Slice the tomato and mozzarella cheese and begin assembling your bread.
kolaz first layerCut out the top of the bread and put it aside. Scoop out all the dough but don’t throw it out. You can make croutons out of that and reuse it later for Cesar’s salad or soup.
Leave a little bit of the dough only, around ½ inch. You don’t want just the bread crust holding everything together. And in case there is any liquid in the vegetables that should help absorb it. Do not use any salt since this draw water out of the tomatoes and other vegetables and make the whole thing more watery.
kolaz second layerTo be honest, you can play with the layers as you wish. I started with the basil at the bottom, then put a layer of eggplant and squash, then prosciutto, mozzarella and tomato and freshly ground pepper. Remember to press it well so that there is no space between the walls of the bread and your layers.
kolaz top layerThen put the same sequence of vegetables, meat and cheese. If you don’t have prosciutto, use bacon or thinly sliced chorizo, or simply no meat. You can also add some other vegetables that you like.
At the end cover it with the cut off top of the bread. And put something heavy like a cast iron pan to press it well. Let it sit like that for at least 1 hour before serving.

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