Monday, February 25, 2013

goat cheese, pesto & roasted red pepper picnic sandwich

We've had some pretty wonderful days here in Texas of late. It feels like Spring.  Cool evenings, warm days, sunshine ... time to take advantage while we can, before the 100 degree temps and mosquitos put a stop to it.  It doesn't get much nicer than a picnic lunch consisting of a hearty sandwich, and fresh, bright red, sweet strawberries.

I make these sandwiches often when I need to quickly put together an easily-transportable picnic lunch. They aren't at all fussy, using a prepared pesto, and quality roasted peppers in a jar. I also like lots of baby spinach scattered on this version. In the summertime, when cucumbers are plentiful, they are quite tasty here too. It literally comes together in minutes.

goat cheese, pesto & roasted red pepper picnic sandwich
Serves 4-6

1 loaf ciabatta bread
1 (11 oz) goat cheese, room temperature
prepared basil pesto
roasted red peppers (I use ready-to-go-from-a-jar)
a few thin slices red onion
a couple of generous handfuls of baby spinach
sliced cucumbers
sea salt and black pepper to taste
drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Slice the ciabatta, and spread the goat cheese evenly over the bottom half of the loaf. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.  Spread a nice layer of pesto evenly on the top half.  Arrange red peppers on top of cheese, then add the red onions, and top with spinach (and sliced cucumbers if you so choose).  Put the whole thing together, squish it down a bit, and slice into 4-6 sections.  Wrap, and pack away in your picnic basket.  Add some fresh berries, and a fizzy drink, and you have yourself a most excellent picnic lunch, ready to enjoy with friends on a beautiful, picnic-weather-kind-of-day.

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