Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pressed Bread with Roasted Vegetables

You may have noticed the recent slew of recipes lifted from the Finnish food mag Ruoka & viini (food & wine) here. This would be because the most recent issue was pretty much filled cover-to-cover with stuff I not only want but NEED to make. (Although strictly speaking, I'm not going to follow all to the letter - where's the fun in buying vanilla ice cream and mixing in lime and chilies when you can make your own?)

Pressed Bread with Roasted Vegetables

Anyway, I made this filled, pressed bread for our impromptu picnic last week - the recipe called it a pan bagnat, but as I understand it that's a nicoise sandwich, while this involved mostly roasted vegetables. Whatever the name, it's chock-full of Mediterranean goodness (literally, in my case, since we don't exactly have baby zucchini here yet - and if we did, they'd be hothouse-grown and decidedly non-eco friendly) and a very nice picnic or lunch item for a hot day. I pressed it pretty heavily, as you can see, with a whole stack of plates overnight, which was... perhaps just a bit overzealous? The bottom of the bread was a bit soggier than the top, so maybe I should have turned it over at some point. But those a really minor quibbles, and the basic concept is definitely one I'll use again. Maybe with some goat cheese thrown in.

Possibly even with home-baked bread. Right now it's even cool enough to bake (I know you just live for these weather reports, y'know).

Pressed Bread with Roasted Vegetables
adapted* from Glorian ruoka & viini 4/07, serves 6-8

1 boule-shaped bread

2 small bell peppers
2 small zucchini
1 medium aubergine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
½-1 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
100 ml (scant ½ cup) kalamata olives, deseeded and sliced

2 tsp red wine vinegar
100 ml chopped fresh herbs (I used basil and lemon-thyme)
½-1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

Slice the zucchini and aubergine fairly thinly (you can do the salt-sweating thing for the aubergines or not - I usually do if I have the time, because that was the way I first liked aubergine). If you have a gas stove, roast the peppers over the flame. I don't, and I didn't feel like firing up the grill, so I halved them and threw them in the oven with the rest (of course, you could grill all the vegetables if you wanted, I bet that'd be fabulous).

Toss the vegetables with 2 tbsp of olive oil and roast - in a single layer, I had to do it in two batches - at 225°C (440°F) until slightly browned, turning once during roasting.

Slice the peppers and season the vegetables with salt and pepper.

Halve the bread length-wise and carve out most of the innards from both halves, leaving about a cm at the edges. Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and spread evenly over the cut-sides of the bread.

Layer vegetables, olives and sun-dried tomatoes evenly on each carved-out bread half, then carefully place the top half, er, on top of the bottom. Um, so you have a bread shaped bread again, yes? Wrap tightly in clingfilm, then weigh down with a few plates or something and place in the fridge overnight.

*they used one zucchini, and had capers where I had sun-dried tomatoes, and the total of 2 tsp pepper specified was just a bit too much.


Village Vegan said...

Let's see, I have all the ingredients on hand, except for bread and basil, and those can easily be bought. Thanks for posting this amazing, summery-sounding sandwich! Yum.

ylimuuli said...

As a picnic member, gotta say I luved it! The more you eat this the better it tastes :-P And it went beautifully with the salads I brought :-D

Eva said...

I really like roasted vegetables but for some reason I never do it myself - but after having seen your wonderful couscous salad as well as the pressed bread, I finally should give it a go!

PS: Your cat is adorable!

Linda said...

mmm roasted veggies/grilled veggies is something i love chilled in the summer time. it's so savory and hits the spot every time. i adore your photography.

Wendy said...

Tuna works really well with this too. Great photos.

joey said...

This would be a perfect picnic food! I already like roasted veg sandwiches but all pressed that way would be ideal :) Thank for passing this along!

I must admit...I do like the weather reports :)

deinin said...

Village Vegan, I hope you like it! It makes a lot, though. (When you've roasted the veggies it'll seem like there's no way they'll ever fit in the bread. They will!)

Ylimuuli, I'm making it again for Midsummer's Eve, except with some meat (maybe "paahtopaisti") thrown in for the carnivores.

Eva, it's not really any trouble when you get around to doing it...

Linda, as a kid I used to hate the way cold roasted vegetables felt (all... slinky). Luckily I got over it, because this is just fabulous on hot days.

Wendy, oh, I bet it would! I'm making it again this weekend, for Midsummer (which is a big thing in Scandinavia), but with some sort of cold cut meat thrown in.

Joey, pressed = more veggies per bite! :P

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I think that it is so similar to a sandwish, but it looks so delicious, I would like to prepare one in my house.

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