Fresh artisanal loaf filled with Avocado; Basil Pesto; Cherry tomatoes poached in balsamic vinegar; Red onion; Rocket and Feta

The weather’s gorgeous and we’re dining out – no, not in a restaurant – outside in the fresh summer air. We’re having a picnic – in nature, on the beach, after a forest walk, in our local park. But just because we’re dining alfresco, doesn’t mean we can’t have the very best! It’s worth every bit of effort to make your own artisanal loaf of bread, fill it with delectable goodies and then serve it as a loaded loaf big enough to share between 2.

Are you ready? Don’t forget your dinky Oryx Desert Salt mini-shakers and let’s go picnic!

Artisanal Loaf:

Ingredients:

  • 350g Champagne Valley Stonemill Cake Flour
  • 265g Water
  • 7g Salt
  • 2g Instant dry yeast

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together and leave the dough to rest for 10 mins.

Stretch the dough out (on an oiled surface) till before tearing point, fold the dough- bottom third up and the top third over the bottom third, stretch again and repeat the folds.

Leave the dough in an oiled container/bowl that is covered. Repeat the second step three more times every hour.

After the dough has been stretched after four hours, placed the dough into a floured bread basket to rise.

The dough will be ready to bake when you push your finger into the dough and the indent remains without springing back.

Place the dough on a floured metal tray into an oven that has been preheated to 220˚C.

The bread is ready to be taken out when it sounds hollow when tapped from underneath on average 20 minutes

Allow the bread to cool for an hour before slicing.

Hand pressed Basil Pesto (do store left over pesto in a sterilised bottle for later use)

Ingredients:

  • 70 g Fresh Basil (Chef’s note: Hand picked from your herb garden – makes the world of difference in the appearance – colour and taste)
  • 100 g Pine Nuts or Pine Kernels (Chef’s note: Roasted and cooled just before adding to the other ingredients resulting in a lovely fresh roasted flavour.  Flaked Almonds can be substituted as a more reasonable alternative.  Taste just as delicious!)
  • 60 g Butter (Chef’s note:  gives the Basil a thicker consistency)
  • 250 ml Olive Oil
  • 25 g Garlic
  • 100 g finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino
  • Salt and Pepper

Method:

1) Place all the above ingredients into a blender until the correct desired consistency is reached. You want recognisable bits in your pesto so not too smooth.

Balsamic Cherry tomatoes:

Ingredients:

  • 200g Cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Cups Balsamic Vinegar

Method:

Place the cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar into a small pot on the stove.

Bring the balsamic vinegar to the boil and allow it to boil until the cherry tomatoes have gone soft and the skins are falling off.

Remove the cherry tomatoes and keep aside for the sandwich.

To make up the Sandwich:

Ingredients:

  • 1 artisanal loaf , Butter
  • Basil pesto
  • 1 large Avocado, seasoned and a splash of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Medium Red onion slice
  • 50g Rocket
  • Cherry tomatoes poached in balsamic vinegar
  • 100g Feta

Method:

Slice down the side of the artisanal loaf and spread with butter and basil pesto along the base, as much as your heart desires.

Place the avocado; red onion; rocket; cherry tomatoes and feta on your sandwich and enjoy!

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