Picnic Sandwich Torte
by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
Glorious summer! I just love the sun. To me, the warm days filled with sunshine, fresh air and blue skies are just an invitation for a picnic. On summer weekends I am bound to take off with family and friends out and about to points of interest and day trips. Some favorites of ours are to pack up and go scouring antique shops. Or spread the paper maps the old fashioned way and look for parks we may not have ever visited to see what fun we could discover.
The idea of taking wine along, spreading a quilt along a country roadside beneath a tree with a dazzling array of tempting treats thrills my heart. I can imagine myself sipping a glass of wine, nibbling on bits of this and that, eyeing the scenery, or perhaps the cow or horse in the next field who has lunch plans of their own. Sometimes state parks are the choice, with their mature trees and picnic areas with tables nestled among wooded trails for hiking and secluded lakes with small fish such as bluegill jumping in the summer sun, raining down drops of water like diamonds into their little pools.
Friends gather and laugh, nibble and sip away the afternoon, until the sun, weary with the afternoon heat, reclines to the horizon in the west and bids us a good day.
At least that is the romantic view of it in many places.
Unfortunately, in the real world one cannot just grab the vino and picnic basket and run. Some states see fit to have regulations regarding the public consumption of alcohol, innocent as a wine picnic is. So before you pack the basket and hit the road, be sure to look up the local regulations in your particular state and make sure you are free to enjoy your picnic outside the bounds of private property.
Sadly, we here in Ohio can’t take our delicious wine to the park or any other place deemed a public area. Sure, we have had offerings from work related events and at food fairs, but to be able to do that you have to purchase a permit, which can be quite expensive.
Fortunately, we can enjoy our wine outdoors on private property, and that includes our familiar backyards and patios of our own as well as our friends. We can still take our adventures out on the road, and return home to a patio lit with Chinese lanterns and tiki lights peppered with the twinkling of fireflies, and finish up the day around the pool with sandwiches, other nibbles and of course, nicely chilled wine. All perfectly legal.
For this picnic (and to celebrate National Picnic Month!) I have put together a rather awesome (I think! Don’t you?) sandwich with layer after layer of deliciousness in a stack of meats, cheeses, and breads that one can only describe as a torte, the famous European dessert cake with layer after layer of thinly stacked cake slices alternating with jams and liqueurs.
And back to my “mother of dragons” sammich!
Why yes, I am glad you asked. I am a big Game of Thrones fan!
(That’s what that mother of dragons bit is all about! ; MOD=Big, Bad and Fabulous!!!)
For this sandwich, you will see that I used a number of specific things. But a sandwich is really a personal thing. You can really make this to your own preferences, using any item you like, omitting those you don’t, adding others to your taste. The important thing here is that the layers, meats, cheeses and toppings be very thin, to get the sandwich to hold together and not slide apart. Plus, you can see this is tall, If you use meats other that deli style shaved, you might want to break this into two sandwiches since it will grow taller with thicker meats. I think the wide variety of flavors in the meats cheese and toppings are the real secret to this sandwich. If you make it with say, just one type of meat it isn’t really going to shine.
One of the cheeses I used, the Crescenza-Strachino, is a soft buttery cheese with a texture similar to soft brie, but without the strong ripened flavor if the brie rind. Brie can be a good substitute, as would soft cream cheese or chevre (soft goat cheese) or any other soft spreadable cheese (there are many brands on the market). But I do suggest the Italian type I named first. It is really really good and the profile is perfect for the sandwich.
So I do hope you enjoy (as always), and salud!
Picnic Sandwich Torte
- 6 pocket pita bread
- 12-16 ounces total meats and cheeses; 1/4 cup or so each of spreads:
- Sopressata salami
- Prosciutto ham
- Hard salami
- Capocollo ham
- Soft, spreadable Crescenza-Strachino cheese
- Shaved Parmesan cheese
- Thinly sliced sauteed mushrooms
- Dill pickle slices
- Mild banana pepper rings
- Thinly sliced shallot
- Butter lettuce leaves
- Thinly sliced tomato
- Giardina relish
- Baby spinach leaves
- Fresh Basil
- Dried Italian seasoning
- Olive tapenade
- Sun-Dried tomato pesto
- Dijon mustard
- Extra-Virgin olive oil
- Warm pita until pliable, then with kitchen shears cut each loaf into two disks around the edges, and gently pry bread apart.
- Spread pita disks interior sides up on counter top or other work area.
- Top each with a thin layer of fillings (I have a suggested list below), then stack, inverting last piece of pita for the top. I have photos of the layers; refer to them if you wish to get a good idea.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, pressing layers together as much as you can, and rest refrigerated for thirty minutes to help ensure the sandwich holds its shape when cut.
- Unwrap and cut into 4-6 wedges and serve.
1. Provolone, thinly sliced shallot
2. Pepperoni, thin pickle slices (dill)
3. Sopressata, sprinkle of mild pepper rings and chopped olives
4. Lettuce leaves, thin slices tomato
5. Mayonnaise sprinkled with fresh basil and Italian seasonings
6. Prosciutto, sauteed mushrooms
7. Crescenza-Strachino cheese, giardina relish
8. Olive tapenade and fresh basil
9. Sun-Dried tomato pesto and provolone cheese
10. Hard salami, chopped olives, shreds of Provolone
11. Capocollo ham, sauteed mushrooms, fresh basil
12. Baby spinach leaves, Dijon mustard
Additional items sprinkled here and there: drizzled extra virgin olive oil, freshly grated Parmesan cheese
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
You might also like: