I stuffed a loaf with my Giardiniera recipe last year, but since I had run out of my giardiniera, I made this delicious delight with the contents of my fridge – and it was truly one of the best snacks I’ve had in my life ! It is such a treat, crunchy on the outside and full of colour, with contrasting texture and wonderful tastes on the inside – one bite and your bought, sold, and, dare I say it, a slave to the next bite. This is Vegan Heaven ! It’s also very impressive, and almost like a summer festive treat ! This is made with my white mature cheese, which has a similar texture to feta cheese. Confession to make . . . . I had an extra hand helping me here. It’s not impossible to do alone, but an extra pair of hands to pass the ingredients is very helpful – particularly if, like me, you are going to immerse yourself in a fast photo shoot and you’re hungry at the same time. This one will definitely make your mouth water ! Please let me know how it goes, and Enjoy. Remember, a cold drink will help to wash this down just beautifully (lots of ice and fun !).
1 large loaf (around 1 kg), a little well-done is better, as it needs to be crunchy on the outside
tomato paste/puree – use concentrate if you can, and if you want it a little hot, mix in a little chilli powder
sunflower oil or olive oil (but not extra virgin as it will overpower the other flavours)
1 medium sized zucchini (courgette), cut into slices lengthways
1 red bell pepper, cut into slices
1 large red onion, cut into rings
12 or more mushrooms, cut into slices
a handful of pre-washed baby fresh spinach leaves (or a combo of rocket and basil leaves)
slices of vegan cheese of your choice – I used my White Mature (available from Midas Fine Art Cheeses)
6 to 8 sundried tomatoes, halved
12 black olives (I used Italian toasted ones, they are salty and full flavour, strong, and very nice !)
thin slithers of fresh garlic
1 ‘beefsteak’ tomato, sliced
toothpicks, for closing the ‘side door’ of the bread
METHOD FOR ASSEMBLY
- First fry your sliced courgettes in a griddle pan, and set aside
- Next, fry your onion rings and red pepper slices together in the griddle pan until the onions are golden, and set aside
- Likewise, griddle-fry the mushrooms separately, and then once they are cooked, add a spoonful of Teriyaki sauce to ‘beef them up’, then set aside
- Prepare your bread by cutting the side off it as per my picture, as if you were cutting a thick first slice, then put to one side. Remove the inside dough to create a cave-like cavity.
- Using a silicone pastry brush, brush tomato paste around the inside ‘walls’ of the caved loaf – be sure to cover all the area. Then brush some on the inside slice you have removed (this will be your side lid).
- Wash your brush, place some oil into a small bowl, and brush the entire inside of the loaf with your oil – be sure to cover all the tomatoed surface that you can see.
- Now it’s time to stuff the loaf. Start off by laying around 3 slices of your pre-cooked courgette/zucchini (see pic), then a layer of tomatoes, and then another layer of courgette/zucchini.
- Now you need to add (yes, I used my clean fingers for this) a handful of your precooked onion rings and bell peppers, making sure to spread them over as much surface as you can cover.
- On top of this you need to add a good handful of mushrooms – don’t be afraid to go for it. Press the mixture down very carefully to make space for your cheese slices (or mine for that matter) which you place on top.
- Now add the olives (I pitted them first), then the sundried tomatoes, and finally squeeze in the spinach.
- Finally, close the door of this magic loaf with your toothpicks (see pic).
- Then, using a very sharp serrated knife, cut the loaf in half, and then in quarters.
- Pour yourself a long, thirst-quenching drink, sit back, and indulge.
All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell www.mouthwateringvegan.com 2010