Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Blog Party # 21: Let's Have a Picnic! Pressed Sandwiches and Orange-Carrot Juice

To say it has been a while since I participated in a blog event of any kind would be an understatement. Last time I did, it was for SHF 22 - heck, I can't even seem to answer the meme's I'm tagged for. I promise, I will - sooner or later (but if I was you, I'd put my money on later...)

But. Onto the event at hand. Blog Party! This is an event, now at it's 21st. installment (hey, I was there for the first one!) held by Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness. Martin and I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie (and Matt and her cute son, Alex) back when we travelled across USA last spring, staying for a couple of days with them in Knoxville. They took us book shopping (because surely, neither I, nor Stephanie own enough cookbooks) they took us to this gigantic market with only organic foods and we talked and talked for hours - about food, America and Americans, Europe and Europeans, tv-shows, dogs, children - you name it.

It was fantastic being welcomed into the home of someone you only knew from this obscure thing called the internet and feeling at home and at ease as fast as we did at Stephanie and Matt's. Stephanie cooked us one elaborate meal after the other and to top things off - they took us for a picnic! So you know, when I realized she was throwing ablog party with the theme of a picnic, I had to join!

And lucky me, I was actually part of a picnic style thing this past Saturday. One of my best friends is getting married Saturday, so we were just in time for throwing her a Bachelorette Party - and I was in charge of the food.

Amongst other things served was this:

A pressed sandwich. Simple, colorful, rustic yet elegant - and very tasty! Basically, it's foccacia (I made my own, but I'm a freak like that, you know) and grilled vegetables - you can choose yourself, but for this particular specimen, I used grilled zucchinis and baked bell peppers. For dressing, we made a parmesan-less pesto (mostly because we forgot to buy parmesan, but it turned out for the better, seeing two of the people present were off dairy-products at the moment, and well - you don't actually need it). We added some basil leaves between the layers of vegetables as well.

You need to use bread that is a bit sturdy/crusty and long and thin, like ciabatta, foccacia - or maybe a baguette would do nicely as well? Other than that, you're free to play it by ear - I wouldn't use really wet ingredients, like raw tomatoes - it might make things more than desirably mushy - but sundried or even semidried tomatoes might be good. Soft cheeses are awesome, too. Slice the bread the horizontal way, spread the dressing on the bottom and top, then layer your choice of filling on the bottom piece and put the top piece back on. Leave under something heavy, in the fridge, 'till the next day.

The beauty of this sandwich is that you can make it the night before - actually, you should make it the night before, because it gives the bread a chance to soak up all the juices from the vegetables which makes this sandwich pass the plain ordinary. Cut it into managable pieces before you're off for your picnic, wrap it up tightly and enjoy sitting in the grass.

Now, for drinks - I'd go for a nice glass of bubbly any day, but actually, this is almost as good. Martin got a juicer for Christmas and we've been on a vitamin high ever since. This is one of our favorite combo's - Orange and Carrot:

So I'd make us up a big batch of that just before leaving, pour it into a thermos and sip it along with my sandwich. Mmm, mmm, mmm. Summer suddenly seems waaaaay too far away! As does Tenessee - more picnics, Stephanie!:-)


Cathy said...

Oh my gosh those look good! Carrot orange juice sounds good too, but without a juicer I'm not sure carrot juice is possible (orange I could manage :) )

Anonymous said...

Kitchen gadget lady yourself! If I had a juicer, there would be a real chance that I could ween myself off my morning coffee habit. I only drink two cups, but woe to me if I forget one- I have a splitting headache until I get my fix! They should make a juicer attachment for the KA, if they haven't already...

linda said...

I was trying to remember who was from Denmark! my email is kayaksoup at yahoo dot com. I would love to pick your brain while I plan...

Zarah Maria said...

Cathy - they were gooooood!

Jennie - whatever do you mean? Me? Kitchen gadget lady? Moi? Nooooooo. No. Not. At. All. In fact, I think I may need more gadgets. Heh;-) I think there is a juicer attachment for the KA, but only for citrus fruits.

Linda - I'll email you!

joey said...

I love the sound of carrot and orange juice...I'm not into healthy food (my arteries beg me but I ignore) but by some weird (lucky) twist of fate I actually like vegetable juices :) And those sandwiches are genius for a picnic! They look so vibrant too :)

Heather said...

the sandwich looks delicious. I am going to have to try to put one of those together.

Zarah Maria said...

Joey - I'm not a health fanatic at all, but juices - it get's strangely addictive! And, like the sandwiches, they're so pretty to look at!:)

Heather - thanks - let me know how it turns out!

Shayne said...

fresh juice sounds so good right now. I guess I have to go get my juicer out now! It has been way too long anyway.