Packing the perfect picnic sandwich can be slightly challenging. You want ones that are small, easy to pack, don’t fall apart, and don’t get soggy. How to do this you ask? Well, you have to keep in mind a few key elements. The bread needs to be a good sturdy one and not that soft squishy stuff so think focaccia, ciabatta, or baguettes. To keep them falling apart and for perfect sandwich slicing wrap each panini with compostable parchment and tie them up nice and snug with elastic bands or string. To prevent sogginess a good buttering is required. The butter on the inner slices of the bread prevent any other watery condiments or filling from seeping through. Forevermore think of butter on sandwiches as a moisture barrier. Plus butter really does make sandwiches taste better.
Once I started putting together these adorable sammies I knew they were going to be a crowd pleaser. While there are endless possibilities of what to fill these sandwiches with, I, personally, love leaning in towards more Italian style fixings. BUT, as with any sandwich, us up what you have on hand first. Also I made a BIG batch of these sandwiches for a photo shoot just recently so I had them in the fridge and we snacked on them over the course of 3 days!!! Having them wrapped tightly in the parchment and then placed in the fridge in a tightly sealed container really helped prolong their expiry date.
This recipe makes about 4 paninis (8 once cut in half).
What you need:
1 loaf of focaccia or 2 ciabatta baguettes
Butter for spreading
3-4 Tbsp pesto of choice
2-3 cups salad greens of choice (I like arugula or watercress)
4 bocconcini balls, sliced (or any sliced cheese you like)
Assorted Italian sandwich meats, such as Genoa salami, prosciutto, Sopressata
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional Add Ins: Roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes, hot peppers, mustard, etc.
How to make picnic paninis that don’t get soggy:
Cut bread into 2 large halves lengthwise, so you can butter the insides of each. Butter to your liking. The butter helps protect the bread from getting soggy from the other items inside. Then spread a thin layer of pesto overtop.
Stack cold meats, 2-3 layers, overlapping. Top with cheese slices, any other optional ingredients, then finishing with salad greens. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and then finish with remaining slice of bread.
Cut into, depending on size of bread, about 4 long sammies. Wrap each snugly in compostable parchment paper and tie with string on each end (or re-use elastic bands) to hold Sammy together. Cut in halves and serve. If saving for later or travelling with make sure to store in sealed containers. These will keep very well in the fridge for a few days without getting soggy.