Stuffed Picnic Loaf

You can prepare all the food the day before it is needed. This means you don’t spend hours dying of heat exhaustion in front of a fire when it’s 90° in shade and when you would rather be spending time talking with pleasant company. So get those picnic baskets and blankets out of the loft and choose a lovely fresh crisp bottle of English wine (Chapel Down Bacchus would be our recommendation).

Picnics date back to Medieval hunting feasts and informal outdoor banquets of the social and wealthy. A picnic is not so much about the food that is consumed but the spirit and celebration of dining outdoors that makes it special.

Ingredients - serves 4 to 6 people

1 medium round country-style loaf 1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 courgettes, sliced lengthways 2 tablespoons fresh pesto
3 tablespoons olive oil 9oz (250g) Somerset Brie
9oz (250g) chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced Handful of salad leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Brush a baking sheet with some of the olive oil and arrange the courgette slices on it and brush with olive oil.
  3. Bake in the oven for about 10 mins until they are turning brown.
  4. Slice off the top third of the loaf and remove the inside of the bottom piece leaving about ½ inch (1cm) of bread on the crust.
  5. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and add the mushrooms, garlic and oregano and fry for about 3 minutes.
  6. Lay half of the courgettes in the base of the loaf and spread half of the pesto on top.
  7. Place half of the cheese on top and add half of the salad leaves.
  8. Add all of the mushroom mix followed by the remaining cheese, then the salad leaves and finally top with the reaming courgettes.
  9. Spread the remaining pesto to on the inside of the bread lid and place the lid on top of the loaf.
  10. Press the lid down gently, wrap the loaf in cling film and leave to cool.
  11. Chill overnight or at least for a few hours.
  12. To serve, cut into wedges.

This looks very attractive when you cut a wedge and is really a meal in one. You could add you own variety of ingredients too. Roasted red peppers or artichoke hearts would be my choice.


Farmhouse Round Bread
Brie Cheese

Chestnut Mushrooms