Have loaf; will travel

In today’s post, Chef Deb Rankine, a.k.a. The Fridge Whisperer, shares two of her favourite on-the-go sandwich recipes. 

Summer means longer days and warmer nights. And that means fun times spent outdoors birding, hiking, and canoeing.

It also means packing a hearty lunch that will really go the distance.

Here are a couple of sandwich loaf recipes to enjoy on your next trekking adventure.

Radish sandwich with garlic scape pesto (serves 4 to 6)

Close up of radishes on a baguette with spread underneath.

Early summer across Ontario means pea pods, asparagus, spring onions and fiddlehead ferns.

It also means a cornucopia of radishes in every shape and colour, especially Easter egg radishes that look stunning fanned on top of an open-faced baguette that’s been slathered in decadent olive butter and garlic scape—another springtime favourite!— pesto.

  • 8 tablespoons room temperature (one stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup jarred olive tapenade, drained well, if necessary
  • 1 good quality French baguette, halved lengthwise
  • ¼ cup Garlic Scape Pesto (recipe follows)
  • 6 Easter egg radishes, (or, alternatively, use white daikon and red radishes) sliced into paper-thin rounds
  • Flaky sea salt and finely chopped curly parsley to finish

With a fork, mix together butter and tapenade until blended, slather on cut sides of baguette, spread a thin layer of garlic scape pesto over top, then layer on radish slices, sprinkle lightly with salt and parsley, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in an insulated bag with a freezer pack.

Garlic scape pesto (makes about 1 ½ cups)

Garlic scapes are the pigtail shaped flower stalks that grow out of garlic bulbs. Their mild flavour makes them a perfect seasonal ingredient for pesto making.

  • 6 garlic scapes, very finely chopped
  • 4 cups stemmed and finely chopped kale leaves
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup olive oil (approximately)
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with blade attachment, add scapes, kale, Parmesan and walnuts and pulse-chop until well combined, then through the feed tube with the motor running, drizzle enough oil to achieve desired consistency.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, then place pesto in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. Use pesto within 3 days for optimum flavour or freeze for up to 2 months.

Muffuletta (Serves 6)

Close up of Muffuletta sandwich with meat, cheese, and vegetables.

Laced with good quality olive oil and easily sourced deli ingredients, this sandwich, because it requires no cooking or warming, is the perfect on-the-go sandwich. Just make sure you have plenty of napkins on hand!

  • ½ cup store bought olive tapenade, drained, if necessary
  • 1 cup Giardiniera (jarred Italian pickled vegetables), drained and roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (or more to taste)
  • ½ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 Italian-style round bread loaf, cut in half horizontally and slightly hollowed out
  • ¼ pound EACH sliced salami, mortadella, capocollo and ham
  • ½ pound provolone cheese, thinly sliced
  • 4 roasted red bell peppers, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch wide slices

Mix together tapenade, Giardiniera, garlic, oregano, hot sauce and olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, then let mixture rest at room temperature for one hour to allow flavours to meld.

Spread tapenade mixture evenly over bottom of prepared bread loaf, layer meats followed by cheese, then roasted peppers and cap with top of bread loaf.

Wrap loaf very tightly in plastic wrap and press down gently to flatten slightly, then place in an insulated bag with a freezer pack.

Visit our Outdoor Cooking page and blog posts for more great camping recipes!