Denise says:

  • This is a hollowed out large loaf of bread stuffed with a delicious mix of colourful ingredients. Perfect for a lunch or picnic.  You can use sourdough, ciabatta, or rustic artisan breads – an excellent way to use up bread that is slightly stale!
  • Mrs Elswood sandwich pickled cucumbers are ideal for this type of pressed sandwich.
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus 15 minutes plus overnight to press
  • Cooking Time: 25 minutes
  •  Serves:  4-6 people


  • 1 large round sourdough loaf – about 400g
  • 3 red peppers – cut in quarters and deseeded or use 250g roasted from a jar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ~
  • 2 tablespoons tapenade
  • 10 fresh basil leaves – torn
  • 200g sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 8 sandwich Mrs Elswood pickled cucumbers -drained from juice
  • 1 big handful of baby spinach -stalks removed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil – to drizzle


  1. Preheat the grill to its highest setting.
  2. Place the peppers skin side up on a baking tray. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and roast for about 15 minutes until charred.
  3. Once cooked immediately transfer to a plastic bowl and cover with cling film. Leave for 15 minutes to cool.
  4. Slice off the top quarter of the loaf to use as a lid. Using a small spoon or your fingers, hollow out the inside of the rest of the bread to leave just a shell.
  5.  Place in the oven for about 10 minutes to bake the inside of the bread shell and then remove.
  6. Spread the tapenade on the base and sides of the bread shell.
  7. Peel off the skin from the red peppers, place on top of the tapenade.
  8. Layer the basil and cheese in a double layer followed by the Mrs Elswood sandwich pickled cucumbers and baby spinach seasoning with salt and pepper as you go.
  9. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil into the bread shell so it trickles down the filling.
  10. Top with the bread lid and wrap the loaf tightly in kitchen foil or cling film.
  11. Place on  a baking tray with a weight on top – use another unopened jar of Mrs Elswood Pickles.
  12. Leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.  Cut into wedges and serve.