Prep 1 hr
Cook 10 mins
Original recipe. Please note than quantities cannot be exact, as much will depend on the size of your bread! Do make sure that the ingredients are as dry as possible, as one wants to prevent a soggy bottom. Always start the filling with the driest ingredient, as a buffer against the inevitable juices! Use salt sparingly, as many of the ingredients are naturally salty.
- 1 large mediterranean-style bread, fat and long, about 14-inch /36cm long
- 1⁄2 cup soft butter, for spreading
- 3 -4 bell peppers, preferably in different colours
- 3⁄4 cup thin shavings parmesan cheese
- 12 kalamata olives
- 1⁄2 lb feta cheese
- 2 large onions
- 6 garlic cloves (or more)
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley, preferably flat-leaf
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 1⁄2 lbs peeled fresh large shrimp
- 4 -6 large vine-ripened tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄3 teaspoon sugar
- 1⁄4 cup virgin olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup lime juice
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon mild table mustard
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- Begin preparations the day before.
- Heat oven to 350 deg F/180 deg Celsius.
- Carefully cut off the top of the bread, in the shape of a lid. Hollow out the bread until you have a crust left which is about 1"/2 cm thick. Spread the lid and inside with the butter: use a barbecue brush for ease. Bake the bread, open, for about 10 minutes or until crisp but not too brown or brittle.
- Scorch the peppers under a grill or over a flame, steam in a bowl, and remove the thin skins. Cut into strips, removing seeds and ribs. Dry well between kitchen paper.
- Shave off enough parmesan to make about 3/4 cup.
- Remove the stones from the olives and chop roughly. If the feta is in brine, dry well. Slice; don't worry if it breaks up. Keep in a bowl.
- Peel the onions, cut into fairly thick rings, and boil for a few minutes in water until they are limp. Drain; dry on kitchen paper.
- Peel, crush and chop the garlic with a pinch of salt, chop the parsley until you have about a cupful, and chop the basil.
- Thinly peel the tomatoes, slice off the tops (keep that) and press out the liquid firmly. Slice, and leave on kitchen paper to drain well.
- Boil the shrimps very briefly in a little salted water, just until the curl up and go pinkish. They must be juicy still. Also drain them well, and pat dry with kitchen paper.
- By now the bread has cooled: try and judge the capacity, and simply use as much of each ingredient as the bread will hold. It must eventually be full to overflowing!
- Lay the pepper strips on the bottom, 1 - 2 layers. Layer with the parmesan shavings. Sprinkle with half the parsley. Top with the chopped olives. Add half the prepared garlic. Sprinkle or layer the feta over that. (Use the flat of your hand to press down the ingredients). Layer the drained and dried onion rings over the cheese. Pack the shrimps neatly over the onions, and salt lightly. Sprinkle over the rest of the garlic. Press flat again. Layer this with the tomato slices and sprinkle about 1/3 teaspoon sugar and a pinch of salt over the tomatoes. Sprinkle over the rest of the parsley as well as the chopped basil.
- Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing until emulsified. Keep covered in fridge: you'll need to shake or whisk it again before use.
- Now you need a weight about the size of the filling, to weigh it down. I use an ordinary, washed brick, covered in a double thickness of foil. Put the filled bread on a suitable dish, and put the brick on top of the filling.If you have any other suitable weight, use that. Cover lightly with plastic and refrigerate overnight. (Keep the bread "lid" in your breadbin).
- To serve:.
- Remove brick and carefully put the filled bread on a platter. Whisk the dressing, and taste for seasoning! Adjust. The filling should now be firm and flattened. Top with the bread lid. Slice thickly, and serve each slice on its side. Drizzle a little of the dressing over each serving. Serve as a starter, with chilled white wine, or as a light meal.
Very, very nice sandwich with wonderful Med flavours. I would have liked this even more without the shrimp as I felt they really did not add anything to this particular recipe - and the chef would still have had the 5 required ingredients - tuna might have been a better addition. Thanks for a tasty lunch.
Excellent use of contest ingredients, I used a 14" Artisian Sourdough bread and as the intro says amounts vary with the size of the bread I had to cut way back on the peppers for the size of my loaf. The dressing is excellent and gives that extra flavor boost. I served the loaf with oven baked beans. Next time I would like to wrap the loaf in foil and bake it for apprx 25 minutes - I think it would also be great warm
Wow! This bread is not great it is fabulous. I have made it yesterday and we have it this evening (thus a few hours ago). Although we were only three I have made it for four servings. And there is not a single crumb left. It is unfair to rate it, because it is far beyond 5 stars. This is a marvelous recipe. From the first reading it fired my imagination of a warm and sunny evening in the south. And from the first reading it was also quite clear that I have to make this recipe just to know, if it is so good as the recipe seems like. And it is much better. I followed the recipe step by step. It was very easy to follow, each step is clearly described. And now the taste: it was overhelming. Each ingredient add its individual flavor and you can clearly distinct them from each other. But as a whole the build up a new world of flavors. Bell peppers and parmesan built the fundament. Then there are the shrimps togehter with the feta cheese and onions, delicious. The tomatoes (sweet through the sugar) with fresh basil and the bread (an all time favorite). Kalmata olives, garlic and parsley as little highlights in between. All flavors will be hold together by the bread and the wonderful dressing. Different textures and the combination of such different flavors makes this recipe a great experience. Every bite is different. Try the creamy feta cheese with the sweetness of the bell peppers or the different textures of buttered bread, shrimps and tomatoes. And so on and on. It is like a trip through Greece. Would you like to be the ultimative center of the next bbq, picnic or party. Just take 'Al Fresco Bread with you as a small present and you will attract attention of the party members(I will certainly do so!). Who ever has created "Al Fresco Bread": Thank you, thank you, thank you. And here is what my friends said: "I can only give five stars? It is so delicious." Hope this review is not to long, but it is so fantastic. Hope this recipe will win the RSC7 contest. All best wishes Thorsten