The Really Big Picnic Sandwich

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The Really Big Picnic Sandwich

Originally posted May 2012

Last week Lorenzo Leoni joined the illustrious list of family members who have matriculated from the University of California at Berkeley. Grrrrrr! Go Bears! It was a proud day for the Leoni family, and we all gathered at my parents house in the hours prior to the ceremony for a small celebration before caravaning down to the Faculty Glade to watch Renzo graduate. 

    It was a joyous, somewhat hectic day at the house, but my mom prepared ahead for the hungry crowd by fixing one of the old standbys from the Leoni family recipe archives: the Really Big Sandwich. The RBS is exactly what it sounds like: it's a gigantic sandwich assembled early in the day,  later unwrapped and cut to serve. It's great for busy days, picnics, and tailgate parties. On this occasion Nancy made hers on a boule of Della Fattoria Meyer Rosemary, and it easily served the twenty people who were at the house. The RBS is the perfect thing to serve at a picnic or a casual party; it's fantastic looking, it's always a hit, and  it's a great, casually elegant way to feed a crowd in a hurry.  

  Here's how to make it:

  • 1 large boule of bread (We use Della Fattoria's Meyer Lemon Rosemary)
  • 5 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, roasted & cooled
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds, roasted & cooled
  • 1/2 pound mortadella
  • 1/2 pound salami (We use spicy salami)
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced cheese (we used Point Reyes Toma, but swiss works well too)
  • 10 tomatoes, seeded & sliced
  • 2 cups arugula, stemmed
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano 
  • 1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano 
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 5 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • Dijon mustard
  1. Combine the ricotta, garlic, parsley, oregano, and parmigiano. Salt and pepper to taste. 
  2. Cut the bread horizontally into four slices. Each slice should be at least one inch thick.
  3. Lightly coat each slice with Dijon mustard.
  4. Spread the cheese mixture evenly on the bottom layer of bread. Top with half the arugula and all of the eggplant. 
  5. On the next layer add the salami, mortadella sliced cheese, red bell pepper, tomatoes and remaining arugula. 
  6. Wrap the entire sandwich tightly in saran wrap and refrigerate for two hours. 
  7. Remove from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving. Slice and serve. 

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