Epic vegetarian picnic sandwich with arugula pesto

By Andrea Buckett
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  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced lengthwise into 6 millimeter slices
  • 2 red onions, halved and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 can chickpeas (562 milliliters)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 cup green olives
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, packed
  • 1/2 cup basil, packed
  • 1/2 cup packed mint, packed
  • 1 round loaf of sourdough (675 grams)
  • 4-5 whole roasted red peppers (jarred is fine) drained and dried


  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Toss sweet potato slices and red onions with one tablespoon of canola oil and arrange in an even layer on the baking sheets.  Cook for 30 minutes until sweet potato is soft and onions is soft and beginning to brown. Remove from oven.
  3. Add the chickpeas, tahini, lemon zest, juice, hot sauce and salt in a bowl and mash with a potato masher until chick peas are broken up into small pieces (you’re not making hummus).
  4. Into a food process add the arugula, olives, parsley, basil, mint and 1/3 cup canola oil and puree until you have a thick green paste.
  5. Create a well in the bread by cutting a large round disc out of the top. Remove some of the dough from the bottom of the round you cut out along with some inside the round.  Don’t take out too much as you need the bread for structure.

To assemble:

  1. Spread half the arugula pesto in the bottom of the bread bowl. Layer the roasted red peppers on top followed by the chick pea mash, pressing down firmly as you go. Top with the remaining arugula pesto then layer on the roasted red onions followed by the sweet potato. Be sure to tuck the ingredients right to the edge of the bread bowl. Place the top of the bread back on top and press down firmly. 
  2. Wrap the sandwich tightly back in the bag it came in or in plastic wrap.  Set it in the fridge and place a weight on top (small cast iron pan filled with jars from your fridge). Allow it to firm up for 2-24 hrs.
  3. Cut the sandwich into wedges to serve.

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