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The best picnic sandwich

4 votes, average: 3.75 out of 54 votes, average: 3.75 out of 54 votes, average: 3.75 out of 54 votes, average: 3.75 out of 54 votes, average: 3.75 out of 5


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Easy and quick

Summer is for picnics

Summer is for picnics, whether at the beach, in the park, on a hike or in your backyard. Nothing beats a great sandwich eaten out of hand for a picnic meal. This is one of my best picnic sandwiches.

Carnivore and vegetarian options

I make this sandwich two ways, one version with salami for the umami it adds, and another vegetarian version. Both are delicious. The pictures above show one of each.

Make in advance

This sandwich actually gets better with a little time in the fridge. The flavors marinate and the bread absorbs the pesto and roasted tomato flavor. I consider myself lucky if there are leftover sandwiches the next day.

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Great as an appetizer

I also use these sandwiches as hearty appetizers. Slice them in 1" segments and they make a great finger food.

Roasted tomatoes and peppers

The slow-roasted tomatoes need to be prepared in advance. These delicious flavor bombs take about 2 minutes of prep time and then 4 hours in a slow oven. You can reduce the time needed to about 45 minutes with my quick-roasted tomato recipe. Store-bought sun dried tomatoes are an alternative, but are not nearly as good. I like to keep a stock of these home-roasted tomatoes in the fridge to use on sandwiches, salads, soups or to eat by themselves to snack on.


I use jarred roasted red peppers because of their convenience, quality and affordability.


I use my basil and spinach pesto for this recipe, but you can use any pesto -- homemade or store bought. When I make pesto I make a big batch and store small (1/2 cup or less) quantities in the freezer. Pesto stores beautifully for months and can be thawed quickly for sandwiches, soups, pasta or roasted veggies.


This recipe serves 4 as a main course sandwich and 8 as an appetizer.


The best picnic sandwich

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This quick sandwich made with roasted tomatoes, pesto and burrata is the perfect picnic meal, but also can be used as an appetizer or for a lunch or dinner at home. Make it in advance so the flavors can meld.


  • 1 loaf crusty French bread such as La Brea French bread
  • 1/2 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/2 pound burrata cheese
  • 10 good-sized basil leaves
  • 10 roasted tomato halves
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced salami (optional)
  • 8 ounces jarred roasted red peppers, drained


  1. Using a serrated knife, slice the loaf of bread in half lengthwise. Spread the pesto on the bottom half of the loaf. Spread the burrata on top of the pesto. Arrange the basil leaves down the length of the loaf and put half a roasted tomato on top of each basil leaf. If you are using salami, layer the salami on top of the roasted tomatoes. Layer pieces of roasted pepper as the final layer.
  2. Top the layers with the top half of the bread loaf and insert toothpicks down the length of the sandwich about 2″ apart. The toothpicks will hold the layers together. Slice between the toothpicks and serve.






  1. Julie says:

    I cannot wait to try this recipe! Wondering how it would work substituting prosciutto for the salami? Any thoughts?

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      Prosciutto would be delicious!

  2. Viv says:

    Hi! I’ve been making this sandwich for get togethers for a few years now and it’s always a hit. I sub prosciutto for the salami and omit the red peppers. They’re delicious and can be easily made vegetarian by omitting the prosciutto. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      Thanks for writing in Viv. I’m so glad you enjoy them and I agree, there are all kinds of substitutions and the sandwiches are still delicious. Thank you!

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