Pesto, Pepper & Mozzarella Stuffed Loaf

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This is a lovely make ahead recipe for a picnic loaf, using a simple cob or any round white loaf. Simply hollow out the loaf and fill with layers of delicious Mediterranean ingredients for the perfect picnic centrepiece.

1 white cob, or round loaf
1 garlic clove
pinch salt
40-50g fresh basil leaves
25g pine nuts, cashew nuts or almonds (or a combination)
30g pecorino
40g parmesan
40-50ml extra virgin olive oil
2 courgettes, thinly sliced
1 red onion, sliced
fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
jar of roasted peppers
jar of roasted tomatoes


– Add the garlic, basil leaves, a pinch of salt, pine nuts, pecorino, and parmesan to a pestle and mortar, and crush thoroughly.

– Place the courgettes on an oven tray, drizzle with oil and roast under the grill for 3-5 minutes on both sides until golden.

– Remove from the grill and place on some kitchen roll to remove any excess oil.

– Add 2 tbsp of oil to a hot pan. Add the red onions and cook until softened. Remove from the pan and place on some kitchen roll to remove any excess oil.

– Cut a small section out of the top of the loaf to make a lid. Scoop out the middle of the loaf, leaving some bread on the sides, don’t hollow it out completely.

– Line the bread with the homemade pesto, making sure it goes into the corners.

– Add a layer of the cooked courgettes and press to compact them.

– Sprinkle with a little salt then layer in the roast tomatoes and peppers, pressing them down before adding the mozzarella.

– Lastly add the fried onions as the top layer. Finish with a little pesto and press down all the layers.

– When all the layers are compressed, replace the lid on the loaf, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, or overnight.

To serve, cut into wedges for an instant sandwich.

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