Divine Dinner Party

Picnic Sandwiches: Deliciously Simple Sandwich Recipes

Sure, lots of foods are great for a picnic. But picnic sandwiches are probably the reining king of picnic food. They're easy to eat, they're versatile, they're fun to put together, and they're simple to transport. What could be better when you may have to end up sharing part of your meal with the ants?
Beautiful Picnic Sandwiches on the Lake

Unfortunately, though, a lot of picnic sandwich recipes are a little on the boring side. But they don't have to be! With the right recipes, you can create a 'wich that's just as elegant as it is simple and delicious. Want proof? Read on for my three favorite sandwiches for a picnic, each with its own particular flavor and presentation. With these three recipes, there's something to please every palate.

You can also have your guest build their own picnic sandwich recipes!

Moist Italian Porchetta (Shredded Pork) Sandwich
with Make-Your-Own Fixins

Delicious Porchetta Sandwich Recipe Served PlainIf you've ever tried one of these incredible sandwiches at an Italian sandwich restaruant, then you truly understand the glory in this simple picnic sandwich. The simplest porchetta sandwich is nothing more than meat on a crusty-soft bun. And the people you serve at your picnic will love this sandwich just like that. But a porcetta sandwich is also wonderful with lots of different toppings... and providing a choice of topping makes this picnic sandwich recipe a lot of fun!

Make sure to leave at least 24 hours for the pork to marinate in the spice rub. Then put together your topping ingredients in separate containers, grab a package of crusty sandwich buns, and let your guests make up their own perfect picnic sandwich. These sandwiches taste great either hot or at room temperature-- whatever you have access to. Recipe serves about 10. Don't want to serve it all now? Keep some in the fridge at home for later.

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1 (4.5 lb.) pork shoulder, fat slightly trimmed, boned, and butterflied (ask your butcher)
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lg. yellow onion, minced
2-3 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
4 bay leaves, finely crumbled (or 2 tsp. powdered bay leaf)
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tsp. coarse salt (the more the better if you have no health issues)
1 tsp. ground cloves, divided
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and minced or pressed, divided
2 tbsp. whole fennel seeds, divided

Topping Choices:
Sliced pickled hot peppers
Fried or caramelized onions
Sliced fontina cheese
Sliced gruyere cheese
Giardiniera (pickled vegetable salad)
Chopped cornichon

Instructions: 1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the onion, rosemary, bay leaf, salt, pepper, half of the garlic, half the cloves, and half of the fennel in two tbsp. of the olive oil until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let cool.

2. While mixture cools, pound your piece of pork into a large, even, 1-inch-thick piece with a meat mallet. The more square the piece, the easier it will be to work with. Place meat on a large piece of plastic wrap.

3. Rub onion mixture into the surface of your pork, working it into the meat a bit.

4. Roll the meat into a tight spiral, tying it closed with kitchen string. If you roll it too loosely, the meat will dry out so do this carefully.

5. In a small bowl, combine the remaining olive oil, cloves, garlic, and fennel with a fork.

6. Rub oil mixture into the outside of the pork, working it gently into the meat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge about 24 hours.

7. When you're ready to cook, take the pork out of the fridge to allow the meat to come to room temperature.

8. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

9. Unwrap and place your rolled, tied pork into a roasting pan.

10. Cook pork until it's fall-apart tender. This should take 4-5 hours. During the last hour or so of cooking, cover the meat lightly with a tented piece of foil.

11. Remove meat from the oven and let it rest about an hour. You can either slice or shred the meat at home, or keep the whole piece of meat warm and shred it on- site to make on-the-spot picnic sandwiches.

12. Serve on crusty Italian rolls and allow guests to choose their own toppings.

Pan Bagnat Picnic Sandwich Recipe

French Pan Bagnat SandwichPan Bagnat is a squashed French sandwich that has become a traditional French picnic food. This recipe comes from the South of France, and it's healthy, simple, ultra-flavorful, and fun. What makes it a really good picnic sandwich recipe is that it's best when made the day before and eaten at room temperature. Which means you do all the work ahead of time, and just relax and chow down on the day.

Beware: delicious as this sandwich recipe is, it's a bit messy to eat. Try keep the part of the sandwich you're not eating wrapped in the plastic. If you unwrap it all at once and try to eat it that way, you may drip olive oil all over your clothes. It'll be worth it, but... still better avoided, right?

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4 crusty sandwich rolls, such as ciabatta, or 1 baguette, cut into four equal pieces
1 lg. clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
Plenty of extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 lg. hard-boiled eggs, peeled, sliced thin
1/2 lb. drained oil-packed high-quality tuna (don't use the cheap stuff!)
2 med. tomatoes, ripe, sliced
2-3 tbsp. capers
2/3-1 C. pitted, chopped brine-cured olives (several different kinds is nice)
1/2 red onion, finely sliced into rings
1 C. arugula or other crisp green
red wine vinegar, to taste

Instructions: 1. Cut your crusty rolls or baguette pieces in half lenghtwise. With your fingers, tear out some of the fluffy part of the bread to reduce the volume of bread and keep the sandwich from getting soggy. It should be mostly crust.

2. Rub the insides of each roll or baguette piece with the cut ends of your garlic clove. Drizzle generously with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. On one half of your bread, divide evenly and layer your egg slices, tuna, tomato slices, olives, capers, onions, and arugula or other greens.

4. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over. Drizzle a bit of red wine vinegar over. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper to taste.

5. Top each sandwich with its bread mate and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

6. Place in the refrigerator. Using a large book, a cutting board, or a plate/pan with heavy objects stacked inside it, leave the sandwiches to be smooshed for several hours or overnight.

7. Let sit at room temperature a couple of hours before serving.

8. Eat this picnic sandwich with lots of napkins and a bottle or two of French rosé wine.

Avocado and Roast Beef Sandwich Recipe
with Tabasco-Cilantro Mayonnaise

Roast Beef Avocado Sandwich with Tabasco-Cilantro MayoThis is a very different way to eat roast beef... and one that, once you've tried, you'll want to eat again and again. The ingredients for this picnic sandwich are actually rather commom and simple. But combined as they are here, they make one of my favorite picnic sandiwches of all time.

I like mine with a lot of roast beef (I add a bit extra, in fact), but you can gear yours towards whoever's doing the eating. Recipe serves about 4.

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1 lb. sliced deli roast beef (or more, to taste)
1/2 lb. sliced Havarti or Monterey Jack cheese
1 lg. perfectly ripe avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp. dijon mustard
3/4 C. good-quality mayonnaise (Hellmann's is good)
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. Tabasco (or to taste)
1/4 C. minced fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tsp. lemon juice
2 C. coarsely chopped crisp romaine lettuce
4 crusty sandwich rolls (ciabatta is best)

Instructions: 1. Cut your rolls in half lenghwise and scoop out some of the excess bread with your fingers.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, Tabasco, cilantro, and black pepper. Divide this mixture evenly among your hollowed-out rolls, spreading over both sides.

3. On the bottom half of the roll, layer the remaining ingredients in this order: roast beef, cheese, lettuce, and avocado. Sprinkle avocado lightly with salt and lemon juice.

4. Add the top half of your roll.

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Want some more tasty picnic snacks to go along with your picnic sandwiches? Check out:

Picnic Food Ideas ideas for great picnic sides and desserts

and Picnic Planning Headquarters for plenty of other picnic ideas, recipes, and menus.

Decroative Picnic Basket Clipart

Coming Up...

Hippity, Hoppity,
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The date for Easter falls on April 20th this year!

Take a look at Easter Dinner and Party Planning for recipes, edd dye tips, assembling Easter baskets, and more!

And plan to make this adorable...

It's so cute, it may be the best thing you do this Easter.



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