… Or as it is simply called in our household, The Big Sandwich. We’ve been making The Big Sandwich to take on picnic outings for years but discovered this last summer what a great option it makes for camping! We typically arrive at a new campsite in mid to late afternoon. It’s really nice to have an easy meal planned for that first night, or something to dig out and feed the restless troops while we set up camp. Unwrap The Big Sandwich and cut some wedges off. It’s delicious and filling. If you don’t finish the entire sandwich in one sitting, simply wrap the remainder back up and put it in the cooler for lunch or a snack the next day.
The sandwich is assembled in a large hollowed out loaf layered with pesto, olive spread, cheese slices, deli meats, roasted red peppers, and anything else your family enjoys. It’s prepared a day a head and wrapped up tight in the fridge overnight. This is a key step in the deliciousness of The Big Sandwich! It keeps surprisingly well for up to three days in an RV fridge or ice cooler.
There are a few tips for making the sandwich:
- Choose a round or oblong loaf with a soft interior but firm enough crust to keep from getting too squishy and scoop it out to within 1/4-1/2 inch of the edges. Save the bread and set aside.
- Spread a layer of pesto around the inside of the hollowed out loaf and add another spread like hummus or olive tapenade if you like (check out our recipe for homemade tapenade).
- Thin slices of cheese create a barrier between the pesto and the fillings. Havarti, Provolone, Swiss, and Monterrey Jack are great choices. Anything that you can pick up pre-sliced and won’t crumble.
- Use three to four meats. Traditionally, they would be all Italian or spicy Italian varieties but a good old submarine sandwich combo of ham, turkey, and bologna works, too.
- We add a layer of roasted red peppers that have been patted dry (our video shows you how easy it is to make your own roasted bell peppers). Mild green chiles or pepperoncinis are great, too, but steer clear of items that will get mushy over time like fresh tomatoes or avocado.
- If there is still room after the meats have been used up, tear up some of the reserved bread and toss with a little pesto or olive oil to fill the sandwich to the top. Another layer of cheese is the last thing to go on before replacing the top.
TIP: For food safety, always make sure your fridge or cooler is at a proper temp (0°-4°C/32°-40°F) but tucking an inexpensive fridge thermometer inside.