Squashed Picnic Ciabatta

A tasty twist on the traditional sandwich using Ciabatta

Preparation: 30 minutes |  Makes one loaf | Suitable from 8 months

A great recipe for kids to assemble – fully load a ciabatta loaf with favourites like prosciutto, artichokes, peppers, spinach and mozzarella

  • 10 Portions

  • 30 mins

    prep time
  • 10 mins

    Cook time
  • suitable for freezing


  • long ciabatta loaf, sliced in half lengthways
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grainy or Dijon mustard
  • 3 teaspoons green pesto
  • 2 big handfuls of rocket or spinach
  • 250g roasted red pepper from a jar
  • 4-6 sun dried tomatoes, finely sliced
  • 125g ball mozzarella, cut into slices
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • 6 slices of roasted ham


  • Slice the ciabatta loaf in half lengthways and heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  • Put the ciabatta loaf halves, crust-side down, on a large baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Pop them in the oven for a few mins until just golden and lightly toasted.
  • Put the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and pesto in a bowl, then whisk them together with a fork.
  • Remove the toasted ciabatta halves from the tray and drizzle the bottom slice with about half of the dressing.
  • Arrange the rest of the ingredients in layers. Start with the rocket or spinach, then the pepper, sundried tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan and ham.
  • Drizzle over the rest of the dressing and pop the other slice of ciabatta on top.
  • Press down on the sandwich to squash all the layers together.
  • Wrap the sandwich in baking parchment and tie it together with a couple of pieces of string.
  • Place a heavy baking tray on top of your sandwich and top it with weights or cookbooks. Pop it all in the fridge overnight or until you are ready to eat it. Cut and serve in slices for the perfect picnic snack.