More than a tuna sandwich

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The first sign of sunshine and we grab a picnic and take it up to the Heath. The picnic quite often consists of nothing more than bread and hummus, pâté and fruit but since it’s a bank holiday and our first chance this year to try our brand new picnic bag, a bit of effort seemed appropriate. These sandwiches, stuffed full of tasty morsels, fit the bill perfectly.

These come from Jane Hornby’s Fresh and Easy book and are called pan bagnats if we’re being proper about it. You need a mini baguette for each person: cut it in half and dig out the innards. Keep this bread for bread crumbs (or just intend to do this and nibble it all as you go along). Crush a clove of garlic and mix with a tbsp of vinegar of your choice and two tbsp of olive oil, drizzle this mixture over the bread to act as the butter.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen layer up on your filling. This is sort of based on a nicoise salad so we’ve got tuna, hard-boiled eggs, roasted peppers from a jar, tomatoes, basil and capers. This is all fairly flexible; olives and anchovies wouldn’t have gone amiss here, but if you hate these things miss them out, swap the tuna for ham or chicken, use some other herbs or salad leaves. I really like the little bursts of saltiness you get from the capers and the bite from the garlic in the dressing but keep the basil to minimum.

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These should then close neatly and you can wrap some grease proof paper and string round to hold them together and form a sturdy package to transport to your picnic destination of choice.

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Not quite so sturdy was the icing on the Victoria sponge we took for afters. Still, it tasted good.

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