Oh… spring is here and the sun is out and the fragrant wisteria is blooming over the arbor in the garden. Which means the winter shackles are off and I can start to think about picnics.
I love eating outside. In the not too distant future, I will write a long and overly complicated post on the art of the picnic, but for now… a humble sandwich, perfect indoors or out.
There’s nothing complicated about it. The only thing to be made is the olive tapenade, and if you don’t feel like doing that, buy it. Use a good baguette, crusty on the outside and soft and full of holes in the middle, not some “French” bread that’s really just spongy white bread molded into a different shape. Add some good brie and you’re done. Wrap it up in some parchment, grab a bottle of wine, and find a patch of grass with a little sunshine.
Brie and Olive Tapenade Sandwiches (makes 4 sandwiches)
1 large baguette or 2 medium–you want each sandwich to be about 6 inches or 15cm long
Brie — about 2 to 3 oz. or 57 to 85g per sandwich
Olive tapenade — 1/2 cup or 120ml, 2 Tbsps. or 30ml per
Tapenade (makes approximately 1/2 cup or 120ml)
This amount should easily be enough for 4 sandwiches. If making more, or if you want to slather your sandwiches with olives, increase the amounts.
1/2 cup olives, pitted and chopped (you can use any olive you like–I use a mixture on green and black that are not heavily seasoned already)
2 Tbsp. capers, drained and chopped
Drizzle of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon orange or lemon zest plus more for garnish
A few grinds of black pepper
1 clove of garlic, minced (optional)–delicious addition, but, you know, it’s garlic. It all depends on how kissable you need to be after the sandwich has been eaten.
Mix all ingredients together.
To make the sandwiches:
Cut the bread into sandwich size pieces, then cut the piece through the middle (use a bread knife and watch your fingers!).
Spread a little brie on one side of the bread.
Dollop a little tapenade on top of the brie.
Wrap in parchment or a napkin. Tuck into a picnic hamper with a nice bottle of wine, some glasses and a little something sweet.