Rainbow Picnic Loaf Recipe | Abel & Cole

Rainbow Picnic Loaf

Cooking time
Serves4-6 people
Rainbow Picnic Loaf

Add fun and flair to any picnic with this surprising sourdough loaf. It’s stuffed with a colourful filling of griddled and pickled organic veg, dressed in a bright mix of lemon and herbs and layered with tangy crumbles of feta. Slice and reveal the rainbow.


  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lemon
  • A handful of mint leaves
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ½ jar of pickled beetroot slices
  • 1 large sourdough loaf
  • 200g feta

Prep: 30 mins + chilling | Cook: 30 mins

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1. Halve the red and yellow peppers and scoop out the seeds. Slice the peppers into thick strips. Trim the green top off the aubergine then cut the aubergine into 1cm-thick slices. Peel the sweet potato and cut it lengthways into 1cm-thick slices. Peel the red onions and slice into thin wedges. Slide the veg onto a large plate, keeping the veg grouped by type. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and toss till coated.
2. Warm two large griddle or frying pans over a high heat. When the pans are hot, add the sliced veg in batches. Cook the veg for 3-4 mins on each side, till tender and slightly charred. When the veg are all cooked, set aside to cool.
3. While the veg fry, make the dressing. Peel and grate the garlic into a small bowl. Grate in the lemon zest and squeeze in the juice. Finely chop the mint leaves and add them to the bowl. Pour in 2 tbsp olive oil and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well and set to one side.
4. Halve the avocado and discard the stone. Scoop the avocado flesh out of its skin and chop it into1cm-thick pieces. Spoon about half the pickled beetroot out of the jar and let it drain in a sieve or on some kitchen paper.
5. Sit the sourdough loaf flat on a board and slice off the top quarter – this will be the lid. Carefully scoop out the middle of the loaf, leaving the outside crust intact (see our tip for what to do with the scooped-out bread). To fill the loaf with a rainbow of veg, start by adding the roast red pepper in an even layer. Drizzle over a little dressing and crumble over a little feta (you’ll be doing this between each layer of veg, so drizzle and crumble sparingly). Next, add the sweet potato and top with a little dressing and feta. Repeat with the yellow pepper, avocado, aubergine, beetroot and red onions.
6. When the loaf is filled, put the top quarter back on and press down firmly. Wrap the loaf snugly in food wrap and pop it into the fridge to chill overnight. If you’ve got something to weigh it down, like a couple of heavy jars or tins, sit those on top of the loaf – this isn’t essential but it’ll help compress the veg for easy cutting.
7. To serve, unwrap the loaf and slice into thick wedges.
8. No Waste, More Taste
You can use the bread from the middle of your sourdough loaf to make crispy croutons. Tear it into smaller chunks, toss in a bowl with some olive oil, salt and pepper, then spread out on a baking tray and bake till golden.
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