Rustic Mediterranean Sandwich

Antony Worrall-Thompson, one of London’s most creative chefs, has been a trendsetter for many years. This recipe, inspired by one of his creations, is possibly my favourite summer lunch. We do lots of variations depending on what we have to hand.

Method

Slice the aubergines and courgettes lenghtwise into ¼ inch (5 mm) thick slices. Sprinkle with a little salt, put into a colander and allow to degorge for a few minutes.

Rub the skin of the peppers with a little of the olive oil, put on to a baking sheet and roast in a preheated moderate oven, 180C/350F/regulo 4, for 30-40 minutes or until they collapse and look slightly charred all over. Peel them and remove the seeds.

Rinse the aubergines and courgettes and pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat 1 inch (2.5 cm) approx. of olive oil in a frying pan, cook the aubergines slices until golden on each side and keep aside.

Heat a grill pan, brush the courgette slices with olive oil and cook for a few minutes on each side. Assemble and prepare all the rest of the ingredients.

Cut a lid off the top of the loaf or loaves, hollow out the centre leaving a crust of 1 inch (2.5 cm) approx. all round. Rub the inside of the lid and the loaf/loaves with a cut clove of garlic and brush liberally with olive oil. Spread a layer of Tapenade on the base, then layer the ingredients in the following order, seasoning each layer well with salt and freshly ground pepper: half the aubergines, half the courgettes, red pepper, yellow pepper, basil, chopped sundried tomatoes, sliced Mozzarella cheese, Pesto, remaining courgettes, remaining aubergines, rocket leaves, balsamic vinegar.

Replace the lid and wrap the loaf or loaves with cling film. Put on a large plate, cover with a board and weigh down for several hours or overnight.

The Mediterranean Sandwich can be served at room temperature without being reheated, or you may prefer to put it into a preheated oven, 250C/475F/regulo 9 to crisp the outside for 5-10 minutes.

Serve cut in wedges or in a cross section, garnished with Rocket leaves and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with chive flowers if available and perhaps a black olive or two.

Tapenade

Whizz up the anchovy fillets for a few seconds (preferably in a food processor) with the stoned black olives, capers, mustard, lemon juice and pepper. Alternatively, use a pestle and mortar. When it becomes a rough puree, add the olive oil.