Chicken and roasted vegetable layered loaf with pesto and a seasonal salad

A hollowed out loaf stuffed with chicken and grilled vegetables is perfect for picnics. Why not try it out with your own choice of fillings?


For the pesto
  • 60g/2¼oz basil leaves
  • 50g/1¾oz toasted pine nuts
  • 50g/1¾oz parmesan, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 75ml-125ml/2½-4fl oz extra virgin olive oil
For the chicken and roasted vegetable layered loaf
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 yellow peppers
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 courgettes, sliced lengthways
  • 1 large round loaf 23cm/9in wide
  • 2 balls buffalo mozzarella, torn
  • 1 beef tomato, thinly sliced
For the seasonal salad
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 50g/1¾oz rocket leaves
  • 2 heads Little Gem lettuce

Preparation method

  1. For the pesto, place all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor and blend. Gradually add the oil until you have a thick paste, and set aside.

  2. For the chicken and roasted vegetable layered loaf, place the red and yellow peppers directly on a gas flame and keep turning until black all over. Remove from the hob and place in a glass bowl with cling film over, and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, peel the black skin off and cut the flesh into quarters, removing the seeds.

  3. Heat a large griddle pan and place the chicken strips in a bowl. Add the oil and season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat.

  4. Place the chicken on the hot griddle along with the red onion and courgettes and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  5. Slice off the top of the loaf of bread. Hollow out the loaf by scooping out the soft bread, leaving 3cm/1¼in of bread around the edge.

  6. Fill the hollow loaf with layers of the peppers, chicken, red onion, courgettes, mozzarella, tomatoes and pesto, seasoning between each layer.

  7. Place the lid of the loaf back on and push down, you can wrap it in cling film and leave overnight or slice straight away.

  8. For the seasonal salad, whisk together the oil, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Place the salad leaves in a large bowl, pour over the dressing and mix.

  9. To serve, slice the loaf and place on serving plates with the dressed salad.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 6-8

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