(overnight) stuffed deli sandwich: it goes to work while you sleep!

stuffed deli sandwich
The French have pan bagnat, those from New Orleans have the muffaletta. Here in Kentish Town, I have a deli sandwich that goes to work while you are sleeping and tastes divine.

Take your favourite deli ingredients (and yes potato salad isn't traditional, but I like it) stuff them into a hollowed-out loaf, wrap in clingfilm and press down. Leave overnight in a cool place. By the time you unwrap the sandwich all the ingredients have got to know each other and the olive oil soaks through the bread, infusing it with yet more flavours. Absolutely delicious.

stuffed deli sandwich
The glorious food writer, MFK Fisher (quite a gal by all accounts), greeted her visitor, Chef Jon Ash, (as recounted to Mark Kurlansky in his collection of food essays, Choice Cuts), with a small wrapped parcel and asked him to sit on it while they talked. A few hours later she announced that lunch was ready – the two of them had been cooking their own sandwiches with the warmth of their posteriors! So to take a leaf out of Ms Fisher (not the bum sandwich suggestion) but serve these delicious sandwiches with lashings of red wine and good company.

Serves 4
Skill level: Easy

1 large round artisan sourdough loaf (about 20 centimetres diameter)
potato salad (preferably homemade with gherkins and chopped spring onions)
hazelnut and sundried tomato pesto
thinly sliced cured ham (Ventracina salami, prosciutto, chorizo, etc)
marinated green olives, sliced
cheese (Emmenthal, Gruyere, young Pecorino, Provolone, hard or soft goats' cheese, Manchego)
gherkin (if none in the potato salad)
roasted red peppers (from a jar)
sun-dried tomatoes (in oil)
roasted artichokes (in oil)
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

other nice things to add:
chopped celery
chopped spring onions
anchovy fillets (in oil)
basil pesto
grilled pancetta
mi cuit tomatoes or fresh baby plum tomatoes, finely sliced
fresh herbs (parsley, chives, basil or oregano)


  1. Take the loaf and carefully cut the top off - not too large but wide enough to get your hand inside the loaf to pull out the dough.
  2. Scoop the bread out from inside the loaf (either eat then and there, save to make breadcrumbs, feed your birds or take to the park to feed the ducks!) You should leave a "wall" of bread about 1 centimetre thick.
  3. Spread the potato salad across the bottom and then a thin layer of hazelnut pesto.
  4. Start layering with all your other ingredients, starting with slices of meat, then a layer of vegetables, then cheese. Repeat (either with the same ingredients or with a different type of meat, cheese and vegetables).
  5. Make sure that the ingredients are pushed well up to the sides of the loaf. Press down as you layer as well.
  6. Add a quick grinding of black pepper between each layer.
  7. When you can add no more, drizzle over a little olive oil. Brush the bread "lid" with a little more olive oil, the place firmly on top of the loaf.
  8. Wrap the entire loaf tightly in grease-proof paper, then in clingfilm or kitchen foil.
  9. Place on a clean chopping board or large plate. Place another chopping board on top of the loaf and weigh it down with heavy objects such as tins of beans. (I actually use about 6 heavy hard-backed cookery books, as you get a good distribution of weight!)Leave so that all the flavours can get to know each other. Nothing less than 12 hours will do in my opinion - but a couple of hours at a pinch!


belleau kitchen said...

a touch of genius!....

Patricia (La Chatte Gitane) said...

Delicious !

o cozinheiro este algarve said...

Pure genius.Never thought of combining potatoes in bread.I have recently been giving the good old pan bagnat a bit a much needed revival but this is the bees knees.Off to buy a large round artisan loaf at sparrow fart.
thank you thank you.

o cozinheiro este algarve said...

This is pure genius,I never would have thought of combining potatoes in a sandwich.I have been trying to give the good old pan bagnat a deservd revival but this is something else.
off to buy a big round artesan sourdough at sparrow fart-see you....

Anonymous said...

Your comment about MFK Fisher has had me searching for a book which I simply cannot find, not helped by the fact that I can't remember which book it was!

It has a piece about MFK Fisher which mentiones her "brown skinned lover with a jewel in his ear" (or words to that effect).

It also mentioned the blue violet salad which sounds divine!

I've made that sandwich many time -- it's wonderful. Thanks for the reminders -- now I'm going to search for that book again!


Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Dom - thank you (she says modestly) but I realise you meant MFK!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Patricia - lovely to see you! Definitely delicious. One of those things I might the night before to take to work for lunch - much to sirst the curiosity of my colleagues and then envy!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Algarve - you make me blush! But seriously if we can eat chip sandwiches, no reason we can't have a spud salad in one too. BTW, it doesn't have to be a round loaf . . . ciabatta-type loaves work pretty well too and much easier to cut into slices!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Liz - I couldn't stop thinking about your comment. And I've found it (yay!) It's in An Alphabet for Gourmets in the chapter "E is for Exquisite". The jewel is a turquoise!

I also love the idea MFK had pinched from another food writer, about tricking the senses - a salad with small slithers of both orange peel and carrots - to play games with your tastebuds!

Liz Thomas said...

Hi Rachel,

Yes I Googled it too and found it but it wasn't that book that I am searching for, as I have never owned that one, must get it though. I think the reference I have was in a book of collected stories.

A turquoise! Imagine!