This bread is perfect for a picnic. To make it even more handy, you can stuff individual bread rolls instead.
- Grill the red peppers under a hot grill until the skin is black on all sides (around 15 minutes) and then place in a bowl and cover with a lid. After 5 minutes, peel the skin off, remove the seeds and discard.
- Meanwhile, grill the aubergines and courgettes on a barbecue or griddle pan until cooked through and slightly charred on the outside.
- While the vegetables are grilling, heat one tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion until soft.
In a bowl, mix together the crushed garlic, Umeboshi Purée and two tablespoons of water to create a paste, then add 1 tablespoon of oil and stir.
- Slice the top off the bread to form a lid. Then, hollow out the bread using your hand until you are only left with the shell. Save the soft inside for another recipe such as baked mushrooms.
- Brush the inside of the bread and the inside of the lid with the Umeboshi Purée mixture.
- Now start to layer the vegetables inside the bread, one at a time, so that they are in different coloured stripes. Place basil leaves in between some of the layers and season with a little black pepper. Once you have used up all the vegetables drizzle over the remaining olive oil, put on the lid and wrap the bread in cling film.
- Leave the bread in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, preferably over night, so that the flavours can meld together and the vegetables set in place, which will make it easier to cut.
Celia Plender is a freelance food writer and chef with experience in both Japan and the UK. She has written for publications including Time Out Magazine, channel4.com/4food, goodfoodchannel.co.uk and clearspring.co.uk.
Since returning from Japan, where she worked as a chef in a Tokyo kaiseki restaurant, she has devoted more and more of her time to Japanese cuisine. As she trained in the West, she is also fully conversant with European cuisine.
She is the proud editor of two cookbooks: Dashi and Umami, the Heart of Japanese Cuisine (Cross Media 2009) and Umami World Recipes, Filipino (Cross Media 2009).
In her food writing career she has written for various magazines and websites, including www.channel4.com/4Food, where she is currently Deputy Editor, www.goodfoodchannel.co.uk, Time Out Eating and Drinking Guides, www.Eat-Japan.com and www.clearspring.co.uk. She is also a member of the Guild of Food Writers.