Make Ahead

Party sandwich loaf redux...

May 21, 2011
Author Notes

...and reduced. This is a simple mini version. The full size party sandwich loaf, so popular maybe thirty years ago, certainly has fallen out of fashion. No doubt there are many who think this is deservedly so. One cook has written about the party loaf as an item your family and friends will hate you for, if you dare make it! Well my best friend, who was a Brazilian architect, back in graduate school, made me one frosted entirely with mayonnaise for my wedding reception. And I loved her for it. Fillings included hearts of palm and ham salad. It was not only beautiful, but also delicious. One trick, passed along from my architect, always thinking about structural integrity, is to make sure the unsliced loaf of bread is squared off on all sides before beginning. I have made a mini loaf here because I had leftover bread slices and delicious aioli. But I hope you consider creating a more updated version of the full size sandwich loaf, too, which you can love using aioli. —Sagegreen

  • Makes one mini party loaf
  • 4 slices of soft, but really good sandwich bread
  • softened sweet cream butter
  • 2 or 3 different kinds of your prize sandwich fillings (you can repeat one filling if you prefer)
  • 3 ounces softened goat cheese mixed with 1 oz full fat Greek yogurt and 1 tbl. of aioli
  • 2-3 ounces homemade aioli
  • herbs, pickled vegetables, vegetables for garnish
  • greens for garnish (red cress featured)
In This Recipe
  1. Stack all the slices of bread together on a cutting board; then cut the largest rectangle you can from the stack by trimming away all the crusts and then some. You want these 4 slices to stack up perfectly. Lightly butter all sides of the slices except the bottom face.
  2. Spread each of selected sandwich fillings, layer by layer: What you select should all go well together. Crab meat salad, roasted pepper hummus, egg salad, spinach pesto aioli, whipped goat cheese with roasted tomatoes and rosemary, chopped cucumber and cress (good to include a salad course in your trio), salmon salad in mustard dill, ham salad in horseradish mustard, or chicken tarragon are some ideas to consider...but design a compatible combination you will love. Make sure you will be able to slice through each layer effortlessly, and that the layers will remain in tact, so select wisely. One interior layer can use aioli in the mix, but I would not use it on more. My recipe for the aioli can be found on this site- Reserve the rest of the aioli for the top. Keep the mini loaf straight. Press down gently as you build the layers.
  3. Next frost the loaf. I suggest you use a goat cheese mixed with yogurt and aioli as a spread for all the sides. Maybe use straight aioli for the top. Garnish with suitable herbs and pickled vegetables. Chill for a few hours for the flavors to permeate and for the layers to meld a bit together: this makes slicing easy later. Garnish the plate with greens. Slice and serve. Don't hate me if you don't like this! But if you do like this, then you could make a whole full size loaf of unsliced bread, which you then slice horizontally into 3 or 4 layers.
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