Spring Picnic
Celebrity chef Jamika Pessoa is putting together a spring picnic with an Italian pressed sandwich and lemon herb potato pasta salad.
Spring Picnic
Lunch, Dinner
Seasonal Event:


  • Parchment paper
  • Kitchen twine or string
  • 3-5 pound weighted object (examples: brick, cast iron skillet)
  • 2 sheet pans
  • Cling wrap

Ingredients for Italian Pressed Sandwich

  • 1 large loaf Ciabatta bread or any Focaccia Italian bread
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp prepared pesto
  • Assortment of thinly sliced Italian meats such as Prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, ham, etc.
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers or 1 (16 oz.) jar roasted peppers
  • 4 oz fresh Arugula
  • Provolone cheese, thinly sliced

Ingredients for Lemon Herb Potato Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb red potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
  • ½ lb orecchiette pasta or rotini
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, medium dice
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, medium dice
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

Ingredients for Dressing (For Pasta Salad)

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions for Italian Pressed Sandwich

  1. Cut 2 sheets of parchment paper. Lay one sheet of parchment onto sheet pan.
  2. Slice bread through the middle. Place bottom of bread on sheet of parchment paper.
  3. In a small bowl mix mayo and pesto. Generously spread pesto mayo on both sides of bread.
  4. Begin layering sandwich with meats. Then lay on red bell peppers.
  5. Arrange arugula leaves on top of peppers. Then place cheese slices on top. Repeat process for up to two or three layers.
  6. Cover final layer with bread top. Lay other parchment paper sheet on top of the sandwich. Fold up sides of paper around the sandwich. Rest second sheet pan on top of sandwich and parchment paper.
  7. Cut two strings of kitchen twine. Tie strings to secure pans tightly together.
  8. Wrap pans with cling wrap around sheet pans and sandwich like a present. Finish by placing weight on top of the sandwich.
  9. Place sandwich in the refrigerator with weight on top. Allow sandwich to rest weighted for at least 1-2 hours before unwrapping and slicing. The sandwich can be made a day in advance.

Directions for Lemon Herb Potato Pasta Salad

  1. Boil potatoes in salted water for 10-12 minutes until fork tender.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions until pasta is al dente. Run under colder water to stop pasta from continuing to cook.
  3. Set potatoes and pasta aside to cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together potatoes, pasta, bell pepper, onion, basil, and parsley.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients.
  6. Combine salad and dressing and stir until well incorporated.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve chilled or at room temperature.