Piqniq at the Pique

1 Aug

Bow Valley, c. 1920 Carl Rungius

Back in our mountain town days, a squished peanut butter sandwich and an orange was our preferred summit lunch.

You work up a mighty appetite hiking into the back of beyond, but heavy food will just make you feel sick.

Rundle Mountain, Banff Peter Whyte c 1932

Nowadays, we love to surprise our friends with the unexpected at the peak. Something refined. A little alpen hiking fare. We’ve been collecting vintage biscuit and toffee tins — rectangular and small circular — that fit perfectly into our pack, holding gourmet sandwiches, dried fruit and nuts, and other treats.

Another perk for long hikes: a thermos of hot, sweet mint tea and the surprise snack:

Bernard Callebaut chocolate bars tucked into good French bread. Who cares if it gets squished in the bottom of your pack? It will be melty and lovely at the top.

We like the idea of stuffing a soft pretzel or a pretzel bun with Swiss salami and gruyere. A skiff of good butter is mandatory.
We really like these served with cornichons and other pickles. Very civilized. Very Swiss!

Below is our go-to hiking sandwich, evolved from this vintage Martha circular sub sandwich. It packs perfectly tied to our portable wooden cutting board, which features a built-in knife. Packed at the bottom of our backpack, the sandwich becomes a perfectly compressed treat by the time you’ve stopped for lunch. We have many variations of this one. Sometimes its herbed cream cream cheese with artichokes and Parma ham.
We’d like to try a roasted veggie sandwich with our newly purchased balsamic glaze. yummerz.

Martha Stewart
A big loaf-size sandwich makes a dramatic statement, whether it’s the centerpiece of a casual party or the consummate picnic lunch. Ours feeds about twelve: Begin with a ciabatta loaf or some other rustic Italian bread. Remove and discard the center of bread. Spread olive paste on the bottom half. Lay on roasted red bell peppers, fresh goat cheese, and marinated artichokes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Lay on prosciutto and salami, and drizzle again with balsamic vinegar. Top with herbs (basil, cilantro, and parsley) and top half of bread. Double-wrap in baker’s parchment or plastic wrap. Secure wrapped sandwich to wood cutting board with twine. Place a brick or a cast-iron skillet on top of sandwich for at least 1 hour to flatten. Taking care not to cut paper, slide a serrated knife between sandwich and cutting board. Place sandwich (with brick removed) into picnic basket. At lunchtime, unwrap sandwich, slice, and serve. This sandwich can be made a day in advance.
without dressing; add dressing at least an hour before.


Another great mountaintop treat

Parma ham, smoked turkey,
marinated artichokes,
herb and garlic cream cheese,
sundried tomatoes,
fresh basil.

SAUSAGE SALAD (Wurstsalat)
Recipes from Delicious Days

(For hiking, we would pack the salad and pita separately and let our guests fill their pita sandwiches or eat the salad on its own.)

200 g sausage (Stadtwurst, Lyoner, RegensburgerCervela)
150 g Emmenthaler or gruyere cheese
100 g pickled gherkins/cornichons
100 g red onions
4 tbsp water from the canned gherkins
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 tbsp vegetable oil (or pumpkinseed oil)
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

pita bread
Prepare the ingredients: Peel and slice the sausage into either fine slices or stripes, the cheese into fine stripes. Cut the gherkins into little cubes and half the onions before you cut them into thin slices. Add the ingredients to a large bowl.

Dress the salad with water from the gherkins preserve, vinegar and vegetable oil, then season to taste with sea salt and black pepper and toss gently. Chill for at least half an hour – re-season if necessary.

Genoa Salami, Tomato and Cheese Pitas
Canadian Living
Similar to the recipe above. Pack in ziplocks or spill-proof containers and spoon into pita pockets.
8 oz Genoa salami, cubed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1-1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup cubed Parmesan or Cheddar cheese or provolone cheese
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
4 pitas, halved

In large bowl, combine salami, tomatoes, cheese, red onion, oil, vinegar and pepper. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days.) Stir in basil. Divide among pitas.


2 Responses to “Piqniq at the Pique”

  1. calmyourbeans July 6, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    Reblogged this on calmyourbeans.


  1. Health Nut Cookies « Saucy Cherie - January 18, 2013

    […] time spent in the mountains requires something substantial. We love our famous hiking sammie and Evelyn’s cranberry cookies, but we really love the idea of these crunchy nut […]

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