Picnic Basket

Created by:

Deborah Biggs — Omaha, NE

Celebrate summer with The Picnic Basket. Stacked tall on homemade blueberry bread, this sandwich is loaded with charred pimento cheese that’s made with Wisconsin cream cheese and aged cheddar. Black Forest ham, fresh basil, and Wisconsin Swiss cheese complete the masterpiece.


For bread: Place rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of 9-by-5-inch nonstick loaf pan with parchment paper and coat sides and bottom of pan with no-stick baking spray with flour.

In large bowl, beat egg, sugar and lemon zest with electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute or until slightly thickened. In another bowl, stir flour, baking powder and salt until well blended..On low speed, gradually beat in alternating amounts of flour mixture and milk into egg mixture, beating just until smooth and blended after each addition. By hand, carefully stir in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake on center rack for 40 to 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on rack. If desired, bread may be wrapped tightly in plastic and stored overnight.

For pimento cheese: Heat broiler. Brush corn with oil. Broil for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until kernels are tender and slightly charred. Cool completely. With sharp knife, cut most of kernels from cob, to measure 1/3 cup. Reserve remaining kernels for another use or discard. In medium bowl, stir the 1/3 cup corn kernels, pimentos, bacon, cream cheese, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika and cheddar cheese until well blended. Set aside.

For assembly: Preheat broiler. Cut four 3/4-inch thick diagonal slices from center of blueberry bread and set aside. Spread 1 teaspoon softened butter on 1 side of each bread slice. Place butter-side-down in preheated large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown on buttered sides. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet, browned-sides-down. Spread pimento cheese evenly over 2 bread slices. Top remaining 2 bread slices with equal amounts of ham and Swiss cheese; broil 1 to 2 minutes or until cheeses are melted and bubbling. Remove from broiler and sprinkle with equal amounts of chopped basil. Place pimento cheese slices, cheese-side-down, over ham slices.



For Blueberry Bread:

  • Baking spray with flour for pan
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

For Charred Corn Pimento Cheese:

  • 1 small ear fresh corn, husk and silk removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons jarred pimentos, very well drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1 slice thick-cut bacon, cooked crisp and finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 ounces Wisconsin Cream Cheese, softened
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch garlic powder
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 ounces Wisconsin Aged Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

For Assembly:

  • 4 teaspoons salted butter, softened
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest ham
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced Wisconsin Swiss cheese
  • 6 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
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