‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’
Pressed without panini grill
My introduction to pressed sandwiches was in south Florida at Cuban eateries. They’re loaded with sliced ham and roast pork with dill pickles and provolone and grilled in a panini press. These Italian ones are similar in that they have a couple kinds of sliced meats and cheese but with an olive-pepper mixture rather than pickles.
Never fear, you don’t have to own a panini press. You just need a heavy brick or similar to weigh it down. Time does the rest. Stow Italian Pressed Sandwiches away in the fridge for a few hours then pack them off to the concert even in the bottom of your basket. The sturdy ciabatta holds up to the juicy olive-pepper mixture. No mayo needed.
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Recipe: Italian Pressed Sandwiches
Active Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 4 Hours 20 Minutes | Yield: 4 Servings
1 5×11 loaf ciabatta
4-5 large pieces roasted red peppers packed in oil, chopped
5 pepperoncini peppers, chopped
12 manzanilla olives, chopped
1/3 lb deli-sliced roast turkey
1/3 lg deli-sliced ham
1/4 lb deli-sliced salami
8 slices provolone cheese
Special Equipment – Small cutting board or platter plus some bricks or other heavy items to press the sandwich
1 Cut the loaf of ciabatta horizontally. Pull off a layer of bread from the inside of the lid. Drizzle both sides with balsamic vinegar.
2 Combine the chopped roasted red peppers, pepperoncini and olives. Evenly spread over the bottom side of the loaf.
3 Layer the turkey, ham and salami, then cheese. Top with the lid. Place on a small cutting board or platter and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Press down to compact the sandwich. Place in the fridge with another cutting board or some bricks on top to press. Chill for 3 hours or overnight.
4 Cut into 4 large oblong sandwiches or 8 small ones.
Use the bread pulled off for bread crumbs, rustic croutons, or stuffing.
Use a thick, syrupy balsamic vinegar.
Chop the roasted red peppers, pepperoncini and olives on a cutting board, then mix them together right on the board.
These sandwiches can be made a day ahead and pressed overnight.
- Exchange turkey, ham and salami for any deli meats desired, roast beef, pepperoni, pastrami, corned beef, etc.
- Exchange provolone for any cheese desired: cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss, etc. Also try crumbled feta or mozzarella.
- Exchange balsamic vinegar for pesto.
Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Italian Pressed Sandwiches
Written by Helen Horton
Recipe Tester for The Washington Post
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: June 16, 2014