Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pressed Italian Sandwiches

Start with the good stuff and there's no way you can go wrong.

Inspired by this pin that was blowing up my Pinterest dashboard the other day, I made my own attempt at pressed italian sandwiches. You need at least 6 hours to let this flatten, so you have to think ahead on this one in your meal planning. These would be great to throw together Sunday night so dinner is just waiting for you in the fridge when you get home from work on Monday.

You'll need:

  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread
  • 2 tbs pesto
  • 6 oz fresh mozzarella
  • 4 - 6 oz of italian deli meats 
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 cup arugula 
  • 1 beefsteak or roma tomato

Serves four.

First, we'll make a quick italian vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano and garlic salt in a medium sized bowl. Add some fresh cracked pepper to the mix, stir, and then add in the tomato, sliced, and the arugula. Toss until the tomato and greens are evenly coated. Set aside.

Next, slice the loaf in half horizontally. I only used 3/4 of the loaf I purchased because it was GIANT. Judge roughly how much you'll need for four people. I like a high meat to bread ratio, but that's just me. 

Take 2 tbs pesto and spread it along the bottom half of the ciabatta. Add the sliced deli meats on top. I found a great mix at Trader Joe's that had salami, prosciutto and capocollo. Other great options would be mortadella or Parmacotto-style ham. Slice the mozzarella and place that in a layer on top of the meat. Top that with the arugula, tomato and italian vinaigrette mixture. Place the other half of the ciabatta on top, dummy.

Yummy layers of italian goodness.

Way too tall before shot.

Now, wrap the sandwich in cling wrap or wax paper and tie with twine or more cling wrap. Place the wrapped sandwich on a large plate or cutting board. Use a heavy skillet to flatten the sandwich. The heavier the better. Put the plate-sandwich-skillet sandwich in the fridge for at least six hours.

Here's mine before it went into the fridge. I later added some cans of food on top to really weigh this sucker down.

After six hours in the fridge.

When the sandwich has been pressed, slice into servings depending on how hungry you are. You could split this in half for two lumberjacks, or slice them into little rectangles for cocktails with the ladies. This recipe is also an ideal sandwich for a picnic or movie at the park night.

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