These packable Italian Pressed Sandwiches are stuffed with ham, salami, provolone, pesto and roasted red peppers! The flavor combo is big and even better, you can feed a crowd with them!
Perfect lunch or appetizer! With no mayo to spoil the party, these are much more picnic friendly.
I made these for our picnic last week along with our Wedge Salad Platter, and talk about going in style. We rocked our red solo cups full of Mimosa’s and ate like kings on a beach on Puget Sound!
How to make Italian Pressed Sandwiches:
First we start with a loaf of store bought ciabatta bread. Ciabatta works best because it’s so dense. If you can not find ciabatta, focaccia will work and as a last resort, you can cut the center out of a large loaf of french bread. I have done this several times and it works great!
Slather one side of the sliced bread with pesto, the other with olive oil.
TIP: Be careful to not oversaturate your bread with the oil and pesto to avoid soggy bread. Scoop the pesto out with a slotted spoon leaving the oil behind if it’s a particularly oily brand. (I like the Kirkland brand, more pesto than oil).
Important: Pat dry your roasted red peppers with paper towels.
You want as much moisture out of them as possible so they don’t mush up your sammie.
Layer your Italian Pressed Sandwich in this order:
- Ham slices
- Roasted Red Peppers
- Provolone slices
- As long as the salami and ham are on the bread itself, the order of the inside ingredients isn’t that critical. You are just trying to keep the bread from getting soft.
Three sammies ready to party! These are great to make in batches. Just line ’em up!
After you assemble your sandwich and wrap in plastic wrap, you will need to press it.
This is where you get to be all clever and stuff. I asked Mr. L. Spatula to help out and he rocked the sammie squishing ingenuity! Finally putting that Kettle Ball to good use…
Put in the fridge overnight. You could probably get away with a few hours if your bread is not too thick.
Slice with a sharp serrated knife and cut into about 3 inch pieces. I like to add a toothpick with a few olives or a pickle on top before serving.
Needless to say there are a zillion different ingredients you can use but I find the two most essential are pesto and roasted red peppers. It really give it a big flavor punch.
Some other great ideas are ham and swiss, roasted chicken and cream cheese, roast beef and havarti. The options are endless!
Serve with with one of our pasta salads and you have the perfect totable meal!
To picnics, sammies and kettle balls!
Check out this video of our Italian Pressed Sandwiches here!
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Pressed Italian Sandwiches
- 1 loaf ciabatta bred
- 1/2 pound sliced deli ham
- 1/2 pound sliced provolone
- 1 15 ounce jar roasted whole red peppers - drained and patted dry...as dry as you can get them
- 2 cups spinach leaves - stems removed
- 1/4 pound sliced salami
- 1/3 cup Pesto if your pesto is particularly oily, scoop out the driest part leaving the majority of the oil to make sure your bread doesnt get mushy
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil,
- Salt and pepper
- Slice bread horizontally. Don't worry if it isn't perfect. When these are pressed and sliced, nobody will notice!
- Spread pesto on one half of the bread and olive oil on the other. Salt and pepper over olive oil side.
- Layer your ingredients. Ham, peppers, provolone , spinach, salami.
- Add the top of the bread on and wrap tightly in plastic wrap several times.
- Place the wrapped sandwich on a cookie sheet. Add a large baking dish and some weight on top. Bricks, a cast iron pan, hand weights or kettle ball are a few suggestions!
- Store in refrigerator overnight or at least 2 hours. Remove plastic, slice and serve!
- Garnish with toothpicks and olives if desired.