If you are looking for a delicious make-ahead lunch idea that is perfect for work, picnics or a fast + easy meal, these Pressed Italian Sandwiches are for you. Made on toasted ciabatta bread with layers of thinly sliced deli meats and cheese, these tasty little sammies are delish. Keep reading to learn how easy it is to make these deli-style eats.
Pressed Italian Sandwiches
This sandwich recipe was inspired by this yummy poppy seed and onion ciabatta bread that I found at my local bakery. Any ciabatta bread will do. The dense and chewy bread holds up well to the toppings and pressing and doesn't fall apart like a normal white bread would do.
First, I lightly brushed both sides of the split ciabatta bread with olive oil and toasted them until they were slightly brown and soft.
The next step is to layer your sandwiches high with your favorite deli items. For our Italian Pressed Sandwiches, we used salty salami, ham, provolone, sliced red onions and roasted red peppers. I love the flavor of roasted red peppers, don't you? They are a great way to add color, texture and flavor to any sandwich.
But I've got to admit, what really makes this pressed sandwich recipe pop is our super fast and super easy olive mix. Just chop up some green olives and mix with your favorite Italian salad dressing. Let it rest for several minutes so the flavors can meld. Then add a generous amount to the top of each sammie. YUM!
These sandwiches are edible as is, right? But I love the flavor of a pressed sandwich. They sit for a few hours or overnight and the taste is incredible. So how do we press our cold cut sandwiches?
Wrap each sandwich in wax paper or parchment paper. Nothing fancy, just fold and tuck.
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Then we weight them down to "press" them with a heavy object. In our case, our trust cast iron skillet does the trick. Anything that will press them down and will fit in your fridge for a few hours or over night.
The result is a picnic-worthy sandwich that is savory and tangy and delicious! These sandwiches are great to make for a gathering, quick dinners for outdoor activities (think baseball practice, etc.). Once pressed, you can toss them in a zipped plastic bag and place in a cooler for ultimate portability. That gives me an idea...these would be great for a day at the lake or beach, too.
Pressed Italian Sandwiches
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split the ciabatta buns and arrange them on a baking sheet. Brush the inside of each bun evenly with the olive oil. Toast in the warmed oven for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl combine the chopped olives and Italian dressing. Let rest at room temperature while assembling the sandwiches.
- On the bottom of each toasted ciabatta bun, arrange the deli meats, cheese, red onions, roasted peppers as desired.
- Spoon some of the olive mixture on top of each sandwich, then top with the ciabatta top bun.
- Wrap each sandwich with wax paper or parchment paper. Top the sandwiches with another baking pan and then weight it down with a heavy object like a cast iron skillet.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to overnight. Keep chilled until serving.