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a white ceramic basket with black and white gingham napkin in it filled with pressed meat and cheese sandwiches.
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Italian Pressed Sandwich

The game day make ahead sandwich that can be customized to your crew.
Course Dinner, game day, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Pressing Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 1 lb loaf of ciabatta bread sliced in half horizontally
  • ¼ lb hard salami sliced thin
  • lb roasted turkey not too thin
  • lb smoked ham not too thin
  • lb sharp provolone sliced extra thin

For the dressing

  • cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

For the pickled onions

  • ½ red onion thinly sliced
  • white vinegar or more if needed
  • ½ teaspoon sugar optional

Optional

  • fresh basil
  • peppadew peppers
  • black olives

Instructions

  • Slice the red onions thinly and mix with the white vinegar. Set aside for approximately 10-15 minutes until the color intensifies.
  • Wrap a concrete paver or brick with foil and set aside.
  • Slice the ciabatta horizontally starting at the short end working your way down the loaf. Hollow out both sides of the ciabatta within ¼-½" all around. [See photo above].* You want to leave a shell but not so thin you can see through the bread or make a hole.
  • Combine dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Using a pastry brush, generously brush the inside of the bread up to the edges. Don't oversaturate the bread.
  • Beginning with the top side of the bread, start layering the meats and cheeses. I started with the turkey, salami, ham, cheese and then the peppers and onions. I realize this might be backwards but I like the taste at the end of the veggies. It's up to you! [Don't overfill or you won't be able to close the sandwich!]
  • Put the bottom on the sandwich.
  • Create a criss-cross of 2 equally sized pieces of parchment paper. Fold up around the sandwich. Repeat with foil.
  • Place the sandwich in a cast iron skillet or heavy pan. Place a slightly larger pan on top of the sandwich and add your foil covered brick (or gallon of milk or something equally as heavy).
  • Load this whole contraption into a lower fridge shelf and let it do its thing overnight or longer.
  • When ready to serve, use a serrated knife to slice the sandwich into equal pieces.

Notes

*Use leftover bread pieces for Thanksgiving stuffing or homemade croutons.
Make ahead. Can be made ahead up to two days ahead. The leftovers will keep for around 3 days. After that the bread gets a little soggy (but we've been known to still eat it!)