Pressed Italian Sandwiches

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

I was standing in line at a grocery store the other day and got a whiff of the deli case and the combination of cured meats and pickled things reminded me of my childhood summers.

My summers didn’t involve outdoor picnics and Pressed Italian Sandwiches, though.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Every summer my brothers and I would spend our days stuffing envelopes, filing papers, playing with paperclips (+ Post-Its!) in my dad’s office.  My brothers would spend their time breaking into the kitchen vending machine, while I had chatted with ANYBODY who walked past me while I was making photocopies. I’m pretty sure we drove the office crazy.

Every day my dad would give us enough money for sandwiches and possibly a soda (if we ordered right). For a long period of time, I dreamt of a future career of being a bubbly receptionist with long lee-press-on- nails in front of a telephone switchboard.

I was in it for the daily deli sandwiches, mostly.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Perhaps this could be the Summer of Italian Pressed Sandwiches and outdoor picnics? Or maybe you can make you and your coworkers some of these sandwiches and get outside for a lunch/office/picnic situation?  Eat outside whenever you can during this season!  Good weather should be celebrated with food that is easy to make and packed with flavor. And when it’s hot outside and you don’t feel like cooking, a really good sandwich can do the trick.

Let’s gather our ingredients:

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

You could totally make this vegetarian (or even vegan!) if you need to.

Just omit the meat… or cheese…or both… depending on who you are serving.

All of the flavors are pretty amazing together.

My husband said, “This tastes VERY Italian.”

He’s not wrong.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

We start with ciabatta. Cut that bad boy in half.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

If you’re like me and Trader Joe’s is one of your staple grocery stores, you will appreciate that everything I bought for this recipe was from there! Solid gold.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Hello, olive tapenade.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Followed by your meats!

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts. Also, we drizzle the other side of the bread with balsamic vinegar + olive oil.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Finish with the fresh mozzarella and basil.

Marry the sides.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

With this plastic wrap, I thee wed.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Put a flat surface on top of your sandwich.

Put cans on top of that surface.

The trick is to pressed it down so all of those good flavors meld.

THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD FLAVORS.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

After resting for about an hour to two hours we have this!

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

EXAMINE THIS DELICIOUS BEAST.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Real talk: we had this for lunch and then I put the leftovers in the panini press for dinner.

That’s SUMMER LIVING for you.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches for your Summer picnics! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

I love a good sandwich, don’t you??

Pressed Italian Sandwiches

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makes about 8 servings

recipe adapted from Sunset Magazine

  • 1 ciabatta loaf
  • 1/2 cup store-bought olive tapenade
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced spicy Italian cold cuts, such as coppa or capocolla
  • 1/4 pound salami
  • 3 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 oz. marinated artichoke hearts
  • 8 leaves fresh basil, torn into bite-size pieces
  • fresh cracked pepper

 

Cut the ciabatta loaf in half lengthwise. Spread bottom half with tapenade. Drizzle cut side of top half with balsamic vinegar and oil.

Arrange salumi on top of tapenade, followed by the cold cuts, prosciutto, mozzarella, red pepper, artichoke hearts and basil. Season liberally with fresh cracked pepper and place top half of loaf on filling.

Wrap sandwich thoroughly with plastic wrap or foil. Place heavy cutting board or baking sheet on top of sandwich and weigh down with about 2-4 lbs of weight (try a large pot or canned goods!). Let sit for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Unwrap, cut into eighths, and serve.

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  • Karen

    Ooh, one quick trip to Trader Joe’s and the perfect picnic sandwich! Thanks, Tracy!

  • ellen

    Love this and love that it is pressed cold. YUM!

  • Helena

    Looks great for summer. We don’t love olives/tapenade. Is there something you might suggest in replacement or just leave it out? Thanks!

    • Tracy

      You can definitely omit it. They add a salty vibe to the picnic, so perhaps add more artichoke hearts? :)

  • Emily

    I’m going to see Amos Lee next month at an outdoor place where everyone brings a picnic. This will be perfect! It’s basically a bunch of Trader Joe’s items I usually take to picnics all rolled into a package much easier to transport and eat on the grass. Thank you!

  • fusilliamy

    Gabagool! This is everything I want to eat right now. Last trip to Trader Joe’s the tapenade caught my eye – it was meant to be!

    • Natalie

      Yes!!!! Gabagool! You must be Italian! This sandwich is a work of art. Salivating!

  • Kesha

    This is almost seduction! I love this sandwich and olive tapenade! Yum! I will be making a trip to Trader Joes soon, very soon!

  • Natalie

    Tracy, you are a goddess! Simple but complex flavors! You must have some Italian heritage!

  • Tammi

    Hey, Tracy. This looks great. I printed off your shopping list and the only item it didn’t list was the salumi. Fortunately, I have some in the fridge. Sending my husband and 14 year old son off camping with this sandwich. Thanks for all of your hard work + inspiration through your blog and IG.

    • Tracy

      Thanks for letting me know! You never know what I’m gonna miss! xoxox

  • Sarah

    The bottom of mine ended up being quite oil soaked, so I’m toasting it now..I used pesto instead of tapenade, so that’s probably why..Love this recipe though, and how versatile it is. I think the toasted version will be awrsone.

  • Laura

    Just had these for dinner tonight and they were delicious!! Thanks, Tracy!!

  • Grace

    Made this for a beach day in Cape May, NJ, and it was sooo amazing! I pressed it overnight,and it wasn’t soggy at all! Thanks, Tracy!

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