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Pressed Italian Sandwiches

Photo: Erin Kunkel
Prep time 20 mins
Press time 30 mins

Makes 8 servings

These hearty pressed Italian sandwiches are weighted to compress the layers, but we’ve found that stuffing the filled ciabatta loaf into a pack to tote to the beach or on the trail also does the trick nicely. If you’re taking these sandwiches camping, fill and cut the loaf before you leave the car or camp, then wrap the loaf in foil followed by a large resealable plastic bag.


  • 1 ciabatta loaf (about 8 by 14 by 2 in.)
  • 1/2 cup store-bought black or green olive tapenade
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced Genoa salami
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced spicy Italian cold cuts, such as coppa or capocolla
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, torn into bite-size pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Information

  • calories 398
  • caloriesfromfat 66 %
  • protein 20 g
  • fat 29 g
  • satfat 8.5 g
  • carbohydrate 22 g
  • fiber 1.2 g
  • sodium 1449 mg
  • cholesterol 64 mg

How to Make It

  1. Cut ciabatta in half horizontally. Spread bottom half with tapenade. Drizzle cut side of top half with vinegar and oil.

  2. Arrange salami on top of tapenade, followed by the prosciutto, cold cuts, mozzarella, red pepper, and basil. Sprinkle with pepper to taste and place top half of loaf on filling.

  3. Wrap sandwich thoroughly with plastic wrap or foil. Place a heavy cutting board or other flat object on top of sandwich and weight it down with a 2- to 4-lb. weight (such as a large pot or six-pack of soda). Let sit 30 minutes to 2 hours. Unwrap, cut into eighths, and serve.

Also appeared in: Sunset, August, 2007;