You don’t need to be in Rome to taste the goodness of its famous press sandwich. This Italian styled sandwich brings smiles on face every time I even think of making them. No matter how many times you have had it before, it never fails to mesmerize me with its Italian flavors.
Addition of red peppers, goat cheese and provolone provides a savory twist over its traditional version. Moreover, prosciutto adds major flair to this special sandwich. You can also refrigerate leftover sandwich and have it after reheating on your cast iron skillet.
Soft and scrumptious salami pump up the sandwich’s the irresistible gooeyness. Its rich Italian flavors really stand it from other sandwiches.
- 1 clove garlic, mashed
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 t dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ciabatta loaf
- 8 ounces goat cheese
- 8 thin slices prosciutto
- 1 15-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
- 1 12-ounce container marinated bocconcini mozzarella balls, sliced in half
- 1 16 ounce jar pepperoncini, drained and split in half
- ¼ pound salami
- 1 7½ ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced thin
- ¼ pound thinly sliced provolone
- 12 basil leaves
- 6 T pesto
- 1Put the mashed garlic and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil to create an emulsion. Add dried basil and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- 2Split the ciabatta in half by slicing through lengthwise so you have two large flat pieces of bread. Place the halves facing up so the inside of the bread is facing you. Using your fingers, remove as much of the soft bread as possible, leaving the crust intact. You are making room for all of the good stuff. The interior of the bread can be saved to make homemade bread crumbs.
- 3Divide the goat cheese into two portions and spread each half of the ciabatta with half of the goat cheese. The goat cheese serves to create a moisture barrier that will keep the bread from getting mushy.
- 4Starting with the bottom half of the ciabatta, build the sandwich in layers. Start with prosciutto, add the red peppers, the bocconcini and the pepperoncini. Drizzle half the dressing over the pepperoncini. Continue layering the salami, the artichoke hearts, the provolone and the basil. Drizzle with remaining dressing.
- 5Spread the inside of the top half of the ciabatta with pesto and place it on the top of the sandwich.
- 6Wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and place on a tray. Weight the sandwich down with something heavy. I use a large rock, a cast iron skillet and a brick - the heaviest compact items I can find.
- 7Press the sandwich for at least four hours and up to 24 hours. When you are ready to serve it put 28 toothpicks in the top of the sandwich in four rows of 7 toothpicks. The toothpicks will be about 1½ " apart. Slice between the toothpicks.