Cast Iron

Mediterranean Pressed Picnic Sandwich

June 17, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

This is a take on both the Pan Bagnat and Muffaletta Sandwich of New Orleans, with a decidedly Italian twist. It's great for a bike ride, boat ride, or beach. It packs well, is easy to eat, and only gets better as the day goes on. Adapted from an old Martha Stewart recipe - you can put nearly anything you like in it, in most any proportion, as long as there is a lot of it. Vegetarian? Substitute strips of grilled eggplant, portobello mushroom and / or zucchini for the meat. Want more meat? Add some soprasetta or good salami. Make this the night before, or the morning of, your outing, but make it at least 4 hours in advance - everyone loves this. - Burnt Offerings —Burnt Offerings

Test Kitchen Notes

Awesome sandwich! With all of these tasty ingredients, how could you go wrong? The best part of this recipe (besides that you make it ahead) is the mobility of the sandwich. All of these ingredients are crumbly and messy, but when pressed and refrigerated overnight, it all stays together nicely. You could make this picnic pleasure out of just about any ingredients, but don’t leave out the fresh basil. It simply makes the sandwich. - nannydeb —nannydeb

What You'll Need
  • 1 loaf of good, round rosemary bread, or olive bread - about 12 inches across
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and julienned - reserve oil.
  • 8 oz. jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained, reserving marinade, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of purchased black olive tapenade
  • 10 oz. of good, high quality, prosciutto slices
  • 1 cup (large handful) of baby spinach and / or arugula leaves
  • 8 ounces jar of roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips for layering.
  • 6 oz. of crumbled goat cheese
  • 10-12 whole, large basil leaves
  1. Slice the loaf of bread in half horizontally, like a sandwich or hamburger bun, and remove the inside crumb from the top and bottom, leaving a 1/4 inch border all around. Save the crumbs for bread crumbs.
  2. Drain the artichokes and sun dried tomatoes, save their oils / marinades, and combine them together. To the marinade, add the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, dijon, and salt and pepper. Whisk well to incorporate and taste for seasoning - set aside. If the dressing is too strong, add a few teaspoons of olive oil as needed. You can also add some dried basil, oregano or rosemary if you like.
  3. Spread the inside of the TOP of the loaf with the olive tapenade, and lay the prosciutto slices in the BOTTOM, covering thoroughly.
  4. Layer the spinach, artichoke hearts, red pepper, goat cheese, basil leaves, and sun dried tomatoes on the prosciutto in that order. Make sure to cover the sandwich all the way to the edges as evenly as possible with every layer.
  5. Whisk the dressing well and carefully spoon in about 4 Tablespoons over the layers in the bread boule. Save the rest of the dressing for another use.
  6. Place the top with the tapenade back on top of the loaf and press down well to secure the top.
  7. Wrap the loaf securely in wax paper and butcher's twine, and then wrap again securely in aluminum foil. Place in the refrigerator overnight with a heavy cast iron pan or brick on the sandwich to weigh it down.
  8. When ready to serve, simply unwrap the sandwich and cut into wedges with a serrated knife. It will go quickly. Can be unrefrigerated for up to 4 hours as long as it isn't blazing hot, but I normally keep it in the cooler until about 1/2 hour before it's needed.
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4 Reviews

Linda D. July 29, 2020
Thanks so much for introducing me to the pressed sandwich! The flavor profile was a little sharp for me, so the next time I will spread a jam instead of the olive tapenade.
lorigoldsby June 27, 2011
Yep! That's a good one!
Lizthechef June 17, 2011
Oh my, what a winner! Thumbs up!
Burnt O. June 17, 2011
I have been making variations of this sandwich for at least 12 years. Even when the kids were little, and we took them hiking or something, they loved it. Pressed sandwich, pasta salad, fruit and cookies or brownies. Packable, portable and yummy.