Ideal for a swift and satisfying lunch or a snack on the run, this hearty Mediterranean masterpiece guarantees culinary delight at any time. A robust Italian loaf serves as the foundation for a symphony of four assorted artisanal cured meats, creamy provolone cheese, and a cornucopia of crispy vegetables, all impeccably dressed in a delectable homemade sauce.
For an elevated twist, consider crafting your own ciabatta bread from scratch; it will take your sandwich experience to new heights. Once you savor this creation, it will undoubtedly ascend to the summit of your sandwich favorites. Plus, the magic truly unfolds after it has enjoyed some quality rest in the fridge, so preparing it a day ahead is a splendid idea. Complete the meal with a side of zesty fries, and you’ll have yourself a gastronomic masterpiece!
Wondering about the essential ingredients for an Italian sandwich? It starts with a foundation of crusty Italian bread, artfully slathered with a layer of velvety mayonnaise, ready to embrace an ensemble of cold cuts and provolone cheese. Shredded lettuce, delicate tomato slices, crimson red onions, vibrant bell peppers, briny black olives, and a drizzle of vinaigrette (you can opt for store-bought dressing if you prefer) bring vibrancy and texture to the sandwich.
When it comes to condiments, simplicity reigns supreme in this recipe. Mayonnaise and a hint of Italian dressing are all it truly craves! Of course, you’re welcome to incorporate your personal favorites. A touch of zesty pepper relish or fiery mustard can elevate the flavor profile to exhilarating heights!
YIELDS: 4 – 8 servings PREP TIME: 15 minutes TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN DRESSING:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE SANDWICH:
- 1 loaf of freshly baked Italian bread (approximately 1 pound)
- 1/4 cup luscious mayonnaise
- 1/4 pound thinly sliced salami
- 1/4 pound delicate pepperoni slices
- 1/4 pound paper-thin capicola or succulent ham
- 1/4 pound razor-thin mortadella or flavorful bologna
- 1/4 pound thinly sliced provolone cheese
- 3 cups crisp shredded lettuce
- 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup finely sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives, thoroughly drained
- For the Mediterranean Dressing: In a jar with a secure lid, merge the extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, dried basil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Shake vigorously to achieve a harmonious blend.
- For the Sandwich: Position the loaf of bread on a cutting board, perpendicular to you. Employ a serrated knife to slice it lengthwise through the center of the loaf, stopping just short of entirely splitting the bread. This will enable you to open the loaf like a book.
- Hollow out approximately 1 inch of the inner bread from both the top and bottom of the loaf, ensuring a 1/2-inch border along the edges.
- Spread the velvety mayonnaise evenly over the cut surface of the bottom half of the bread. Arrange the salami slices in an even layer, artfully overlapping as necessary. Repeat the layering process with the pepperoni, capicola (or ham), mortadella (or bologna), and provolone cheese.
- Crown this masterpiece with the generous mound of shredded lettuce, luscious tomato slices, slivers of red onion, plump black olives, and zesty banana peppers. Drizzle approximately half of the Mediterranean dressing over the vibrant vegetables on the sandwich (reserve the remainder for serving on the side). Gently fold the top portion of the bread over the vegetable ensemble.
- Insert 8 (6-inch) skewers at intervals of about 1 1/2 inches into the sandwich. Employ a serrated knife to slice the sandwich neatly between the skewers, creating individual portions. Serve promptly and relish the Mediterranean delight!
SOURCE of the pictures: the pioneer woman