Italian Pressed Sandwiches

Serves 6
Boys love Italian hero sandwiches. This pressed version borrows those flavors, but with less bread, more filling, and a compact result. Lay out sandwich fixings—your choice—on a whole loaf of bread that’s been halved lengthwise, then cut it into several sections for a quick and efficient way to make multiple sandwiches. You can prepare the whole sandwich the night before and cut it into individual sandwiches in the morning. The flavors actually improve over several hours, as it sits, pressed down by a heavy object, making it a great choice for a picnic or long road trip. Generally I like to keep the fillings down to a few good ingredients so you can taste the individual flavors. Try sun-dried tomatoes and dried oregano outside of tomato season. In summer, choose fresh tomatoes and basil.


  • 1 rectangular ciabatta or other thick-crusted bread, about 18 inches long by 5 inches wide
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound hard salami, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 5 whole sun-dried tomatoes, in oil, thinly sliced


  1. Slice the bread horizontally and lay each half, cut side up, on a work surface. Drizzle with olive oil. On one half, lay down the prosciutto to cover. Repeat with the salami and mozzarella. Top with the pepper, oregano, and sun-dried tomatoes. Cover with the other half of the bread.
  2. Press down on the sandwich and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. Press under heavy saucepans or cans for up to overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to eat or pack, unwrap the loaf, cut into servings, and serve, or rewrap and pack.
cook's note
The Right Bread: Make pressed sandwiches with an Italian ciabatta or French baguette or another firm-crusted bread that can stand up to the weight of the ingredients and absorb their moisture without falling apart. Sandwiches made with firm-crusted bread can also be assembled and pressed in advance. If the loaf is too thick, scoop out some bread from the inner part; this also makes room to layer the filling. Reserve for bread crumbs.
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