Monday, July 16, 2012

Pressed Picnic Sandwich

Pressed Picnic Sandwich 2

It's hot here. I know it's the same way for most of the country.

I’m not complaining. Well, maybe I am complaining a little cause I despise the heat.

At least we had electricity. I know lots of folks who didn’t have that luxury for quite a while. I cannot imagine going through a heat wave without a fan or air conditioner. I swear I would have just parked myself at the ocean until it cooled down.

So it’s hot and the last thing you feel like doing is heating up the oven, or some nights, even the stove.

You need something delicious, but cold.

Now that the garden is producing cucumbers we'll be having them as a side a lot. The kids don't like cukes. Can you imagine? It's fine with us, with 8 plants we'll be swimming in them this summer, what we don't eat, we share with neighbors and family, so nothing goes to waste.

Last weekend was humid and muggy which called for a cool meal that didn't require an oven, stove top or even a microwave.

I picked up a nice ciabatta and filled it with the most delicious cheese and meats, slathered it with pesto and added in fresh basil. Then it went into the fridge overnight to get squished.

Here it is before the squishing commenced.

Pressed Picnic Sandwich

We placed a clipboard on top of it and then a 24 pound weight. That sucker was getting flattened for sure. The next day we took it out, sliced it into thin pieces and enjoyed every chilly bite.

After squishing.

Pressed Picnic Sandwich 1

This would be perfect for a picnic, the beach, or sliced into cubes  held together with a toothpick (which is what I did with the other half of the sandwich). Little bites of deliciousiness!

Pressed Picnic Sandwich
recipe from Crepes of Wrath - great site!
1 large loaf of ciabatta bread, sliced lengthwise
3-4 tablespoons fresh pesto
1/4 lb. sliced sweet sopressata
3-4 slices good prosciutto
3-4 slices provolone cheese
3-4 slices mozzarella cheese
6-8 basil leaves, washed and patted dry
plastic wrap, for wrapping the sandwiches

Slice the ciabatta bread lengthwise, so that there is a top and a bottom slice. Spread 3-4 tablespoons of fresh pesto over the bottom piece of bread. I like a lot of pesto, but don’t use so much that the bread becomes soggy.

Top the pesto with the sopressata, then the provolone, then the prosciutto and mozzarella cheese. Top the cheese with your basil leaves, then place the top of the bread on the sandwich. Press down on the sandwiches with your hands, then very tightly wrap them in plastic wrap (seriously – do this as tight as you possible can). Place the sandwich in the fridge and top with lots of heavy books, a weighted down pot or pan, or whatever other heavy objects you can find. I used 3 very heavy books, then put a 10 pound hand-weight on top of those, and let them sit in the fridge overnight – I did mine for a full 24 hours, but even just 3-4 hours, with plenty of weight applied, will yield beautifully pressed sandwiches.

When you are ready to eat, unwrap the sandwiches and use a very sharp knife to cut the sandwich into 9-12 small sandwiches, depending on how big you want them to be. I got about 12 sandwiches out of mine, but it also depends on how big your original loaf was. These will keep well after being sliced in an airtight container for up to 2 days – we ate them as leftovers after our party and they were still absolutely delicious.


StephenC said...

We love pressed sandwiches although we don't have the right ingredients at the moment. Instead I'm making a pressed terrine today of some chicken gizzards (you read that right), homemade ricotta and zucchini.

Melissa said...

I very, very badly want to make these. I have a major love for sandwiches with these kinds of layers of ingredients, but never could get my head around how uncomfortable they are to eat with fresh "too tall" bread. What a wonderful solution. We're going to try it! said...

I never thought of "pressing" a sandwich. I'm going to do that!

But I want a recipe for the bread! Really great bread recipes for sandwiches are hard to find!

Unknown said...

I've made hot pressed sandwiches before...can't wait to try this cold pressed technique.

jeri said...

I saw something similar many years ago on a Julia Child show with a guest chef (I forget the guest, but never the episode). Up to the refrigerator part it was pretty much the same, but instead of weighting in the fridge, they sat on the sandwiches. They said it was a rustic french sandwich, pan bagna. Rustic indeed! How much do we miss Julia?

Foodiewife said...

That is totally my kind of sandwich...every single ingredient. Sorry it's so hot where you are. I was complaining that it's been overcast in Monterey (CA) and about 60 degrees-- where is the sun?! I shouldn't complain, I know.

Gerilynne said...

I need to stop reading your blog before bed. It makes me hungry :-) This will be made!

Mariah Friend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mariah said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe! I have been getting a lot of cucumbers in my CSA box lately and they are refreshing but I need some new ways to eat them! With this heat it's tempting to just put a few slices on my eyes and take a nap!

Belinda said...

Hi Lisa,
This is a beautiful Blog! Congratulations. I would like to follow you. I have clicked follow on pinterests. How do I follow your Blog directly? I have a Blog too. I haven't been writing on it lately. Must get back into the discipline!!!! You could look at it. I would like to add you to my Blog Roll.

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Belinda you can follow through Google reader if you have it, or right under the Pinterst button there is a "follow me on email" button. You can also follow my Facebook page. That's right above the Pinterest button! Thanks for stopping by!