Sandwiches: Italian Style

Posted on August 14, 2011

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I love picnics.  But I especially love picnics when there is yummy food to eat!

I am not a huge sandwich fan.  The typical two slices of spongy bread with mayo, mustard, ham, cheese, etc. is OK, and I do eat sandwiches like this once in a while.  I would eat them more if my Dad were here to make them for me.  He can make a great sandwich.  For lunches I am typically impatient and want to just hurry and get it over with so I can get back to doing what I really want to do……plan dinner!

But planning a picnic is right up my alley and I will go the extra mile to make delicious Italian style sandwiches.

First, you need to make yourself a batch of Focaccia bread.  This is not hard, I promise.  Or you could just start with some nice bacci rolls or a Italian bakery loaf of some kind.  Unfortunately, there is nowhere in my town where I can buy Italian bread worth eating.  So I make it myself.

When the bread comes out of the oven,  dislodge it and place it on a wire rack to cool.  Once it is all cool (several hours) then place the cooling rack inside a sheet cake pan with the bread still on the rack.  Then cover the whole thing with foil.  Pack a bread knife and a cutting board for your picnic and you are good to go!  We just cut the bread into sandwich squares on site.

Now, once you get to your picnic destination this is how you make your sandwich:

Split your focaccia square down the middle.  On the inside, where you would normally slather mayo and mustard, use a brush and slather on Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a nice aged balsamic vinegar.  The bring on the delicious fillings!  Here are some suggestions:

fresh basil leaves

baby spinach

Italian cold cuts like dry salami or sandwich pepperoni

fresh mozzarella slices (uncured mozzarella)

bruschetta

roasted red pepper slices

provolone

artichoke hearts

sprouts

pesto

sliced tomato

You can go as elaborate or as simple as you like.  For instance, oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh mozzarella, tomato slices, and fresh basil are a classic mix that is just absolutely delicious.

Here is PapaChef’s sandwich. He has on it bruschetta topping, fresh basil, roasted red pepper, fresh mozzarella, and Italian cold cuts.

These are very filling sandwiches that just keep you going for the rest of your afternoon!

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