I grew up on mixed fruit jam sandwiches and …….wait for it……pawpaw jam sandwiches. We had a 1000’s pawpaw trees in our back yard (slight exaggeration). My mother not one to waste made EVERYTHING out of pawpaw from jam, to pickles, muffins and soup. To this day I cannot go near a paw paw without wanting to hurl and as for mixed fruit jam, I never, EVER made my kids, mixed fruit jam sandwiches. Sis on those who have!
My kids were privileged to grow up with Italian style pressed sandwiches………..NOT ………………more like Bovril & Peanut butter.
Now I don’t expect you to make gourmet pressed sandwiches for your kids lunch everyday, but I do expect you to make, just once, an Italian style pressed sandwich. They’re easy to make, have a great set of ingredients, they keep, if refrigerated for 3-5 days and will definitely earn you a few brownie points.
Planning is crucial here, you can’t whip up a plate of these sandwiches in 5 min, you need an ‘overnight’. So if you are expecting a crowd of teens camping out at your place for the week-end, make some, OR planning a week-end away, make some before you leave, great for picnics, padkos or hanging out on the sports field all week-end.
You can get seriously creative too with the fillings; don’t like roasted peppers, toss them, prefer ham or roast beef, add it OR show off your ninja skills by adding some caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes or roasted aubergines. Check out my pinterest board for more ideas https://za.pinterest.com/thewoollyninja/gourmet-sandwiches/?etslf=9660&eq=Gourmet%20sandwiches
Things to avoid: tomatoes if you plan to keep it for a few days. I dislike using the yellow cheeses (cheddar & gouda) as they tend to get soggy. Soft breads like French loaves or fancy breads.
Things to remember: Be liberal, generous with your olive oil. The more ‘fats’ in your sandwich the longer it will keep before it gets soggy. Always use a ‘strong’ bread like ciabatta or sour dough. I have used panini before but to be honest the ciabatta works best.
Best of all: If it hasn’t been gobbled up within the day, you can always refresh it by toasting it lightly to crisp up and warm the centre through.
Recipe: Italian style pressed sandwich
- Loaf of Ciabatta/sour dough or panini’s
- Mozzarella cheese, sliced (approx 200g)
- Sliced salami (approx 100g)
- Basil pesto 125g
- Roasted peppers (you can buy them in a jar from any local supermarket)
- Olive oil
- Slice the ciabatta in half horizontally.
- Thin out the Basil pesto with plenty of olive oil and brush both halves liberally with basil pesto
- Add sliced mozzarella to 1 half
- Top with sliced salami and roasted peppers
- Repeat – sliced mozzarella & salami.
- Close with other half and wrap up tightly with cling wrap (use cling wrap NOT foil as the cling wrap keeps the bread fresher)
- Then weigh it down with some serious weight. Place a cutting board ontop of the loaf and weigh down with pots, bags of flour….anything heavy. Leave overnight.
- When ready to serve, remove the weights, unwrap and slice.
Makes 8-10 generous slices.