Bread · Gourmet Sandwiches · Uncategorized

Italian style pressed sandwiches

Made with ciabatta bread.

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

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.
Made with a sour dough baguette
  • 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 peppers20160824_121325929_iOS
  • 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.


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