This sandwich is adaptable to whatever you like to eat. Use whatever cheese you like; choose vegetables that look good to you at the market. Make it vegetarian by substituting tempeh or sliced hard-boiled eggs. Because this is a moist sandwich, it’s best eaten within a day or two of making it.
Pressed Picnic Sandwich
Makes 6-8 sandwiches
1 small zucchini, sliced 1/2-inch thick lengthwise
1 small eggplant, sliced 1/2-inch thick lengthwise
1 medium pepper, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rings
Extra-virgin olive oil, to spread on vegetables and drizzle on bread
Coarse salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup pesto
1 large loaf ciabatta bread, sliced in half lengthwise
About 1/4 pound sliced cheese, your favorite local variety
About 1/4 pound cold cuts or charcuterie – I used capicola, salami and mortadella from The Piggery
Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush each side of the zucchini, eggplant and pepper slices with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill a few minutes per side, until slightly browned and softened. Set aside to cool.
Spread pesto over one half of the ciabatta loaf; drizzle olive oil over the other half. Over the pesto half, layer the cheese, meat and grilled vegetables. Top with the other half of the loaf, wrap in plastic wrap as tightly as you can, then wrap in aluminum foil.
Place wrapped sandwich in the refrigerator and weigh it down with a few heavy books or something similarly heavy. Sandwich will compress considerably after 3-4 hours; you can leave overnight and serve the next day as well. When ready to eat, unwrap, slice into 6-8 pieces with a sharp knife and serve.
Recipe by Amy Maltzan, eggsonsunday.com.
See more from the Summer 2014 issue.