Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Italian Pressed Sandwich #vegan #vegetarian

Do you need a way to use up a ton of items in your refrigerator?  If you do, then this sandwich is for you.  Our family usually does a pretty good job of eating left overs.  I just find that we still end up with a few jars with "this ----- much" left inside each one. Not enough to throw away and usually not enough for one more bite.

Food that comes to mind right away are things in jars.  We eat marinated artichoke hearts, all types of olives, roasted bell peppers, and we typically have at least one sauce in the fridge.  In this case I had some left over vegan poppyseed dressing.  Again, not enough for a full salad but a tad too much to justify throwing it out.

I remember when I made this Italian Loaf a few years ago.  This is a great sandwich if you love meat and cheese.  We don't eat those items anymore but the concept of layering my ingredients and squishing them into a sandwich bundle still works for us today.

I have a few suggestions in making this sandwich successful.  First, use a sturdy bread loaf.  I have tried French Bread but the exterior is a bit soft and might get a bit soggy.  We have used Sourdough with GREAT success.  It doesn't matter if the loaf is round or oblong.  I have used both and they taste just as good.

Secondly, I would recommend draining and drying as many of your ingredients as you can.  I often will layer stuff between paper towels to try and draw out some of the moisture.  It may all seep to the bottom and make the bottom soggy.
For the last tip, I would suggest that it sits in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours with something heavy on top.  This allows time for the sandwich to tie all the flavors together and makes for easy cutting of the loaf into individual slices.

I have included a set of pictures (FROM MY PHONE) below to show you what I used.  Remember though, that you can use anything you want.

I made a comment about my phone because I have tried to make this whole blogging thing as easy as possible for myself and my family.  My phone is easy. I don't have to hassle with a huge camera and the tripod.  With little kids under my feet and assisting me in the kitchen, it is what works at the moment.

I hope that everyone can see beyond the lower quality pictures to enjoy some delicious food for the next few months.  My heart and soul is back into blogging and I am doing my best to get yummy recipes made and up on the blog.  Thanks for understanding!!!

Italian Pressed Sandwich
Depending on size of loaf the sandwich can feed 4-6 people

1 large loaf of sturdy bread--Rustic White, Italian or Sourdough work great
1 cup of dressing or mayonnaise
lots of veggies--see pictures below
**try to combine fresh with prepared vegetables, pickled vegetables work great, steamed or sauteed vegetables work well too.

1.  Once you have decided on your ingredients, cut the bread in half.  If using a bowl or round loaf of bread --see the Italian Loaf--for special instructions.

2.  Dig the bread out of the center. I used this bread to make croutons for our soup.  Add dressing or mayonnaise to both sides.

3.  Start layering your ingredients.  See pictures below for ideas from our sandwich.

4.  When finished adding ingredients, put the two pieces together.  Tightly wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap.  Store in the refrigerator with something heavy on top.  Let cool for a minimum of 3 hours.

5.  When you are ready to eat, unwrap and slice.  Serve with additional dressing if desired.

In the picture you will see: steamed asparagus, homemade dressing, arugula, eggplant, red onion, cucumber, red pepper, artichoke hearts, garlic cloves, and olive tapenade.

Slice loaf in half, hollow out the center and add dressing.

Start layering--you see eggplant and arugula.

You see--red onion and diced artichoke hearts.

You see--olives and more arugula.

You see--diced red peppers.

I added a bit more dressing.

When I was finished layering, I closed the loaf.

I wrapped the loaf in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator.
 ....and the result is:  This beautiful layered sandwich.

As an added bonus, you can put this in a panini press and get a nice crispy crust on your sandwich.  We love our Panini Press that was given to us as a gift.

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