Pressed Party Sandwich


Makes 12 slices


1 12-inch long unsliced loaf of sturdy peasant or sourdough bread
1 to 2 bunches fresh basil leaves
6 ounces thinly sliced smoked provolone or mozzarella cheese (about 9 slices)
3 plum tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced*
2 roasted seeded red bell peppers
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

*To reduce onion's bite, place slices in sieve or colander; rinse with cold water for a few seconds. Shake slices and pat dry.


  1. Cut bread in half lengthwise. Place halves cut side up on work surface. Gently pull out some of interior, leaving at least 1-1/2-inches bread shell.
  2. Layer basil, cheese, tomatoes, onion and peppers on bottom half of loaf; drizzle with oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper; top with remaining half loaf.
  3. Wrap loaf tightly in plastic wrap; place on baking sheet. Top with another baking sheet. Place canned goods or heavy pots and pans on top of baking sheet. Refrigerate sandwich several hours or overnight.
  4. To serve, remove weights and plastic wrap from sandwich. Cut sandwich into 1-inch thick slices; arrange on serving platter.

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