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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- To serve, remove weights and plastic wrap from sandwich. Cut sandwich into 1-inch thick slices; arrange on serving platter.
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