Pressed Picnic Sandwich

Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
6 to 8 Serves

A crowded picnic basket won't cramp the style of this hearty sandwich, which actually tastes better when pressed, as it enables the vinaigrette to permeate each layer of grilled peppers, cured meats, marinated artichokes, goat cheese, and fresh herbs.


  • 3 medium red bell peppers

  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons warm water

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 loaf ciabatta (1 pound, about 6 inches wide)

  • ½ cup prepared black-olive paste

  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese

  • 8 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, drained

  • 6 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced

  • 4 ounces spicy salami, thinly sliced

  • 2 cups loosely packed mixed fresh herbs, such as basil, cilantro, or parsley


  1. Heat grill to (or a grill pan over) high, or preheat broiler. Cook peppers (on a rimmed baking sheet, if using broiler), turning frequently so all sides cook evenly, until completely charred, 10 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer peppers to a bowl, and cover with plastic. Set aside until skins loosen and peppers are cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Using your hands, rub off charred skin, rinsing your hands frequently under cold running water. Pat peppers dry. Slice peppers in half, remove seeds and stems, and cut flesh into 1-inch-wide strips.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine Dijon and vinegar. Gradually whisk in oil, followed by water. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.

  3. Slice bread horizontally and scoop out soft interior (reserve for another use). Spread olive paste on bottom crust, then add peppers. Crumble goat cheese on top of peppers. Arrange artichokes over goat cheese. Drizzle half the vinaigrette (about 1/4 cup) on top. Arrange prosciutto and salami over artichokes. Scatter herbs over meats. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette (1/4 cup) over inside of top crust, then place top crust on sandwich.

  4. Wrap sandwich tightly with plastic. Set a weight, such as a brick or large cast-iron skillet, on top at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours. When ready to serve, slice sandwich horizontally into 6 to 8 pieces.

    pressed picnic sandwich
    Bryan Gardner

Cook's Notes

For a sandwich that won’t get soggy when pressed, use a day-old loaf of bread or toast in a 375-degree oven for 10 minutes until slightly crisp. The soft interior of the bread can be pulsed into breadcrumbs in the food processor and frozen up to 1 month.

This sandwich can be made 1 day in advance; instead of adding the vinaigrette in step 3, add it just before you pack the sandwich, or 1 hour before serving.

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