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Vegetarian Pressed Italian Sandwich

  • 30 m
  • 1 h 30 m
Katie Webster
“Typically, pressed sandwiches are a celebration of many meats. Here, we've opted for grilled eggplant slices, artichokes and arugula to make a satisfying vegetarian version. Giardiniera, a type of Italian relish typically made from bell peppers, celery, carrots, cauliflower, olives, vinegar and spices, perks up the flavors of any sandwich. You can use convenient prepared giardiniera or homemade. Choose a hot or mild version, depending on your preference for heat.”

Ingredients

    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • 3 lengthwise slices eggplant (about ½-inch thick)
    • Pinch of coarse kosher salt
    • 1 14-ounce loaf ciabatta bread, preferably whole-wheat
    • ½ cup prepared or homemade drained giardiniera relish (see associated recipe)
    • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
    • 1 small clove garlic, minced
    • 3 ounces sliced provolone cheese
    • ½ cup drained canned artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
    • 1 cup arugula, washed and dried

Directions

  • 1 Preheat grill to medium. Brush 1 tablespoon oil over both sides of eggplant slices. Sprinkle with salt. Grill the eggplant, flipping once, until tender and browned, 7 to 9 minutes total. When cool enough to handle, cut each slice into 3 pieces.
  • 2 Cut bread in half horizontally. Pull out the soft inner bread from each half, leaving a ½-inch border. (Discard the bread or save for making breadcrumbs.) Finely chop giardiniera by hand, or pulse in a food processor, until it forms a coarse paste. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar and garlic; stir or pulse to combine. Spread the giardiniera mixture over the inside of the bread. Layer the grilled eggplant, slightly overlapping, and provolone, artichoke hearts and arugula on the bottom half of the bread. Top with the other half of the bread.
  • 3 Wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap or foil. Place in the refrigerator and set a baking sheet, weighted with 2 cans or a cast-iron skillet, on top. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cut into 10 slices before serving.
  • To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 1 day.
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