Vegetarian Pressed Italian Sandwich

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.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
10 servings


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 3 lengthwise slices eggplant (about 1/2-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


  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 1/2-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.

    Vegetarian Pressed Italian Sandwich

To make ahead

Refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Associated Recipe


Nutrition Facts (per serving)

168 Calories
7g Fat
20g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 168
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 6g 11%
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Vitamin A 284IU 6%
Vitamin C 4mg 4%
Folate 10mcg 2%
Sodium 298mg 13%
Calcium 72mg 6%
Iron 1mg 7%
Magnesium 7mg 2%
Potassium 86mg 2%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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