Spicy Tuscan Ciabatta

"I served these bite sized sandwiches as one of the appetizers for our Thanksgiving meal this year, and it went over VERY well. This is actually a variation of a recipe from Whole Foods, that came in a holiday appetizer flyer they had in the store. The possibilities for the types of cold cuts you use here is endless. Please feel free to try any combo you and your family might like. These three, plus the cheese, are my family's favorites. The idea of this "pressed" type of sandwich also works well for picnics because it can be prepared in advance, and placed at the bottom of the picnic cooler under the other foods. The cook time is actually the time while the loaf sits"
photo by a food.com user photo by a food.com user
Ready In:
4hrs 10mins


  • 1 loaf ciabatta, rectangular shaped about 12 x 6 inches (can substitute a crusty Italian or French loaf, but I do not recommend using sour dough)
  • 14 lb genoa salami, sliced thin
  • 14 lb hot sopressata, sliced thin
  • 14 lb imported prosciutto, sliced paper thin
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 14 lb provolone cheese, sliced
  • 4 ounces mixed greens
  • 3 ounces roasted red peppers, chopped and well drained
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  • Slice the ciabatta loaf lengthwise.
  • Prepare the sandwich by evenly layering the ingredients in this order, from the bottom up: Bottom slice of bread, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, mixed greens, salami, provolone, roasted red peppers, sopressata, prosciutto, balsamic vinegar, top of loaf.
  • Be sure each layer goes right to the ends of the bread.
  • It's even ok if they hang over a bit.
  • Wrap sandwich tightly in plastic cling wrap with no openings.
  • Place on counter and press down entire loaf with a heavy cast iron pan or a couple of large books.
  • Let sit at least 4 hours to let the oil and vinegar mingle with the other layers.
  • Remove plastic wrap and, using a very sharp bread knife, cut into 2" squares or triangles.
  • Secure each slice with a toothpick and serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Incredible. I made this with provolone cheese, prosciutto, leftover ham and salami. I let it sit in the fridge overnight with a plate over the top of it, and a gallon of milk pressing it down. The flavors are intensely perfect. I am sure this won't last long during our superbowl party. Thanks for sharing!
  2. Loved this sandwich. I only had a partial loaf so made it into two sandwiches. I only had one hour for it to sit under a cast iron skillet but it was great. Served with Recipe #27221.
  3. I've been making these for a few years now and there are never any left overs! I use a balsamic reduction I have which I find works better with the bread but still has all the flavor. Any combination of cold cuts and cheeses all turn out amazing :)
  4. This is a super recipe. I love that you can make is ahead of time and it didn't need refrigeration. Great for tailgating.
  5. I couldn't find Ciabatta bread so used what my grocery store called "tuscan" bread instead. The only thing I didn't follow exactly was I added olive paste to the sandwich. The problem? The flavors did not meld and the sandwich was dry. It set in the fridge for 8 hours with a 24 pack of coke on top and I got a good "press" out of it. I'll try this again with a different bread.


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