Picnic Perfect. Pressed Italian Sandwiches

By: Jennifer M July 7, 2012 Sandwiches 43 Comments
Pressed Italian Sandwich
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I was contacted recently by Tre Stelle™ to ask me if I was interested in trying their new Bocconcini medallions. One thing’s for sure … I never say no to cheese!

I thought the idea of pre-sliced Bocconcini was a great one. Sure, you can slice a Bocconcini ball yourself, but it’s wet and slippery and not the easiest thing to cut neatly. These slices lend themselves to any recipe where flat cheese slices just work better. I think they’d be perfect for caprese salad, lasagna, panini or cold sandwiches.

I decided to use the Bocconcini medallions in a sandwich – a picnic perfect, Pressed Italian Sandwich. These sandwiches are great to make up and keep them in the fridge to grab and go. They are also perfect for picnics or packed lunches, as they are hearty and filling and travel well. They will keep well in the fridge for several days.

Pressed Italian Sandwich

My version on the pressed sandwich features roasted red peppers, assorted Italian meats, Tre Stella Bocconcini medallions (drizzled with some balsamic vinegar) and arugula, all on a ciabatta bun. You can use any size ciabatta, from small buns to larger loaves. If using a large ciabatta loaf, simply place all the ingredients onto the loaf, refrigerate and press and then slice into smaller pieces before serving. I like to trim the edges off the sandwiches to enjoy all the layers. I love how all the flavours come together in this sandwich and notice how it’s red, white and green – just like the Italian flag!

Once made, the sandwiches are tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated with a weight on top (the “pressed” part). I used my cast-iron grill pan, which worked perfectly. Refrigerate with the weight at least 6 hours or ideally, overnight. To keep the sandwich freshest, keep in the fridge, tightly wrapped in the plastic wrap and un-trimmed. When ready to serve or transport, simply trim the side and end crusts and if you like, wrap in a strip of parchment paper secured with some twine. You can then re-wrap in plastic wrap, if needed to keep them from drying out while they wait to be eaten.

Pressed Italian Sandwich

Pressed sandwiches are endlessly customizable. You can swap out spinach for the arugula, or tomato for the roasted red pepper. And so on. The possibilities are endless.

I received coupons for the Bocconcini medallions, along with a lovely cheese board from Tre Stelle, but as always, my opinions are my own.

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About The Author

Hi! I'm Jennifer, cooking my way through the seasons in beautiful Muskoka, Ontario Canada. Did you know you could sign up to get new posts delivered right to your email inbox? Subscribe to Seasons and Suppers by Email


  1. Rachel (teacher-chef) July 7, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Yum, these pressed sandwiches look absolutely perfect :-)

    • Jennifer July 8, 2012 at 8:01 am

      Thanks so much, Rachel.

  2. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious July 8, 2012 at 12:15 am

    These would be so much fun to bring to a picnic!

    • Jennifer July 8, 2012 at 8:01 am

      They would! I loved how pretty they were and wrapping them in parchment makes them feel really special.

  3. Antonia July 8, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Wow ! Those look fantastic. Have never had a ”pressed” sandwich, so I think it’s about time !!

    • Jennifer July 8, 2012 at 8:00 am

      Thanks Antonia. These are great sandwiches and I love that they can be made well ahead and keep quite a while in the fridge, too.

  4. Antonia July 8, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Yeah !! I like that too. :)

  5. Mercedes July 8, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I love Italian sandwiches and this version looks delicious! How perfect for an easy summer dinner or picnic!

    • Jennifer July 8, 2012 at 11:09 am

      Thanks Mercedes. Yes, perfect for a summer dinner, as well!

  6. Elizabeth July 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    These are absolutely lovely. Thank you for sharing!

    • Jennifer July 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      Thanks so much, Elizabeth. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Inka July 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    they looks so incredible and beautiful! i’m impressed! greetings from my kitchen !

    • Jennifer July 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Dziekuje bardzo, Inka (hope I got that right :)

  8. Tara Noland July 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    This looks fabulous and I am going to add it to my Mouth Watering Mondays post. Come on by to see it at http://www.noshingwiththenolands.com Cheers, Tara

    • Jennifer July 8, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      Thanks Tara. I will definitely come by and thanks for including my sandwiches!

  9. marla July 8, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    So happy I just found your blog via Pinterest. These sandwiches look amazing!

    • Jennifer July 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      Thanks Marla. Isn’t Pinterest great?!

  10. marla July 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I love these! I am planning to make an all Italian menu for my husband’s fiftieth birthday party next month. I love that I can make these a day or two ahead and I LOVE the way you wrapped them up with the parchment and twine. I think a huge tray of about 50 of these sandwiches will be a huge hit!!! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Jennifer July 8, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      You’re welcome, Marla. These would be perfect for your party! If you’re making these a couple of days out, be sure to butter well under the red peppers. They are moist and may soften the bread a bit underneath if they are sitting a couple of days. The butter will help prevent that. Have a wonderful party.

  11. Sophie July 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    These are gorgeous! You made them so beautifully. My mom and I keep talking about getting the family together for a picnic now that warm weather has FINALLY arrived — this is wonderful inspiration!

    • Jennifer July 9, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      Hi Sophie and thanks so much. I’m glad the warm weather has found you. It’s been very hot here so far this summer. I hope you get to have that picnic!

  12. Patty July 9, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    This looks delish! I plan on making these on our vacation and taking to the beach! My family will love these. Being it is a vacation, I’ll probably just bring red pepper spread from Trader Joe’s instead of roasting the peppers (I’m lazy like that on vacation). I can’t wait to try these. Glad I came across this on pinterest!

    • Jennifer July 10, 2012 at 7:33 am

      Thanks Patty. You could also use jarred roasted red peppers. Just pat them dry a bit. Enjoy your sandwiches and your vacation!

  13. Tamara July 12, 2012 at 9:35 am

    This sandwich looks delicious, Jennifer!

    • Jennifer July 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

      Thanks so much, Tamara.

  14. Cathy July 12, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Oh my goodness! These look absolutely delicious, Jennifer! I’m also really hungry right now, as I’m in the middle of a 24 hour fast :-(. I, too, came across you via Pinterest.

    • Jennifer July 13, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Thanks so much, Cathy. You’re a brave woman browsing Pinterest while on a 24 hour fast! :)

  15. Renee` July 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    These are beautiful!
    Thanx so much! Can’t wait to show them off!

    • Jennifer July 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      You’re welcome, Renee. Enjoy!

  16. Carm August 3, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Hi Jennifer,
    I feel like a late bloomer but I have never heard of a pressed sandwich and I am wondering what is accomplished by pressing it. Does the texture change or flavors? I read all the comments and noone seems to question this so maybe its just me? Regardless of the reason…I love Italian sandwiches and plan on trying these. Thanks.

    • Jennifer August 3, 2012 at 7:29 am

      Hi Carm, Before I made them, I wondered the same thing. Pressing makes these sandwiches shorter of course (so easier to eat), but most importantly I think, the fillings seem to meld together, so when you eat them you don’t get any of that filling shifting that often happens with layered sandwiches. Means you get all the flavours from top to bottom with every bite.

  17. Katie August 4, 2012 at 9:19 am

    wow, these look yummy!

    did you know these were featured in the national British newspaper the Guardian today? That’s what led me to your site!

    Katie x

    • Jennifer August 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Hi Katie, Yes, I was thrilled and honoured to have my little sandwiches in the Guardian. (I did know ahead, as they emailed me to get permission to publish it.) Thanks though and for thanks for popping over here.

      (Link to the Guardian article, for anyone interested in checking out the other goodies in the article)

  18. Lori October 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    These look absolutely amazing. I love, love, love arugula and everything else you feature on this beautiful sandwich. Your newer salted chocolate brownie cookies are what brought me to your blog, and it is consistently beautiful recipes and pictures that will keep me coming back!

    • Jennifer October 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm

      Thanks so much, Lori. These were delicious sandwiches (and the cookies were pretty yummy, too). Thanks for visiting!

  19. Tammi July 12, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Hi Jennifer. thank you for this wonderful sandwich. I am a fan of pesto, do you think I can add pesto into this sandwich? Will the bread become saggy if I add pesto? I am prepare a picnic in 2 days. 25 sandwiches….hope I can survive.

    • Jennifer M July 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Hi Tammi, I think pesto would be great in this sandwich. I’d put it between the cheese and the arugula. That way the arugula will be a barrier between the pesto and the bread, so should be fine. Enjoy the sandwiches!

  20. Tammi July 13, 2013 at 2:20 am

    Hi Jennifer, thank you for your reply, I am very appreciated it. I am sure your sandwich recipe will amaze my friends:). have a good weekend

  21. carol August 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Making these sandwiches for 300…any suggestions?? and where can I finf brown parchment paper…

    • Jennifer M August 21, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      Wow Carol. You are ambitious! I would go for the large ciabatta bun/loaf. My grocer sells ones that are about 8-inches by 10-inches or so. Each one can then be cut into 4 or 6 sandwiches (depending on finished size). It’s just easier to do one large loaf than 6 individual ones. The brown parchment is just unbleached. I get mine at my local health food store (or anywhere that sells “green” products like unbleached muffin liners etc.) Hope that helps and good luck!

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