Make-Ahead Deli Sandwiches
A few years ago, I had a houseful of guests to feed. This recipe came in handy for an easy tasty lunch. Not only are these deli sandwiches delicious, but they are convenient too. You can make them ahead of time, so that you have a break from the kitchen and are able to spend time with your company. If you are going on an outing (or a picnic), you can slice them and then wrap them individually with plastic wrap. Pack your cooler and enjoy summer and friends with these great sandwiches!
Make sure your ingredients are patted dry - especially the spinach and peppers.
This recipe can easily be doubled if needed.
If you are not a fan of sundried tomatoes, you can use regular tomatoes as a replacement. You will need approximately 1/2 cup pesto instead of a 1/3 cup. Spread the pesto on both sides of the loaf if you omit the sundried tomatoes.
Preparation time is 20 minutes. Chill time is from 4 to 24 hours.
3/4 cup dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
1 (1 pound) loaf Italian or French bread
1/2 an 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup basil pesto
4 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese
8 ounces thinly sliced peppered or regular salami
4 ounces deli roasted turkey
1 medium banana pepper or bottled and sliced banana peppers
1/2 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
Small salad peppers and/or pimiento-stuffed green olives (optional)
Spinach leaves (optional)
Sliced Roma tomatoes (optional)
Place the dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Add enough boiling water to cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain the tomatoes, and place in a food processor; cover and process until finely chopped. Or finely chop the tomatoes by hand. Split the loaf in half horizontally. Spread the cream cheese on cut sides of both bread halves. Spread the top half with dried tomatoes and the bottom half with pesto. On the bottom half, layer the provolone cheese, salami, banana peppers, onion, and loaf top, spread side down.
Wrap the entire sandwich tightly in plastic wrap, or place in a large food storage plastic bag; seal and refrigerate. Top with a cast iron skillet for 4 to 24 hours. To serve, slice the loaf crosswise into six sandwiches. If desired, spear a salad pepper and olive on long toothpicks; insert through the sandwiches. Makes six large or 8 medium sandwiches.
(edited by Anna Weicht)