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Martha Stewart obviously knows a thing or two about making delicious food for summer, as her cookbook Martha Stewart’s Fruit Desserts makes abundantly clear. But she’s great at savory summer recipes, too. In the past, we’ve fallen in love with Stewart’s recipes for things like bucatini with roasted and fresh tomatoes and bacon-flavored grilled corn. But her make-ahead pressed sandwiches, which are stuffed with prosciutto, broccoli rabe, and some of our other Italian favorites, might just be her best summer recipe yet.
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Martha Stewart isn’t the only fan of pressed sandwiches out there. Giada De Laurentiis has her own make-ahead Italian muffuletta sandwich recipe, while Ina Garten favors a tomato mozzarella pan bagnat. What they all have in common is that these sandwiches are actually better when made ahead of time. It gives the bread time to soak up the delicious flavors of the ingredients inside the sandwich, and it allows those ingredients to all meld together, too. That also means that this type of sandwich is particularly perfect for summer. You can make a big sandwich the night or morning before an event, be it a picnic, trip to the beach, pool party, or tailgating before a big game. By the time you’re ready to eat, the sandwich will have had the perfect amount of time to come into its own.
Stewart fills her make-ahead pressed sandwiches with a bold, summery mix of ingredients. Fresh basil, sweet red peppadew peppers, sauteed broccoli rabe with garlic, meaty proscuitto, creamy goat cheese, and briny olive tapenade are sandwiched between two halves of a loaf of soft and airy ciabatta bread. The sandwich gets wrapped up in plastic wrap, then weighed down with a skillet in the fridge for several hours before it’s ready to serve.
The recipe is super adaptable, making it great for all sorts of groups. Omit the prosciutto for a still-satisfying vegetarian riff on Stewart’s pressed sandwich, or leave out the goat cheese and proscuitto and add some hummus or white bean dip for a lip-smacking vegan rendition. Once you try these make-ahead pressed sandwiches, you’ll never make the mistake of packing soggy PB & J sandos ever again.
In search of more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:
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