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Gail Patterson | PenTex Energy

Whether you use crusty rolls or an entire loaf to slice, layers of cured meats, cheese and piquant Italian flavors create a sandwich bursting with personality. Giardiniera is a vinegar-based relish made with peppers, celery, carrots, cauliflower and spices. “I make several of these at a time,” Patterson says. “They last for about a week in the fridge, are best at room temp and travel well.”

1 jar (10 ounces) giardiniera, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
Crushed red pepper flakes, as desired for heat

Flavored Butter
1 jar (8 ounces) roasted red peppers (or pesto), drained
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature

4 ciabatta sandwich buns
4 slices Genoa salami
4 slices hard Italian salami
8 slices pepperoni
4 slices ham
8 slices provolone cheese
Olive oil

1. Giardiniera: Combine the giardiniera, olive oil and red pepper flakes in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined but still chunky. Transfer the giardiniera mixture to a bowl and set aside.

2. Flavored Butter: Add the roasted red peppers to the food processor (no need to wash after giardiniera) and process until chopped. Transfer the peppers (or pesto) to a mixing bowl, add the softened butter and use a spatula to evenly combine.

3. Sandwiches: To make individual sandwiches, slice each ciabatta bun in half. Spread both sides with about 1 tablespoon of the flavored butter (you will have extra). Layer half of the meat and cheese on 4 ciabatta bun halves, ending with meat. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the giardiniera mixture onto the meat and top each sandwich with the remaining meat and cheese and another tablespoon of giardiniera.

4. Cover each sandwich with the top bun and carefully slice the sandwiches in half and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped sandwiches on a baking sheet, top them with another baking sheet and weigh it down (large cans or a cast-iron skillet work well) for at least 1 hour, or up to a day in advance. For the best flavor, allow the sandwiches to come to room temperature before serving.

Serves 4–8 depending on size of sandwiches.