This brick sandwich — a chilled and pressed Italian-style sandwich jammed with flavorful ingredients — is perfect for picnics. It is easy to assemble, looks great and feeds a crowd.
Brick sandwiches are thus named because they spend the night being squashed by one or more bricks. The result is a dense, intense sandwich in which the flavors and juices meld wonderfully.
While any size sandwich could be made this way, brick sandwiches typically are made using entire loaves of bread. After pressing, the sandwich is cut into individual portions. Large, crusty Italian loaves work best.
The coating of goat cheese on the inside of the bread is an important part of the sandwich. It acts as a moisture barrier to prevent the bread from getting soggy. Cream cheese or any spreadable cheese also would work.
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The fillings here are mostly Italian, but any combination of ingredients can be used. Just be sure to pat dry any high-moisture ingredients. If your bricks are dirty, cover them in foil.
Overnight brick sandwich
1 large focaccia (about 1-pound loaf)
4-ounce log goat cheese
5 tablespoons tapenade
15-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
4 ounces sliced prosciutto
5 canned artichoke hearts, drained and thinly sliced
8 slices provolone cheese
8 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and patted dry
8 ounces sliced salami
8 large fresh basil leaves
Slice focaccia lengthwise through center to split loaf into halves. Pull out most of the soft insides of both halves of focaccia and discard or reserve for another use.
Spread half of goat cheese over insides of focaccia halves, then top with thin spread of tapenade.
Arrange red peppers on top of tapenade on one half of bread. Top with prosciutto, artichoke hearts, half the provolone, sun-dried tomatoes, salami, basil and remaining provolone.
Top with the other half of bread, then wrap sandwich tightly in plastic wrap. Set on a large platter or plate, then carefully set 1 or 2 bricks (as many as will fit) on top. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
When ready to serve, unwrap sandwich and cut crosswise into slices. Makes 6-8 servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 535 calories, 30 g. fat, 79 mg. cholesterol, 32 g. carbohydrate, 29 g. protein, 1 g. fiber, 2,278 mg. sodium.