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How to make it

  • 1. Adjust oven racks to middle and low positions; heat oven to 200 degrees. Line large tray or cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  • 2. Place tomatoes, cut side down, on large wire rack. Set wire rack on middle oven rack and foil-lined tray on lower rack. Dry, oven door closed, until desired texture is attained, 3 to 4 hours for plump tomatoes. When dry and cool, place in airtight containers. (Dried tomatoes can be stored at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks.) If any off flavors or smells develop in the leathery or completely dried versions during storage, it may be due to mold or other bacteria; throw away the entire batch.
  • 3. Mix olives, oil, parsley, bell pepper, lemon juice, and oregano in small nonreactive bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • 4. When ready to assemble sandwich, drain olive mixture, reserving marinade. Generously brush all inside surfaces of bread with marinade. Fill bread bottom with half the olive mixture. Add layers as follows: half each of the lettuce and Oven-Dried Tomatoes, all of the mortadella, all of the provolone, all of the soppressata, and remaining tomatoes and greens. Pile rest of olive mixture on top. Cover with bread top; wrap with plastic wrap.
  • 5. Set sandwich on large plate; top with small plate weighted with cans. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. (Can be covered and refrigerated up to 6 hours.) Remove plates and plastic; cut into six wedges and serve.
  • Note: Drying Preparations
  • 1. Wash and dry each tomato. Halve and core the tomato, going down two inches from the stem end to release all of the core and white pith. 2. Scoop out all of the seeds and gelatinous matter with a teaspoon; if any seeds remain, they will prevent even dehydration from taking place. 3. Prick each tomato half six to eight times with the tip of a sharp knife on the rounded, skin-covered side.

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