Sicilians have been making various versions of this sandwich for centuries, commonly enjoyed for celebration days. It came into popularity in the U.S. in New Orleans over a hundred years ago. It’s a delicious concept: a fresh crusty bread is hollowed out and lined with a variety of meats, cheeses and vegetables and a good dressing and allowed to marinate for 24 hours. The result is a tasty sandwich you can share at a potluck or big gathering, without a lot of fuss!
1 (1-pound) (453 g) round bread loaf (about 7 inches in diameter and 3 inches high)
1/2 cup (226 g) Roasted Tomatoes (store bought or roast your own)
1/2 cup (112 g) basil pesto (store bought or make your own)
1/3 lb. (151 g) ham slices of your choice
1/3 lb. (151 g) turkey slices of your choice
1/3 lb. (151 g) Havarti slices (or a favorite cheese of your choice)
1/4 lb. (113 g) Castelvetrano olives (Sweet olives originating from Castelvetrano, Sicily. They have a buttery flesh and mild flavor. If you have your own olive preference, feel free to use!)
1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup Lemon Herb Dressing (Worth making some and keeping in the fridge~best dressing on Planet Earth)
One ripe avocado, thinly sliced
Cut off the top 1-inch of the bread loaf and set aside. Hollow out the bottom of the bread. Spread half of the pesto over the bread bottom followed by the roasted tomatoes. Layer half of the meats and cheeses next. Put the onion slices and chopped Castelvetrano olives next. Spoon the Lemon Herb Dressing evenly over everything. Then layer the second half of the meats and cheese. Top with the rest of the roasted tomatoes and spread remaining pesto on the bread top. Carefully cover with the bread top.
The avocado is added to the top right before you serve.
You can serve the sandwich immediately or you can wrap the entire sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator a day before serving. (Recommended)
Cut the sandwich into wedges and serve.