Grill-Pressed Italian Party Panini Recipe

Joshua Bousel

Note: I ended up using half as much meat and cheese because the original recipe made the sub a little too big and hard to manage. If you want the full-on, super meaty experience, double the meat and cheese in this recipe.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small red onions, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
  • 5 roma tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, tops and core removed, slice paper thin
  •  1 large Italian-style bread loaf, about 1 1/2 feet long, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced mortadella
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced Genoa salami
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced provolone cheese
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced hot capicola
  • 10 pepperoncinis, stems removed and cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 2 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded, cored, and cut into large pieces
  • 5 leaves romaine lettuce, washed and dried
  •  3-6 bricks, wrapped in aluminum foil
  •  Type of fire: direct
  • Grill heat: medium-low


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, parsley, shallot, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Season heavily with salt and pepper.

  2. Add in red onion, tomatoes, and fennel. Toss to thoroughly coat vegetables in vinaigrette. Let vegetables rest in vinaigrette for 20 minutes, tossing again halfway through. Strain vegetables into a bowl and reserve remaining vinaigrette.

  3. Open up bread and layer on mortadella, salami, provolone, and hot capicola. Top with marinated vegetables, pepperoncinis, red peppers, and lettuce.

  4. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place bricks on grill, cover grill and let fire cool down to medium-low, between 300-325°F. Transfer sub to grill and place a large sheet pan on top of sandwich. Wearing well insulated grilling gloves, carefully balance bricks on sheet pan. Cover grill and cook until cheese has started to melt and sandwich has flattened, about 15 minutes. Remove sandwich from grill, slice into 4-6 portions and serve with reserved vinaigrette.

Special equipment

Grill, Bricks

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