Super Bowl Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwiches

Ingredients for Vinaigrette

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 to 2 large garlic cloves, peeled, crushed, or finely minced

1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion or shallot

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup olive oil

Ingredients for Sandwich

1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced (can substitute provolone, Havarti, Brie or goat cheese)

Freshly ground pepper

Crushed red pepper, optional

1 one-pound loaf of long, thin Italian or French bread

3 firm ripe tomatoes, washed, and thinly sliced

1 small red onion, peeled, tinly sliced

Red leaf lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry


To prepare the vinaigrette:

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine all six vinaigrette ingredients and shake well to mix. Let stand for at least an hour before using.

To prepare the sandwich:

Layer the cheese slices in a shallow dish and drizzle with about 2 Tbsp. of vinaigrette. Season with the pepper and crushed red pepper. Slice the bread lengthwise, without cutting completely through, so that it is hinged. Pull out the soft inner crumbs from the loaf, making a slight hollow, and brush the insides generously with the vinaigrette.

Place overlapping slices of the tomatoes and cheese on bottom half of the bread. Top with the onion slices and sprinkle with a little vinaigrette. Cover with lettuce.

Close sandwich and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then wrap that in foil. Put the sandwich under about 10 pounds of weight for about an hour to distribute the flavors and moisture throughout the bread.

To serve, cut the loaf crosswise into manageable slices.

Note: In addition to the tomatoes, you can layer the cheese with slices of marinated olives or artichoke hearts, anchovies, or thin slices of ham, salami, prosciutto, or other favorite cold cuts.

Makes 8 generous servings.