I hardly ever make sandwiches at home. I never seem to have a combination of ingredients in my fridge that’s interesting enough to make a really great sandwich, and I don’t like wasting my time and calories on a boring sandwich.
When I eat out, though, I order sandwiches probably 90% of the time. If a restaurant has a unique sandwich with unexpected ingredients, there’s no contest for me. I always gravitate toward anything flavorful, unusual, and between bread. Whether a classic club, a gyro, or something totally bizarre, I am embarrassingly predictable in my restaurant ordering because I almost always get a sandwich.
A million years ago when butterfly clips were cool and my Beanie Baby collection was slowly but surely gaining future worth, I went to a Pampered Chef party with my mom and the hostess served this impressive recipe. It was a huge sandwich shaped into a ring, stuffed with toppings, and drizzled with tangy Italian dressing. I was a pretty picky eater at the time, but I loved it and begged my mom to buy the seasonal recipe booklet so we could make it at home.
I’ve never been a big fan of “parties” that involve sales pitches, but this one wasn’t so bad, since it introduced a recipe that became a fast family favorite. I’ve been making this recipe ever since, for almost 15 years. It takes a little extra time to bake the bread, but the ingredients are about as simple as they get, and the finished product is a fancy sandwich that rivals any old PB & J.
You can stuff this sandwich with pretty much whatever you want. Turkey and ham are my favorite fillings, because they go well with the Italian dressing. Salami, roast beef, and sliced bell peppers also taste great. Use your imagination!
Just don’t leave out the Italian dressing. That’s the best part! Combined with the garlic and seasonings, it makes this whole sandwich. I usually keep extra dressing on the side for dipping, too.
This recipe is great for events like the Superbowl, and it’s also a good meal to prepare and slice into gourmet single-serving lunches for the work week. It’s always been a summer favorite for me, but it pairs nicely with a hot bowl of soup in the middle of winter, too.
No matter what, this is one sandwich I make at home that can compete with the ones I order in restaurants. Maybe one day I’ll perfect my at-home-sandwich-making-abilities enough to finally break out of my predictable cycle and order a steak or a salad! :)
- 2 tubes refrigerated French bread loaf dough (11 oz. each), such as Pillsbury
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 6 Tbsp. Italian dressing
- 8 slices smoked turkey
- 8 slices honey ham
- 4 slices (4 oz.) Provolone cheese, halved
- 2 cups Romaine lettuce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place dough on a large pizza stone or pan, pressing two rolls together at the seams to form a circle. Using a serrated knife, slash about six diagonal cuts across the top of the ring. Spray ring lightly with vegetable spray. Cover with garlic, oregano and basil. Bake 26-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
- Using a serrated knife, slice bread in half horizontally. Remove top half. Drizzle Italian dressing over bottom half and fill with meats and cheese. Top with lettuce and replace top half of bread loaf. Slice into wedges to serve.
I like the Sara Lee smoked turkey and honey ham, but use your favorite!