116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
It’s July! It’s time for state fairs! Parties! Bonfires and reunions! There is so much to celebrate this month and plenty of fun times that will soon be great summer memories with your friends and families, so you might as well live it up. Hit the pool, walk a trail or enjoy a nice picnic. Summer is a great time to enjoy the great outdoors and enjoy some summertime treats and try new foods.
Many of us have TikTok and although I don’t try very many recipes from the social media app, I had to try this one — the Italian Grinder Sandwich. It’s an amazing flavor explosion that just keeps giving.
Since I’ve learned about it I have catered a party of 150 with the turkey and ham version and tried it without using lettuce (still was a hit!) and now this version using turkey, pepperoni and bacon crumbles.
This recipe is super easy. Don’t worry there is only a little heat involved. No one wants to be stuck in the kitchen in July. This is just a refreshing, filling sandwich that can be divided to serve small portions or big crowds with minimal effort and money.
All of this is why I adore this amazing piece of edible art known as the Italian Grinder Sandwich.
The stage is set on Italian bread (fresh preferred), I like to butter my bread or use a healthy oil and a little Italian seasoning before I start the construction of the sandwich. Now that the stage is set, we bring out the first and second acts, which are the meat and cheese, repeating the alternation at least once, depending on your choices.
Warm this all up in the oven and then proceed with the headliner, which I don’t know if I should refer to as a dressing or a slaw, but it’s delicious! The dressing/slaw goes on top of the final cheese layer, closing out the show. And cut.
It is so simple, yet so satisfying.
Are you hungry yet? I’m sure you are ready to get started making your very own version of the grinder sandwich, so let’s roll up our sleeves, wash our hands and get started creating our own version of this culinary art.
The Italian Grinder Sandwich
Makes: 1 12-inch sandwich
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon garlic (I used minced from a jar)
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup pepperoncini peppers
1/4 cup red onions, sliced
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
3 to 4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
Butter or oil for brushing the insides of the bread
Sliced deli meat (I used turkey)
1/4 cup bacon, crumbled
Sliced cheese (I used provolone)
For the dressing: In a medium bowl add the mayo, salt, Italian season, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, pepperoncini peppers, red onions, Parmesan cheese and shredded iceberg lettuce. Mix, incorporating well. Set aside.
Next, slice the Italian bread down the side length wise and open it, but do not separate the two halves. Brush the insides with butter or oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
On the bread, put the first layer of meat in the center so that each end of the meat slice is touching each side of the bread. I like to start with the bigger meat slice, which in this case was the turkey. Then add the pepperoni slices and cheese in the same fashion followed by the bacon crumbles. That is the first layer.
I top that layer with Italian seasoning and then repeat with a second layer. Next, toast the open-face sandwich at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted.
Let the sandwich cool a couple minutes and then add the Grinder dressing. Fold the ends together cut, serve and enjoy.