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Playing Italian Subs with Garlic Vinaigrette and Giardiniera Relish

"We've opened up our own little sub shop today," says Rach, "and it's actually a really fun and affordable way to entertain." It's also a fantastic idea in the summer because you don't even need to turn on the oven or stove. Lay out all the ingredients, let everyone mix and match as they like and dinner is served! 

For a novel and tasty take on this classic sandwich, check out Dan Whalen's Italian Sub Nachos


  • 1 1/2 cups drained giardiniera (hot pickled vegetable salad), store-bought or homemade
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons grated shallot or onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or pasted
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • A small Fresno or cherry chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • About ½ cup Italian fresh herb mix (a combination of parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme and basil leaves)
  • About 1 cup EVOO
  • 4 rustic or Italian-style 8-inch sub rolls
  • ½ pound deli sliced provolone, cut into half moons
  • 1 ½ pounds (total) mixed Italian salumi (a combination of mortadella, hot ham, salami, sweet and hot sopressata, prosciutto, prosciutto cotto; whatever you like) or 1 ½ pounds sliced roasted turkey breast
  • Fixins: Shredded romaine, sliced ripe tomato, thinly sliced red onions


Serves: 4


Place giardiniera in a food processor and pulse into finely chopped relish. Transfer to a bowl and reserve. Wipe out processor and return to base.

For the dressing, add vinegar, shallot or onion, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, chili pepper and herbs to the bowl. Turn on processor and stream in EVOO. Process until smooth.

Line sub rolls with cheese, fill with meats and top with lettuce, tomato and onion. Pour dressing over sandwiches and top with spicy vegetable relish. Set sub top in place and serve.