Neil Perry's ultimate deli sandwich

Photo: The ultimate deli sandwich from Everything I Love to Cook

Neil Perry shares the recipe for his ultimate deli sandwich, from his new book, Everything I Love to Cook.

"This amazing deli sandwich is similar to all the massive ones I have eaten in NYC, but this one is really inspired by the famous Godmother, of The Bay City Deli in Santa Monica. I once lined up for this sandwich for half an hour, and when I took my first bite I was not disappointed. All the amazing cured meats come together to form a flavour that’s different and better than the sum of its parts; the cheese adds creaminess, the salad adds crunch, the pickles add sharpness, and the Italian dressing and hot sauce take it to the next level. Serve with some good-quality salted potato crisps alongside."


4 ciabatta rolls
Butter, to your liking
2 tablespoons American mustard
8 baby gem lettuce leaves, washed and dried
16 thin slices of hot sopressa
12 slices of prosciutto
8 slices of mortadella
16 slices of capocollo
8 slices of smoked ham
8 slices of provolone dolce cheese
½ red onion, thinly sliced
2 dill pickles, cut into slices about 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick
150g mixed Italian pickled vegetables (giardiniera)
8 guindilla peppers, chopped
3 tablespoons Italian dressing (see below)
Hot sauce, to taste 

For the Italian dressing
Makes about 1 cup (250 ml)

1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon basil leaves
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
1 sprig of thyme, leaves picked
2 tablespoons roughly chopped white onion
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
2½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


For the Italian dressing, put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, then taste for balance and adjust as required.

Cut the bread rolls in half, then spread the cut sides evenly with butter and mustard. Layer all the ingredients inside the rolls in the order they’re listed, finishing with some Italian dressing and a little hot sauce, then press together to enclose the filling. Carefully cut the sandwiches in half and serve.


Leftover Italian dressing will keep for a week in an airtight container in the fridge and can be used to dress boiled potatoes, sliced tomatoes or barbecued meats.

Everything I Love to Cook by Neil Perry (Published by Murdoch Books, RRP $59.99)  is available now from great Victorian booksellers such as Books for Cooks, Hill of Content, The Paperback Bookshop and Readings, as well as online.

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