I love a good sub! The balance of acidity from the olives and pepperoncini with the richness of the butter and fatty meats and cheese is perfection.
Technique tip: Choose a high quality Italian dressing that only has oil, vinegar and seasoning in the ingredients list. You can make your own of course, but store bought is great for saving time as long as you choose the right brands.
Swap option: Try different meats like mortadella, Genoa salami or spicy coppa. Any combo will work!
For the olive spread:
Chop the olives and pepperoncinis by hand or in a food processor until chunky. Add the red pepper flakes, olive oil and Italian seasoning, set aside.
For the zesty Italian butter:
Melt butter in the microwave. Add the dressing and stir to combine. If the mixture seizes up, microwave it for another 10 seconds to warm it.
For the hot Italian subs:1.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay the bottom buns in an 8- by 8-inch baking dish (if using parker house or Hawaiian rolls, use enough to completely cover the bottom of the pan. If using burger buns, 4 small ones should work). Set the top buns on a separate baking pan and brush the inside and outside with half of the zesty butter. Set the tray aside.2.
Brush the remaining half of the zesty Italian butter on the bottom buns. Then arrange the meats on the buns and top the meat with the provolone cheese.3.
Spread the olive spread on top of the provolone, and then cover it with the sliced fresh mozzarella. Put the loaded bottom buns and the tray of buttered top buns in the oven (put the tops on the bottom shelf of the oven) for 15 minutes (you want the cheese all melted on the bottoms and the top buns to be nicely toasted).4.
While the sandwiches are toasting, toss the iceberg lettuce and basil in a small bowl with the dressing.5.
When the sandwiches are done toasting, remove them from the oven. Top the melted cheese with tomato slices and the dressed iceberg and basil. Put the toasted bun tops on top of the iceberg slaw and secure using frilly toothpicks. Serve while warm and gooey.