Toasty Focaccia Italian Antipasto Melts “au jus”

Zip through your grocer’s produce, deli and salad bar to grab what you need to throw together these Toasty Focaccia Italian Antipasto Melts “au jus!”  

Toasty Facoccia Italian Antipasto Melts au jus Sandwiches


I’m a theme gal. Always have been.  Planning months ahead for magazine recipes means I’m thinking seasonally and about ideas long before time gets here.  To have some rhyme and reason to my 3 recipes each month, I devise some sort of theme in my head to help me focus and pull things together.

With parents always busy running here and there during school months, it’s difficult to get good suppers on the table without a lot of fuss. Not that it is difficult… just hard to come up with new ideas that you can throw together with little effort and time.  

For some time, I’ve had an idea to do some easy “deli-salad bar” quick to make suppers for those busy nights when parents are running to ballgames and dance studios… some both!  For the April issue, I did just that.  And since I know you’re busy, I won’t get too wordy here and take up your time.  

These oven toasted sandwiches are great as is, but also easy to tweak with other meats and fillings. Scour the deli and salad bar and grab what your crowd likes.  Make one side one way, the other side for the picky eaters.  Just turn the oven on to get nice and hot for quick toasting while you’re piling on the goodies. This is a good recipe to let your little chefs make with their own creative touches. Be sure to keep good focaccia in the freezer so you can throw together in a flash!

Along with this piled-high toasted sandwich with “au jus” for dipping, be sure not to miss my other two… Surf & Turf Asian Stir Fry along with Tex-Mex TacoBellas over Ranch Salad

Just a quick zip thru your grocery store deli, salad bar and produce area and you’ll have all you need with just a couple of staples you’re sure to have in your pantry.  Tweak these ideas to suit the taste buds around your table and supper’s served! 

Run along now… you’ve got places to be!

This recipe created for and published in Carolina Country Magazine April 2022.
Food propping/styling and photography © (copyrighted) by Wendy Perry.
Carolina Country Magazine Contributing Recipes Editor

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Toasty Focaccia Italian Antipasto Melts “au jus”

These are so gosh darn g.o.o.d. and creativity is welcome. Meats don’t have to be cooked, but I like to give half of it a quick crisping to add a little crunch… just one more layer of flavor! Serve with little bowls of the oil for dipping “au jus” style. All you’ll need is in the deli, salad bar and your pantry for a sandwich sure to make smiles!
Course: Main Course, Supper
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: au jus, facoccia, Italian, sandwich, toasted sandwich
Author: Wendy Perry


Combine and set aside:

  • 1 jar jar julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil usually in produce shelf area
  • 1 ¼ cups olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • crushed black pepper
  • crushed red pepper

From deli:

  • 2 lbs. sliced meats, variety of salamis and ham
  • 2 focaccia breads
  • 1 lb. melty cheese I used dilled Havarti

From salad bar:

  • red onion
  • pickled banana peppers
  • black olives
  • greens from bar or deli*


  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • Cook half the meat slices in microwave for 2 minutes until crispy and almost burnt.
  • Combine the oil, seasoning, vinegar and garlic paste.
  • Slice breads in half horizontally. Place bottoms onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (If bread is very thick, remove some of the “insides” before filling and toast for bread crumbs.) Brush cut sides with some of the oil mixture.
  • Layer with 1/3 of the cheese and half the meats. Top with pieces of the oiled tomatoes, bar toppings and greens. Drizzle with a little of the oil and repeat layers. End with final layer of cheese. Put top of bread on and tent with foil. Bake for 5 minutes, remove tent and bake 5 minutes more.
  • Cut and serve while hot with individual cups of the oil for dipping “au jus” style.


*When shopping, I saw a delicious kale apple salad in the deli so that’s what I used! Think outside the box or just use salad bar greens. The apples were great in these spicy sandwiches!

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