2 halves of a panino shingled on top of each other on a scrap of newspaper.
Photography: Eric Vitale – Art Direction & Food Styling: Anthony Contrino

Years back, when I was working with Gariele Corcos and Debi Mazar, I helped them open a little corner cafe in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  On the menu was a similar sandwich.  This is my version.  This grown-up version of a bologna and cheese sandwich paired with an artichoke tapenade adds some freshness, and slathering the exterior of the bread in garlic butter creates an inside-out garlic bread crunch!

Mortadella & Artichoke Tapenade Panino

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2


FOR THE ARtICHOKE TAPENADE: (Makes approximately 1 cup)

  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated pecorino
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper


  • 4 tablespoons ½ stick unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ small clove garlic, grated on a microplane
  • Pinch garlic powder
  • 4 slices crusty Italian bread
  • ¼ cup Artichoke Tapenade, recipe follows
  • 6 ounces thinly-sliced mortadella, about 8 slices
  • 3 ounces thinly-sliced provolone, about 6 slices


  • MAKE THE TAPENADE. Gently squeeze any excess water from the artichoke hearts.
  • Separate the hearts from the tender leaves.
  • Place the hearts in a mini food processor or a mortar and process or mash until creamy.
  • Add the cheese, olive oil and pepper and stir until well combined.
  • Finely chop the artichoke leaves and stir them into the artichoke paste.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • MAKE THE PANINI. Preheat a panini press to medium-low.
  • In a small bowl, stir the butter, garlic and garlic powder until well combined.
  • Spread a thin, even layer of the garlic butter onto one side of a slice of bread; flip the bread over.
  • Spread 2 tablespoons of the Artichoke Tapenade onto the other side of the bread.
  • Top evenly with half of the mortadella.
  • Top evenly with half of the provolone.
  • Cover with another slice of bread.
  • Spread a thin, even layer of the garlic butter onto the exposed side of the bread.
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Place the sandwiches into the prepared panini press and cook until the bread is golden brown and crisp, for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Halve and serve immediately.


If you do not have a panini press, you can cook the panini in a cast iron skillet with a second on top to press the sandwich.
Course: Lunch, Sandwiches
Author: Anthony Michael Contrino