R.I. Hot Oven Grinder
Lore has it, the grinder was invented by Giovanni Amato, an Italian baker, who came up with a portable inexpensive lunch for laborers. Mr. Amato started selling fresh baked rolls fresh baked rolls from a pushcart to kindred Italian immigrants working the docks. At the workers' request, he added meat, cheese, and veggies.
--crusty bread - preferably a loaf of italian bread cut in half; optional - oblong torpedo roll
--red wine vinegar
--seasoning (optional): black pepper, crushed red pepper, or oregano
1 smallonion, thinly sliced
1tomato, thinly sliced
--veggies - lettuce, shredded or torn; instead - thinly sliced green or red pepper rings or hot pepperoncinis
--variety - 2 -3 slices each of at least three italian cold cuts: genoa salami, mortadella, sliced pepperoni, capicola, or prosciutto
4-5 sliceprovolone cheese
How to Make R.I. Hot Oven Grinder
- Cut loaf of Italian bread in half; slice through sandwich half - lengthwise, deep enough to open and fill with ingredients.
- On one side of bread - layer onion slices, tomato slices, lettuce, pepper rings, or pepperoncinis.
- Spread Italian meats and cheese, overlapping.
- Generously drizzle olive oil and add a few splashes of red wine vinegar. Add seasoning if you wish.
- Press sides of bread together and voila!
- Rhode Islanders often leave the sandwich open and place it in the oven until the cheese melts - let the temperature rise to 350 degrees.
- NOTE: After WWII, as Italian food grew in popularity in the United States and many cultures became assimilated, the use of other meats and cheeses infiltrated the grinder - turkey, roast beef, American and Swiss cheese. Even mayonnaise and mustard elbowed their way in. With the advent of chain restaurants, all sorts of grinders can be had and named for the type of bread used - baguette, ciabatta, barra, foccacia. In Rhode Island, the Italian grinder has hit the sauce big time: meatball, chicken parm, and eggplant grinders abound.