Po’ Boy Sandwich

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    4 to 6


Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About

If I liked the New Orleans oyster loaf, I had an almost equal fondness for a po’ boy sandwich. That is dialect, of course, for “poor boy.” It consists of assorted salamis and cheese plus pepperoncini, lettuce, and other good things served on an open sandwich, the filling to be doused with olive oil and vinegar according to taste. Other places use other names such as “heroesy or “submarines,” but they are to my mind inferior to the New Orleans original.


  • 1 long crusty loaf Italian or French bread
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ pound or less thinly sliced salami
  • ¼ pound or less thinly sliced prosciutto
  • ¼ pound or less thinly sliced mortadella
  • ¼ pound or less thinly sliced capicola
  • ¼ pound or less thinly sliced provolone or Fontina cheese
  • 6 to 8 Tuscan peppers (pepperoncini)
  • 3 roasted sweet peppers, preferably red (see note)
  • 5 or 6 crisp lettuce leaves
  • 1 ripe tomato, cored and sliced, optional
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste, if desired
  • Additional olive oil, optional
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, optional Imported black olives, optional


  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Slice the bread lengthwise. Combine the olive oil and crushed garlic. Stir briefly. Brush the split halves of the bread with the oil and garlic. Sprinkle each half with Parmesan cheese. Run the bread under the broiler, split side up, until cheese is golden.
  3. Arrange layers of salami, prosciutto, mortadella, capicola, provolone, Tuscan peppers, sweet peppers, lettuce, and tomatoes on one of the bread halves. Sprinkle, if desired, with salt and pepper. Sprinkle, if desired, with more oil and vinegar. Cover with the remaining bread half and slice into serving portions. Serve with black olives, if desired.