The Cuban

Take lunchtime to a new level of deliciousness with a tried-and-true classic that features a surprise twista


INGREDIENTS for Cilantro Sauce

  • 5 sprigs fresh mint
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and white pith removed
  • 2 limes, juiced and zested
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, both leaves and tender stems
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

INGREDIENTS for Sandwich

  • 12 slices thick-cut sourdough bread
  • ¾ cup yellow mustard
  • 3 pounds thick-sliced smoked ham
  • 6 dill pickles, sliced lengthwise
  • 12 slices Swiss cheese


For the cilantro sauce: Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and purée until you achieve an even consistency. To assemble the sandwiches: Heat a panini press. Spread six slices of bread with mustard and top with ample portions of ham, two slices Swiss, some pickle slices, and a generous amount of cilantro sauce. Top with another slice of bread. (Extra cilantro sauce will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for two days.) Working in batches, press the sandwiches until the bread is toasty and golden brown and the cheese melted, about 8 minutes. Halve the sandwiches and serve hot.

If you don’t have a panini press, you can crisp up your Cuban sandwich in a sauté pan or on a skillet, pressing down on each side with a second heavy pan.