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Ultimate Salami Sandwich with Pickled Red Onion

The Ultimate Salami Sandwich with Focaccia & Pickled Red Onion

  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Sandwiches


This salami sandwich with focaccia and pickled red onion combines sweet, fresh, tangy, savoury, peppery and creamy in each delicious bite. The star of the show is the salami, together with grilled aubergine, pickled red onion, fresh salad leaves, creamy aioli and spicy Calabrian chilli. It makes for a mouth-watering gourmet sandwich for meat lovers and is perfect between chargrilled slices of crispy golden focaccia. And, with a few tweaks, you can be enjoying it in less than 15 minutes!



For the sandwich 

  • Slab of focaccia big enough for 2 sandwiches
  • 110g mixed cured meats, like spicy salami, Coppa and Parma ham
  • 1 aubergine*
  • 30g salad leaf mix *want to save time? Replace the roasted aubergine for shop bough, or use grilled artichokes or bottled peppers. Using shop-bought aioli will also cut your cook time right down, but if you have the time, home made always wins!

For the pickle

  • 3 Tbsp / 45g white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 red onion
  • Oil, salt and pepper as needed

For the spicy aioli

  • 1 small bulb garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Calabrian chilli or chilli paste of your choice
  • 50g / scant 1/4 cup mayonnaise OR
  • Shop-bought roasted garlic aioli
  • 1 Tbsp Calabrian chilli


  1. Cut off the top quarter of the garlic to expose the cloves, then coat garlic in olive oil and wrap it in tin foil.
  2. Roast the garlic in your air fryer at 200 C or oven at 190 C for 30 minutes or until soft and gooey.
  3. Slice your aubergine into rounds. Generously salt them and place in a colander to drain off the excess liquid. Set aside for 10 minutes then pat dry.
  4. While the aubergine is resting, dice your red onion and mix in a bowl together with white wine vinegar and honey or maple syrup. Season with salt, pepper and a little oil as needed.  Set aside for ten minutes to marinate and lightly pickle.
  5. Place your sliced aubergine into a roasting dish or air fryer and brush with chilli oil or olive oil, then roast alongside the garlic, until golden brown and gooey, flipping half way.
  6. For air fryer: Roast at 200 C for 12 minutes, flipping halfway.
  7. For oven: Roast at 190 C 15 – 20 minutes, flipping halfway.
  8. Once garlic and aubergine are done roasting, remove the roasted garlic from the foil and mash it. In a bowl, combine the mashed garlic, Calabrian chilli, and mayonnaise.
  9. Lightly toast your focaccia bread in a pan or by running it cut-side down over the open flame of your gas cooker. Spread the garlic and chilli mayo sauce on one side of the bread.
  10. Layer the bread with mixed cured meats and roasted aubergine slices.
  11. Place pickled onions on the other side of the bread.
  12. Toss the salad leaf mix with the pickled onion marinade and spread on the bread.
  13. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to form your second sandwich – then wrap in brown paper, cut in half, and serve immediately.




You can save time by using store-bought aioli and substituting the grilled aubergine with marinated peppers or artichoke.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Method: Bake

Keywords: salami sandwich

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