New Orleans Muffuletta
The muffuletta's syncretism is what the best foods are made of. Though a blend of Italian and Creole flavors, this sandwich emerges as uniquely New Orleans.
- 2 cups giardiniera, drained (Italian pickled vegetables. Look for a glass jar in the olive aisle)
- 1 cup pimento stuffed green olives
- 1/2 cup black olives (Kalamata is a bit too strong for us, we tend to go for something milder)
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 2 tbs capers, rinsed (They're way too salty otherwise)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbs red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp celery seed
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 tbs fresh parsley, minced
- 1 round loaf of bread, about 7 inches in diameter (The perfect bread is tough to find. You want something that's not too crusty on the outside, but not too soft on the inside.)
- 4 oz provolone
- 4 oz mozzarella
- 4 oz salami
- 4 oz mortadella (Can sub for deli ham)
- In a food processor, pulse the giardiniera, green olives, black olives, shallot, and capers until everything is coarsely chopped and evenly combined.
- Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, oregano, thyme, celery seed, and red pepper flakes. Pour over the olive mixture and toss to coat. Add the parsley and toss to evenly distribute.
- Let rest before use. If you're in a hurry, 30 minutes at room temperature will do. If you can wait longer, cover and refrigerate overnight. It can keep in the fridge up to a week.
- Cut the loaf in half horizontally.
- Spread the olive mix on each half of the bread. Add salt, pepper, and extra olive oil if desired. Layer on the meats and cheese onto each half.
- Wrap each half in plastic and weigh down with a baking sheet. You want the bread to have a chance to absorb the olive salad's flavors. These can sit out for about 30 minutes, or can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Refrigeration would also help soften a particularly crusty bread.
- Combine the sandwich halves, then slice vertically to share. One sandwich is generally good for four people, but can be split further as desired.
This sandwich is divine with a Bloody Mary.