Muffaletta Sandwich
Panino Muffaletta

serves:

There are many versions of the muffaletta sandwich around town, and I mean New Orleans of course, but it seems that Central Grocery in the French quarter is the place to go. The store is charming enough but it is the back counter seated on a stool with a muffaletta sandwich in front of you where you want to be. We sat down across from a man who told us he had his first muffaletta sandwich here 50 years ago, next to him was a couple that shared the same story for 40 years. Without any reservations we ordered one. The bread was soaked significantly with the olive oil dressing of the salad, then the salad and layers upon layers of the cold cuts, cut in four and wrapped in parchment paper. It was ten in morning, one would say breakfast, but the two of us were savoring the muffaletta sandwich as well as the customers. The sandwiches can be made in advance- actually they are better when the bread absorbs the olive salad dressing. Wrap them individually in parchment paper. Open and cut in four when your guests arrive and served cut on the parchment paper.

ingredients

Olive Salad- Version 1
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, sliced
½ cup carrots, shredded
½ cup celery ribs, shredded
½ cup green olives, pitted and finely chopped
½ cup roasted red peppers, finely chopped
½ cup pickled tuscon peperoncino, finely chopped
½ cup kalamata olives, pitted
½ cup cocktail onions
¼ cup tiny capers, in brine, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
¼ teaspoon peperoncino

Olive Salad-Version 2
1 container giardiniera, drained and chopped (16-ounce)
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, sliced
½ cup green olives, pitted and finely chopped
½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
¼ cup tiny capers, in brine, drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
¼ teaspoon peperoncino

For the Muffaletta
1 loaf Muffaletta bread, (8-inch round), split open
2 ounce provolone, sliced
2 ounces deli ham, sliced
2 ounces capicola, sliced
2 ounces mortadella, sliced
2 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, sliced
2 ounces genoa salami, sliced

directions
Olive Salad

For either version of the olive salad, miz all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight, to let the flavors develop. This makes more salad than you need for 1(8-inch) sandwich. Extra olive salad will keep for a week or more, and can be used in salads, sandwiches, etc...

Muffaletta

Lay the bottom of muffaletta bread cut side up on work surface. Layer half of the cheese and meats on the bread, then spread with 1/2 cup olive salad. Top with remaining meat and cheese. Finish with another 1/2 cup olive salad. Place top of bread on olive salad and press down. With a serrated knife, cut in 4 wedges.