If you’ve never had muffaletta then you’re missing out on a flavor packed sandwich with a unique taste. The sandwich was made popular in New Orleans, mostly due to the signature Olive Salad that encompasses the sandwich. It’s really sets this sandwich apart – well that and the heavy doses of provolone cheese and meats. Muffaletta is a type of bread, somewhat like focaccia. A whole piece of Muffaletta is rather large and lends itself well to feeding a group.
As in most cases we try to prepare as much food ahead of time so that we aren’t spending the whole weekend cooking instead of kicking back. There are a few steps to making this delicious sandwich so doing some work ahead of time is recommended. First you need to get the bread, if you can’t find Muffaletta in your area you can substitute any type of round loaf bread. The olive salad is really they key to making this a unique salad. But it usually requires you to blend the vinegar, olive oil, oregano and olives, so do this ahead of time and just keep it in the cooler. The rest can be assembled at the campsite or in the comforts of your own home in which it can wrapped and chilled until you are ready to eat.
Unlike most sandwiches you actually want to put a heavy object on the top of it. This will help solidify it and keep it from falling apart. I know, it was a hard thing for me to do the first time, but it makes the muffaletta better – I promise! We originally found this particular recipe over at the Make Ahead Blog and changed it a little to make it easier for traveling and preparing.
- 1 round bread loaf (about 7 inches in diameter)
- 1 cup Olive salad
- 3 tbsp Red wine vinaigrette dressing
- ¼ lb prosciutto
- ¼ lb thinly sliced sandwich pepperoni
- ¼ lb salami
- 8 slices provolone cheese
- 1 large ball fresh mozzerella, sliced thinly
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅓ cup good quality olive oil
- 10 large pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup pitted, coarsely chopped kalamata olives
- 1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1/ 4 cup Roasted red peppers
- 3 tbsp Artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- Arugula or romaine lettuce
- Fresh basil leaves
- Prepare the Olive Salad. With a whisk or a small food processor, whisk the first three ingredients together. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking or while food processor is on. Stir in the olives. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Prepare the bread. Cut the top 1 inch of the bread loaf off horizontally. Set the top aside. Hollow out the bottom and top halves of the bread, leaving about 1" of the bread on the crust.
- Spread some of the olive salad over the bread bottom and cut side of the bread top. Start layering in the ingredients as follows, occasionally drizzling a little of the red wine vinaigrette dressing: meats, provolone, onion, lettuce, artichoke hearts, basil leaves, roasted red peppers, fresh mozzerella, remaining olive salad.
- Carefully cover sandwich with the bread top. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Place in cooler with some weight on it. Sandwich should rest in the refrigerator for at least three hours or up to two days.
- You can then cut sandwich into wedges and serve.