Towering New Orleans Muffuletta sandwich with layers of meat cheese and fresh olive salad!
There are times in life when one craves a sandwich.
Sometimes it’s more than just a craving or even a hankering… It’s a deeply-rooted gutteral urge for a sloppy, meaty, two-handed, got-to-SQUEEZE-to-fit-in-your-mouth kind of sandwich.
A man’s sandwich. The likes of which we girls shy away from in fear of judging eyes. I had that kind of hunger this week. I can say that without any shame.
Luckily, I have the cure for such a ravenous appetite. It’s called a New Orleans Muffuletta.
Muffulettas are a true New Orleans creation.
A large double meat, double cheese sandwich with the mother of all sauces on top.
Actually, it’s not a sauce at all. It’s an olive salad that is dumped over top of generously piled deli favorites, then covered with bread in hopes it will stay on. The name “muffuletta” comes from the style of Italian loaf used, and there is quite a discrepancy in how it is pronounced.
Some say Moo-full-otta or Moof-oo-letta… I say Muff-all-etta… You be the judge.
I have seen New Orleans Muffuletta recipes with a tidy tapenade, minced until almost obliterated, as to spread it across the bread.
I have no intentions of offending these sandwich makers, but I think they are missing the point.
The New Orleans Muffuletta is meant to be a BIG sandwiche, and big sandwiches are meant to be messy.
In fact, part of the fun of eating a New Orleans Muffuletta is using your fingers to eat all the runaways that fall onto your plate! Therefore, I say make a chunky olive salad, with pieces large enough for a half-blind granny to identify!
As we ate our New Orleans Muffuletta this week, my non-olive eating son said, “What’s in this that makes it soooo good?” You could see the olives hanging out of his sandwich and all over his plate, but he didn’t care.
Something about a muffuletta makes you through caution to the wind, and open wide for an enormous bite!
New Orleans Muffuletta
Amazing New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich. A monster of a sandwich piled high with multiple meats and cheeses, and a perky olive salad.
- 7 ounces small green olives (1 jar)
- 16 ounces giardiniera mix, roughly chopped (1 jar)
- 3 ounces cocktail onions, roughly chopped (1 jar)
- 2 ounces capers
- 1/4 cup chopped banana peppers or pepperoncinis
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 loaf Italian bread, round
- 1/2 pound deli sliced ham
- 1/2 pound deli sliced salami
- 1/2 pound sliced provolone cheese
- 1/2 pound sliced swiss cheese
- For the Olive Salad: Drain the brined ingredients. Roughly chop the cocktail onions, giardiniera mix and banana peppers. Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl and mix well. Set aside while preparing the rest of the sandwich. The longer it sits, the better!
- Slice the loaf of bread in half to make a top and bottom of the sandwich. Hollow out some of the bread on the top half, so it won’t be too tall to fit in your mouth.
- Drizzle some of the olive salad juice on the bottom half of the loaf. Layer the ham, provolone, salami, and swiss on the sandwich.
- Top the meats and cheeses with a generous portion of olive salad and add the bread top. Or live adventurously... Fill the hollowed-out bread top with salad, place the bottom half over it, and FLIP! Cut into pieces and serve.
NOTES: I try to select a giardiniera that is prominently red peppers and cauliflower.
Also, select a round italian loaf of bread with a dense texture. Soft french loaves won't hold up to the weight of the filling.
The olive salad will make twice as much as you need for one big sandwich. You can either make two sandwiches and serve more guests, or save the rest for later. It’s great as a green salad topper or with an antipasto platter. I just like to make a large batch, rather than have extra half-empty jars in the fridge!