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I’ve been in a bit of a New Orleans mood since my most recent trip to the Big Easy.  I love its rich and complicated history, music, European architecture, and the food.  Good grief, y’all, the food.  Last week, I re-shared my blonde gumbo and bread pudding recipes, and this week I am sharing one of my all-time favorite weekend food recipes– the Muffuletta (muff-fuh-LEHT-tuh or moo-foo-LE-ta) sandwich.

I have a weird love for a good sandwich.  Yes, a well-made sandwich is on my top 5 food list, right under fried chicken and cheeseburgers (which I am pretty sure qualifies as a sandwich, but I digress…). 

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The Muffuletta is a Sicilian sandwich made from a round loaf of bread filled with Italian salami, olive salad, cheese, Italian ham, and freshly minced garlic.  Sicilian, you ask?  I thought this was about New Orleans food, you say? 

The story goes a little something like this.  The muffuletta is said to have been invented at The Central Grocery, an Italian market on Decatur Street in New Orleans, in 1906 by shop owner and Italian immigrant, Lupo Salvatore.  During that time, the Farmers’ Market was in the same area as the grocery, and most of the farmers who sold their produce there were Sicilian and would often come to the grocery for lunch.

SONY DSCThey would order some salami, some ham, a piece of cheese, a little olive salad, and either long braided Italian bread or round muffuletta bread. In typical Sicilian fashion they ate everything separately. The farmers would sit on crates or barrels and try to eat while carefully balancing their small trays covered with food.

As with the invention of most sandwiches, ease and convenience were motivators.  Salvatore suggested that it would be easier for the farmers since they had no table if he cut the bread and put everything on the Muffuletta bread.  It didn’t take long before the farmers came to merely ask for a “Muffuletta” for their lunch.

Over 100 years later, the Muffuletta is a favorite of local New Orleanians and tourists a like.


 

The Muffuletta

Ingredients:

  • 1 round loaf Italian-style bread, 8-10-inch in diameter*SONY DSC
  • Olive Salad (see recipe below)
  • Oil from Olive Salad
  • 2-4 ounces salami, thinly sliced
  • 2-4 ounces Italian ham, thinly sliced
  • 2-4 ounces Provolone cheese, thinly sliced

*I used smaller 6 inch diameter round loaves in the photos here. Cut in quarters, they are a great appetizer or snack size.

Olive Salad Recipe:

  • 2/3 cup pitted and diced (Queen or Manzanilla) green olives
  • 2/3 cup pitted and diced Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimiento
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Italian flat parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Preparation:

Prepare the Olive Salad.  In a medium-size bowl, combine all ingredients and allow to marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour before making sandwiches.

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I know I keep saying Olive Salad.  If you are not a fan of olives, don’t let me lose you right here.  I am not either.  I will pick them off of most things, but for some reason, I love this dang sandwich and so do my non-olive loving kids.  So, give it a try.  Who knows?

Cut bread in half to make a “bun” and scoop out a little hollow from top (this makes a nice little spot for all that yummy olive salad).

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SONY DSCBrush the insides of your “bun” with some oil from the Olive Salad marinade.

Layer salami, ham, and Provolone cheese on the bottom of the bun.

SONY DSCFill the hollow of the top of loaf with the olive salad. Put sandwich together and press down slightly.

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SONY DSCFor many, serving the muffuletta at room temperature is the only way to go, but I’ve got to be honest, I like the cheese just a little melted. If you like it slightly melted too, wrap the sandwich with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until the sandwich is warmed throughout.

SONY DSCSlice in quarters and serve.

Makes 1 to 4 servings (depending your the appetite).

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Pin this recipe here!

Perfect weekend sandwich and game day food. Packed with salami, ham, and olive salad, it is a favorite New Orleans tradition.

The Muffuletta
Serves 4
Made from a round loaf of bread, the muffuletta is filled with Italian salami, olive salad, cheese, Italian ham, and freshly minced garlic.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 round loaf Italian-style bread, 8-10-inch in diameter
  2. Olive Salad (see recipe below)
  3. Oil from Olive Salad
  4. 2-4 ounces salami, thinly sliced
  5. 2-4 ounces Italian ham, thinly sliced
  6. 2-4 ounces Provolone cheese, thinly sliced
Olive Salad Recipe
  1. 2/3 cup pitted and diced (Queen or Manzanilla) green olives
  2. 2/3 cup pitted and diced Kalamata olives
  3. 1/2 cup chopped pimiento
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1/2 cup finely chopped Italian flat parsley leaves
  6. 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  8. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Prepare the Olive Salad. In a medium-size bowl, combine all ingredients and allow to marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour before making sandwiches.
  2. Cut bread in half to make a “bun” and scoop out a little hollow from top.
  3. Brush the insides of your “bun” with some oil from the Olive Salad marinade.
  4. Layer salami, ham, and Provolone cheese on the bottom of the bun.
  5. Fill the hollow of the top of loaf with the olive salad. Put sandwich together and press down slightly.
  6. If you like the cheese slightly melted, wrap the sandwich with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until the sandwich is warmed throughout.
  7. Slice in quarters and serve.
a southern discourse https://southerndiscourse.com/

Sources:

http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Sandwiches/Muffuletta.htm

http://emerils.com/121389/muffaletta


Check out ASD’s muffuletta recipe and ton of other delicious southern recipes on Meal Plan Monday!