The Muffaletta is a Southern dish, with Italian ingredients, served in the French Quarter of an American melting pot famous for it's Creole, Spanish and African cultures, better known as New Orleans. Now there's a mouth full!!
Muffuletta is actually a Sicilian word for a special round loaf of bread, baked so that the center is hollow and can be stuffed. Since a real one is hard to find in the U.S., Muffulettas are usually made with a round Italian loaf that you cab hollow out yourself.
The olive salad is what sets the Muffuletta apart from other sandwiches. Instead of mustard or mayo, these three ingredients: green olives, black olives, and chopped vegetables are factors that elevate the "Muff" to a level of it's very own.
Here's a Muffaletta recipe sent to S365 earlier this month by Lynn at her blog "The Life Of A Foodie and Her Family" (photo not included): Click to see recipe
1 1/2 cup quality pimento-stuffed olives, crushed or coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, crushed or coarsely chopped (standard black olives may be used)
1 cup giardiniera (Italian pickled salad including cauliflower , carrots, celery, and onion. This can be found in the pickle aisle at the grocery store.)
2 pepperoncinis, chopped
2 Tbsp. capers, chopped
2 large stalks celery, finely chopped
3-4 fresh cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 cup quality extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine ingredients and place in a jar with lid. Refrigerate over night (24 hours is best) to allow flavors to mingle. I made this first thing on Saturday morning.
1 10 inch round Italian bread, not sliced
1/4 pound mozzarella cheese
1/4 pound provolone cheese
1/4 pound ham
1/4 pound hard salami
1/4 pound mortadella
To assemble the sandwich, I sliced the loaf in half. Layered on the meat then cheeses. On the top half of the bread I scooped out some of the bread and spread a generous amount of the olive salad. Then put the top on the sandwich. I sliced it into 10 wedges for our guests. I have a lot of olive salad left over.