Having just returned from New Orleans (yes, I carried back with me a well wrapped version of the local Muffuletta sandwich) and saw that my new pals at Stoltzfus Meats sent me some new treats to sample. This included some of the Cottage Bacon ( which I had never tried before but is now my new favorite child), Smoked Cheddar Cheese and a package of its branded Canadian Bacon. So you know what that meant; I was making up my own version of the Muffuletta that was amped up in flavor and smoke.
A bit of history on the Muffuletta Sandwich
According to many online sources – the muffuletta bread has origins in Sicily with the sandwich version showing up as early as 1906 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Common belief is that the sandwich was created by delicatessen owner Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant. But others had paid claim to that as well..
The traditional-style muffuletta sandwich consists a sesame seeded “muffuletta bowl shaped soft loaf” split horizontally, filled with layers of marinated diced olive salad, and cured meats commonly eaten in Italian households at the time including salami, ham, Swiss or mozzarella and provolone cheeses, and mortadella.
The diced olive salad consists of olives combined with quick or jarred pickled celery, cauliflower and carrot. Most of these can be usually found in a jar of giardiniera, seasoned with oregano and garlic, covered in olive oil, and allowed to combine for at least 24 hours. In fact for my version I used my own recipe for “Sherrys Garden Giardiniera” base with several kinds of cured, jarred minced olives to enhance the taste. My giardiniera also includes serrano peppers, radishes and okra. You can find my version on the FoodtokTV site here or on here on Bitetheroad.
The recipe below gives you a full version, but you can use the recipe above for “Sherrys Garden Giardiniera” and amp it up with olives like I did. Note: You can often find jarred Olive Salad in the pickle section of the grocery stores and on Amazon.
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- 3/4 cup pitted mixed oil-packed olives
- 1/2 cup giardiniera (Italian-style pickled vegetable salad or make you own Sherrys Garden Giardiniera)
- 1 large roasted red peppers ( yes you can use jarred ones)
- 1 tablespoon capers (optional)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 large muffuletta-style roll (Since I couldn’t find them locally, I used a sourdough roll)
- 1/3 pound thinly sliced sweet soppressata
- 1/3 pound thinly sliced mortadella
- 1/3 pound thinly sliced capicola
- 1/3 pound thinly sliced provolone cheese
- 1/3 pound of Smoked Cheddar Cheese
- 1/3 pound of cooked Cottage Bacon
- Combine olives, giardiniera, capers in a food processor and pulse to a small mince. For a chunkier version, dice by hand with a sharp knife.
- Transfer to a bowl. Add olive oil and vinegar and stir to combine. For best results, let you olive salad rest overnight before continuing
- Split the muffuletta roll in half and spread each cut surface generously with olive salad, with the liquids!
- Add alternating layers of meats and cheeses, in the middle add the layer of roasted red pepper.
- Close sandwiches and press down gently press to compress.
- Wrap tightly in paper or plastic and let rest for 1 hour – 2 hours before serving.
You can make this a day before and leave wrapped then slice. This is a perfect party or picnic food as it is best room temperature so can be removed from the refrigerator to come to room temp before eating.