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Muffuletta from Lemony Thyme

Last spring Shelby and I flew to New Orleans.  For business.  Aaaannnnd a girl’s getaway.  To say we had a blast is an understatement.  Before we left home we each made a must-see/do list of what we wanted to experience while visiting The Big Easy.  A trip to Central Grocery Co. for a Muffuletta was near the top of my list.

Cafe au Lait & Beignets

There were several ‘firsts’ that weekend.  I shared more about our trip in this post titled Beignets & Charbroiled Oysters {and a Pimm’s Cup recipe}.  We saved the best for last, we would enjoy a Muffuletta for lunch on Monday before we flew out that evening.  Yeeeaaaahhh.  Central Grocery is closed on Mondays.  Damn.

I had visions of sharing my version of their Muffuletta.  I had even started the post and saved it as a draft.  That draft has laid dormant for over a year.  I will visit NOLA again, this I know.  But I couldn’t wait any longer to create this monster sandwich in my kitchen.  Here we go.

Triple Olive Tapenade

I took some liberties with this Muffuletta.  I make a really good Triple Olive Tapenade.  Why reinvent the wheel?  Our tapenade was a great substitution for their ‘olive salad.’

Next, the Muffuletta got it’s name from a loaf of bread called muffuletta.  Sadly, they don’t make that at my local bakery and from what I’ve learned my best chance to obtain muffuletta is to board a plane to New Orleans.  Given that wasn’t an option, I chose our favorite round loaf….sour dough.  Blasphemy I know.  Can we agree now that this recipe isn’t authentic, yet a damn good representation of a classic sandwich?  In my head we all agreed.

Muffuletta Ingredients

I stepped up to the deli and was greeted by an energetic meat monger.  Not sure about that term.  After informing my ‘slicer guy’ that I was about to be a nightmare, he quickly said “I’m all in, let’s do this.”  I need 1/4-pound of salami, mortadella, capicola, provolone, mozzarella….and yes, I said yes to every sample he offered.  OooMyyyWeeerd.  Mortadella is bologna for grown ups.  Yum!

Muffuletta

We have tomatoes overflowing every inch (and counter) of our kitchen.  Yes, sliced tomatoes have been added to our sandwich, along with banana pepper rings.  And all of that meat and cheese.

Muffuletta2

Our Muffuletta Sandwich was awe-mazing and loaded with meat.  B is not an olive fan, so I layered tomato on the bottom, then alternated meat and cheese before topping with the yummy tapenade.  The key to the Muffuletta Sandwich is to press it.  I wrapped our sandwich in paper then stood every heavy can and pot on top of it for about six hours.  Holy Wow.  This is a BIG sandwich.  We each attempted a rather tall quarter first.  Serious sandwich love.  Later that evening, (in my best narrator voice) we heated the remaining sandwich in the oven.  Are you kidding me?!  Again, in my head we all agree….that all those Italian meats and cheeses bring a flavor explosion when warmed in the oven.

Did I mention that this is an awesome Game Day recipe?  Sharing on SEC Saturday.

Muffuletta Sandwich
 
Ingredients
  • 1 8-inch round Italian bread
  • ½ cup Tapenade (recipe link in post)
  • 1 small tomato, sliced
  • ¼ cup banana pepper rings
  • ¼ pound mortadella
  • ¼ pound salami
  • ¼ pound capacoli
  • ¼ pound provolone
  • ¼ pound mozzarella
Instructions
  1. Prepare Olive Tapenade. Preferably 8-12 hours ahead of time.
  2. Slice Italian round and scoop out extra bread.
  3. Layer tomato slices then alternate meat and cheese. Top with banana pepper and olive tapenade.
  4. Wrap sandwich then press with a plate stacked with heavy pantry ingredients. Your choice.
  5. To serve, use a sharp knife and cut in quarters.

 

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