'Wich of the Week: Muffuletta

'Wich of the Week: Muffuletta

Yesterday was Super Tuesday and Fat Tuesday, so I decided to celebrate with the super-fat New Orleans sandwich known as the muffuletta. Though lesser-known than the Big Easy's other big-bread creation, the po'boy, today's 'Wich of the Week is just as beloved.

Invented about a century ago by the French Quarter's Central Grocery, this sandwich is made on massive rounds of Italian bread cut into quarters; one sandwich easily feeds two to four people. I've never been able to find the bread outside of New Orleans, so I substitute seeded kaiser rolls.

The key to a good muffuletta — which features piles of ham, salami, mortadella, and provolone cheese — is Italian olive salad. Central Grocery closely guards its recipe, but Boscoli's version is hard to beat. This time I decided to make my own, and I was quite pleased with the results; to get the recipe for the olive salad and the sandwich, plus lots of photos, read more.


For the olive salad:

  • 1 cup green pimiento-stuffed olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced carrot
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup roasted red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 T. dried parsley
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. white-wine vinegar
  • 2 T. lemon juice

For the sandwich:

  • 2 slices mortadella
  • 2 slices ham
  • 4 slices salami
  • 3 slices provolone cheese
  • Olive salad
  • One seeded kaiser roll or similar

How to make it:

  1. Preferably one day in advance, make the olive salad. Combine all 11 ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Store overnight in a tightly sealed container.
  2. Next, slice the seeded rolls in half, hamburger bun-style, and hollow out the top slice by scraping out most of the fluffy bread.

  3. On the bottom slice, spread a thin layer of olive salad, just enough to hold the sandwich together.
  4. Atop that slice, stack the mortadella, ham, salami, and cheese.

  5. Then, fill the hollowed-out section of the top slice with a generous helping of olive salad.

  6. Assemble the sandwich by placing the olive-filled half of the roll atop the meat, and slice in half to eat.