Muffuletta aka Maffuletta Sandwich – a New Orleans’ original Italian round sandwich stacked with layers upon layers of ham, mortadella, salami, cheese and it’s winning layer – the olive salad. It’s a mouthful bite of wonderful flavors and textures – a party in your mouth!
If you haven’t been to New Orleans, this muffuletta (moof-fuh-LEHT-tuh OR moo-foo-LE-ta) sandwich or simply called Muff will keep you coming over and over again. This is perhaps one of the top five best sandwiches in the country or even yet, in the whole wide world.
Just look at that beautiful stack of layers of real goodness!
This sandwich was invented in 1906 by Salvatore Lupo, owner of an Italian Market, the Central Grocery on Decatur Street in NOLA. Classic Muffaletta Sandwich uses a wide round flat loaf bread covered in sesame seeds which is very light and soft on the inside and somewhat crispy on the outside. It’s actually more like of a French bread, but slightly densier.
Since sourcing that outside of NOLA is the hardest part for this recipe to recreate, I swapped it instead with a round baguette bread which is in my neck of woods. You can also use a good hoagie roll or a submarine style. The key here is to use a bread that doesn’t get soggy easily to eat and doesn’t fall part. Nevertheless, it is as enjoyable as the original one given all the stack of beautiful layers stuffed inside.
Now let’s go to the infamous olive salad in this bread. This is the prominent ingredient that makes this Muffaletta Sandwich a standout, for me. That sweet, sour and olive-oil rich flavor are the best flavors you could ever wish for a sandwich. Don’t hold back when spreading it. Just give it a good and generous spread inside the bread cut. You’ll be pleased you did!
If you want to take a little spin to this crowd favorite recipe, you can always toss in your favorites on top of this olive salad. That’d sure be fun, but you can somewhat start with this first.
Another key thing to remember too, is to keep other cold cuts sliced thinly as much as possible. Here in this recipe, I personally used some of my favorites like mortadella, salami, provolone, mozarella and ham. And oh, let’s not forget that greens right above the stack to add a little bit of crunch. See how marvelously delicious this Muffaletta Sandwich is?!?!
Okay, I have to confess, I ate a quarter each sandwich for breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner! That is pretty acceptable, right? 😉
Oh well, I won’t hold you in for too long. Now go straight to your grocery store and grab all the ingredients for this out-of-this-world insanely scrumptious muffuletta sandwich. Did I just overused some adjectives here??? 😀
- ½ cup black olives , coarsely chopped
- ½ cup green olives , coarsely chopped
- ½ cup chopped pimiento
- 1 -2 teaspoons capers
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- ½ – 1 teaspoon oregano
- ¼ cup parsley
- 2-3 leaves basil
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 to 9 inch round boule (focaccia, ciabatta, or muffuletta bread)
- ¾- 1 pound sliced mixed Italian-style deli meats (ham, prosciutto, salami)
- ¼- ½ pound mixed Italian cheeses (provolone, swiss fontina, smoked mozzarella)
- In a medium bowl, add black and greens olives, pimento, capers, garlic, oregano, basil and parsley. Add olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper, thoroughly mix. Store in the refrigerator in a glass container for up to two weeks.
- Cut the top of bread, horizontally. Then remove interior of bread leaving about 1-inch border. Brush bread generously with oil from the salad,
- Layer the sliced meats, cheese, lettuce , followed by olive salad mixture – make sure to include juices with it.
- Repeat layers with remaining meat , cheese and olive mixture . Put the lid back on the bread and press gently to compress.
- For best results, wrap bread with plastic and let rest for about at least 1-2 hours before serving. Cut into desired shapes.