A muffuletta is an iconic New Orleans sandwich and is one of the best foods to try when you’re visiting the Big Easy. It dates to the early 1900s and was inspired by the city’s Italian population. It turns out that overstuffing a large round loaf with Italian cold cuts, cheese and a pickled olive salad is an experience in flavor that you won’t soon forget. If you’ve never had one, you are in for a treat. Typically, a single muffuletta is too big for one person. You can order a quarter or a half, but even that is a huge amount. In this recipe, they are small, so everyone at your gathering can enjoy their own sandwich.
The correct bread is key to a good muffuletta. It needs to be soft but not crumbly, lightly crusty but not too hard. In this recipe, I recommend buying Italian olive salad rather than making your own. There are many kinds available in the marinated vegetable section of your grocery store, but I prefer one that has cauliflower, carrots and celery in addition to the olives.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
On one or two cookie sheets, place all the rolls cut side up. Using a pastry brush, paint each cut side with a light coating of the oil from the olive salad.
Put the cookie sheets in the oven and lightly toast the rolls for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven.
Take one deli roll, the top and the bottom, and place them both on one of the squares of aluminum foil.
On one half of the sandwich, put one slice of provolone, followed by two slices of capicola, one slice of mortadella and two slices of salami. Then add another slice of provolone.
Add one heaping tablespoon of olive salad on top of the provolone.
Top the sandwich with the other half of the roll.
Wrap it up in the aluminum foil and place it on a cookie sheet.
Continue the process with the other sandwiches.
Place them all in the 350-degree oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Let stand for 5 minutes before unwrapping and serving.
Either stack them whole on a platter or cut them in half and secure them with extra-large sandwich skewers. These make a wonderful centerpiece for a New Orleans appetizer or brunch spread which could also include shrimp with remoulade sauce or grilled oysters.
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