Weekend Recipe: Panino Muffaletta

The muffaletta is one of the world's great sandwiches. It has its origins among Sicilian immigrants in New Orleans at the turn of the last century, and is now a venerated art form in that city. This recipe by KCET chef Lidia Bastianich has two versions for the filling -- the first one leaves all the vegetable chopping up to you, which the second one just calls for a jar of giardiniera, the onion-celery-carrot mix needed for the dressing. Either way, be sure to let the sandwich sit, for a few hours at least, before serving, to let all the flavors mingle. If mufaletta bread cannot be found, get ciabatta or focaccia instead.

Version One
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, sliced
½ cup carrots, shredded
½ cup celery ribs, shredded
½ cup green olives, pitted and finely chopped
½ cup roasted red peppers, finely chopped
½ cup pickled peperoncino, finely chopped
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
½ cup cocktail onions
¼ cup tiny capers, in brine, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes

Version Two
1 16-ounce jar giardiniera, drained and chopped
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, sliced
½ cup green olives, pitted and finely chopped
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
¼ cup tiny capers, in brine, drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes

For the Muffaletta
1 loaf Muffaletta bread, (8-inch round), split open
2 ounce provolone, sliced
2 ounces deli ham, sliced
2 ounces capicola, sliced
2 ounces mortadella, sliced
2 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, sliced
2 ounces genoa salami, sliced

For either version of the olive salad, mix all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight, to let the flavors develop. This makes more salad than you need for 1 (8-inch) sandwich. Extra olive salad will keep for a week or more, and can be used in salads, sandwiches, etc.

Lay the bottom of muffaletta bread cut side up on work surface. Layer half of the cheese and meats on the bread, then spread with 1/2 cup olive salad. Top with remaining meat and cheese. Finish with another 1/2 cup olive salad. Place top of bread on olive salad and press down. When ready to serve, cut into 4 wedges with a serrated knife.

Find out more about "Lidia's Italy" here!

[Photo by Andrew Huff]



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About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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