The Muffaletta – New Orleans’ Overlooked “Other Sandwich”

This is our favorite sandwich – obviously an ancestor of that sandwich shop regular, the “Italian Sub,” but so much better. There used to be a place in Lincoln Park where we could get these to take out – many years ago. The place is long gone, so we have to make our own. Here’s how:

Olive condiment:
6 oz Sicilian green olives, or regular  green olives, pitted and chopped finely
1/4 cup hot giardiniera
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
olive oil

Sandwich:
Loaf of crusty Italian bread
1/4 lb imported Prosciutto, sliced very thin (or substitute Westphalian ham)
1/4 lb Genoa salami, sliced
1/4 lb Mortadella, sliced
1/4 lb Provelone, sliced
1/4 lb smoked Cacciocavala, or other smoked semi-hard cheese, such as smoked gouda, sliced

Mix the olives, the giardinara and the garlic (if using). Add enough olive oil to moisten all the ingredients well. Set aside until needed.

Cut the bread into individual sandwich portions, and then cut each lengthwise into two pieces. If the loaf is really thick you may want to scoop out some of the insides (save it to make breadcrumbs). Lay out the bottom slice of bread. Alternate the sliced meats with the cheeses – how many slices of each is up to you! Slather the second piece of bread with a liberal layer of the olive condiment, getting lots of olive oil on the bread (add even more, if you wish), and place it olive side down on top of the stack. Slice each sandwich in two if desired.

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