This is a favorite of mine as well as many, many other visitors to New Orleans and each and every local! Here is my recipe for the famous Muffuletta sandwich and for the traditional olive salad, as well! Pronounced "moo-foo-LET-ta"
Legend has it that it was invented by Signor Lupo Salvadore, who owned and operated the Central Grocery on Decatur Street in the French Quarter in 1906. He apparently created this piece of culinary wonder for one of his favorite customers!
One thing to remember on a trip to New Orleans :Given the poor quality, or complete nonexistence of airline food these days stashing one of these babies in your carry-on luggage is an absolute must! As the aroma of the olive salad fills the entire plane, it totally pisses off your fellow passengers that you were smart enough to think of this ahead and bring a "special" stash of New Orlean's love along for the ride will make the flight home even more fun.
For the sandwich itself : (using the best available ingredients please)
1 round Italian bread
1/4 # mortadella, thinly sliced
1/4 # ham, thinly sliced
1/4 # hard Genoa salami, thinly sliced
1/4 # sliced Mozzarella cheese
1/4 # sliced Provolene cheese
1 cup Olive salad w/oil
Split loaf in half horizontally / spreading each w/equal parts olive salad & oil
Place meats & cheeses evenly on the bottom half / cover with top portion
Cut into 1/4's.
The Olive Salad : (this will make a large amount...it keeps well and will not last long. Trust me.)
1 gallon large pimento stuffed olives...slightly crushed and drained well
1 quart jar pickled cauliflower....drained & sliced
1 med. jar (8 oz.) capers, drained
1 whole stalk celery....sliced diagonally
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
1 small jar (2oz.) celery seeds
1 small jar oregano (3oz.)
1 large head fresh garlic, peeled & minced
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 jar pepperoncini, drained & sliced
1 # large Greek black olives
1 jar coctail onions
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or pot and mix well. Place in large jar or jars....cover with 1/3 olive oil, 1/3 Crisco oil and 1/3 Red Wine vinegar. Allow to marinate 24 hours before using.
This recipe for Olive salad is the one I always used at the Caribbean Deli....and I used alot of it !!! Every self-respecting New Orleans resident will have a jar of this mixture in their fridge....also, as I mentioned, this will make a large amount of Olive Salad and you will find many uses for this wonderful stuff. The Muffuletta cut into 1/4's will feed four timid people on a diet....two hearty New Orleanians, or one incredible "couchon" !!!! I hope that you enjoy this as much as I do !!!!