This salad was created for a Mardi Gras party. I really wanted to contribute something that had quintessential New Orleans flavors, was easy to serve, easy to share, and would hold well for travel time to the party.
Traditionally a muffuletta is a HUGE sandwich found at almost any local grocery in New Orleans. Its roots lay with the Italian immigrants to the Big Easy. The sandwich is typically so large that stores sell half and quarter muffs which will easily feed one person. A whole muffuletta will feed a crowd. To make muffuletta sandwich you begin by slathering olive salad onto both sides of a split round (10″) of Italian bread (preferably topped with sesame) then layer up the meats and cheeses to towering heights. In my opinion this is best when wrapped in plastic wrap and left for the flavors to meld together for at least 30 min (or more!)
To deconstruct this sandwich into salad form I chop all the ingredients and layer them up in a bowl.
Olive salad. This could be make a week ahead of time and left to marinate. Roughly chop and combine:
- 2 jars green olives with pimentos
- 1 lg jar kalamata olives
- 1-2 jars gardineria
- 1 jar pickled garlic,
- salt & pepper to taste
Croutons. Make croutons out of the bread that would normally be the outermost layers. I cubed up the loaf of already stale bread, seasoned the cubes with olive oil & creole seasoning. Then toasted them on a baking sheet until golden and wonderfully crunchy.
Meat & Cheese. 1/4″ cubed
- 1/2lb mozzarella
- 1/2lb provolone
- 1/4lb mortadella
- 1/4lb capicola ham
- 1/4lb genoa salami
Greens. Washed and chopped.
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1/2 bunch celery
- 1lb mixed greens
Everything chopped and ready? Great! Now layer it into your largest fancy bowl, preferably a clear one. Layer croutons, olive salad, greens, muff meat. Repeat as may times as possible. When you reach the top of your bowl.
Viola! A Muffuletta salad. A whole meal in one bowl!
If dressing is desired, reserve 3/4c olive juice, season with oregano, parsley, lemon zest, garlic, Tabasco and s/p, whisking in olive oil till viscous or dressing consistency
*something you should know: I don’t actually measure much of anything, feel free to adjust proportions