Waiting for Bonaparte Muffaletta

October 23, 2009
0 Ratings
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

One of the greatest native food items to come out of New Orleans is the muffaletta sandwich. Central Grocery is renowned for theirs. But you can also taste a fine one on the café menu at Napoleon House on Chartres. Napoleon House gets its name from the fact that in 1821 it was offered as a residence to Bonaparte during his exile. Being an unapologetic Bonapartist mine is a tribute to Boney. Now let’s see if he shows up for lunch. The primary components of the sandwich are ham, salami, provolone cheese and topping of olive salad, packed into a crusty round loaf.
Because it’s difficult to find the proper Italian style round bread loaf outside of New Orleans you might want to think about doing as I did here and pick up an 8 ¾ oz boule, which will feed two. The ingredients indicated here for the olive salad will produce enough for two sandwiches this size.

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup Spanish pimento olives
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives, kalamatas work fine
  • 4-6 cornichons
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled (see note below)
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian oregano
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced capicola
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced premium cooked ham
  • 1/4 pound sliced provolone cheese
  • A little creole mustard
  1. It's easy to make the olive salad in the bowl of a food processor using the olives, cornichons, garlic, oregano, olive oil, vinegar and black pepper. Give everything a few quick pulses. It should remain a bit chunky---somewhat more coarse than a tapenade (to which it's related).
  2. Spoon the olive salad into a non-reactive bowl and cover with cling wrap. It should then go into the refrigerator to rest for 5 to 8 hours, and will keep well overnight and into the following day.
  3. To assemble, use a sharp bread knife to divide the loaf into two halves horizontally like a giant hamburger bun. Smear some mustard on the bottom half and stack the ham, capicola, provolone, and scoop a generous helping of olive salad over. Cover with the top portion and divide into halves or quarters. Bring napkins.
  4. Note to the cook: for the garlic I use a "garlic confit" that I learned from Thomas Keller's BOUCHON cookbook. That consists of about 40 cloves of peeled garlic covered in canola oil and "poached" for about forty minutes---a flame tamer is advised. Store the garlic and oil in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use. After a few days the oil will be highly perfumed. I think the little Corsican would like that touch. It's handy to have on hand and you can add a little of the oil to the salad.
  5. If you are a capable home baker you may want to make your own loaf. I've thought about substituting a fougasse.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • luvcookbooks
  • pierino
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.

4 Reviews

luvcookbooks September 29, 2010
hey, forgot all about this until i read the comment on vegetarian muffuletta from drbabs

already posted a muffuletta for this week's contest and have been eating them all week (made a huge salad recipe)
showed it to a co worker who is from new orleans and he said the bread looked too healthy
used a ciabatta, a panini with green olives, a pugliese, a whole wheat panini so far
they all worked great, authenticity notwithstanding
next time will try the garlic confit
also like the mustard, was wondering if mustard would be good, thanks again!!
pierino September 29, 2010
I'm glad you found it useful. I do as well. I'm writing up my "lunch box" recipe now; it will fall somewhere between a muffaletta and pan bagnat. It should be up by day's end.
luvcookbooks December 1, 2009
Have been searching for a good muffuletta recipe, this could be the one, thanks.
pierino December 1, 2009
With the proper bread this olive salad mix works really well in the spirit of New Orleans.