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Author Notes: By most accounts the muffaletta was invented at Central Grocery in New Orleans. It has since joined the various Po' Boys as a city staple. The key to it is the olive salad, and it's an outstanding brown-bag (or picnic) choice because the sandwich gets better if made, wrapped tightly in plastic, and allowed to meld for 2 - 4 hours. —Kevin
- 1 cup pimento-stuffed Spanish olives
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup pitted Sicilian-style green olives
- 1/2 cup giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables)
- 1/4 cup pepperoncini
- 1/4 cup pickled onions
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 lg. clove garlic, chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Drain all ingredients. Place everything in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Refrigerate overnight.
- Mixture will keep for six months sealed in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
- 1 loaf Italian bread, split in half and cut into quarters*
- 1 cup olive salad
- 1/4 pound sliced ham
- 1/4 pound sliced mortadella
- 1/4 pound sliced Genoa salami
- 1/4 pound sliced mozarella
- 1/4 pound sliced provolone
- Spread olive salad on the bottom of each section of bread. (Note: It must be on the bottom so the bread will absorb the juices.)
- Array one fourth of each remaining ingredient over the salad.
- Place top slice if bread on sandwich.
- For best results, wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and let it meld for a couple of hours or as long as 8 hours.
- *Note: Central Grocery uses a round, rather flat loaf of bread about 8-inches in diameter and sells whole and half sandwiches (although a quarter is perfect for most people). This bread is denser than most Italian bread and I've had a sandwich that was 24 hours old (brought to me by a friend) that was perfect.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Brown Bag Lunch