I love muffaletta sandwiches. Never mind that I have never been to New Orleans, the ones I used to eat while in school (restaurant called Harry's Seafood Bar and Grille...that does not receive good reviews presently) at the University of Florida in Gainesville (within the historic district) won me over forever. Salty, rich with cured meats and cheeses with an acidic bite from the olive spread and pickled vegetables, what's not to like? I recently made this tasty vegetable one because when I pack my lunch I don't like bringing any meat/poultry/fish/cheese if I won't have adequate refrigeration at my disposal. I end up eating slices for lunch and dinner for several days while also supplying my mother or brother with lunch as well. - testkitchenette —testkitchenette
Test Kitchen Notes
Making the sandwich took less than an hour, including roasting the vegetables. As a whole, the sandwich was delicious. The flavors were subtler than I expected, so if you prefer stronger flavors, I’d recommend putting more balsamic on and salting each layer of spinach. The olive spread was a bit sharp by itself, but it really enhanced the flavor of the sandwich as a whole. A lot of juice (I think from the peppers) soaked the bottom part of the bread and left it soggy and the sandwich did not hold together well after the first couple of bites, which could probably could be remedied by cutting thick slices, wrapping each in foil, and unwrapping as you eat. - Taiyyaba —The Editors
- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 50 minutes
- Makes 8 generous slices
- Olive Spread
kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
fresh basil, packed
sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil or not)
extra virgin olive oil
eggplant, cut into 1/4" rounds (I don't bother salting or peeling them)
extra virgin olive oil (you may need a bit more)
salt and pepper
3 big handfuls
fresh baby spinach, washed and spun dry
roasted/orange/yellow peppers, skins rubbed off
8-10" round of sourdough or whole grain bread, sliced in half horizontally
- Olive Spread
- Pulse this all (except olive oil) in your food processor or blender until it is a nice chunky texture (you don’t want baby food!) Add the olive oil at the end. *I get my olives at the olive counter in whatever supermarket I’m in. I always scoop up that thick olive oil sludge and use that for the olive oil portion of the olive spread.
- Toss sliced eggplant in large bowl to coat lightly with olive oil, season with salt/pepper, and roast on an oiled baking sheet for about 25 minutes, flipping once till golden brown.
- At the same time, cut your peppers in half and remove seeds and ribs. Coat them also with a bit of oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Roast on the top shelf of the oven until skins are blackened (about 30 min., maybe longer in your oven). Place them on a plate and cover with plastic wrap and set aside till cool then remove the skin and set aside.
- Toss the spinach with the balsamic vinegar and set aside.
- Cut your loaf of bread in half by cutting from the side of the bread, creating a top and bottom. Scoop some of the bread out of the top and the bottom (keep to make breadcrumbs/croutons/or mop up some kind of sauce). Spread the top and bottom with equal amounts of the olive spread. On the bottom half, put down a layer of eggplant, spinach, peppers, eggplant, and top with last layer of spinach. Put the top the bread on top and press down with your weight. Tuck the spinach leaves in that are sticking out. Wrap in a layer or two of foil. Put on a tray or plate and weight down (I use my small cast iron skillet with a few cans of coconut milk) and put in fridge for at least 6 hrs. or better, overnight.
- Cut into slices amd serve. So good. Makes a great to go lunch or party/potluck meal also. I’ve been eating mine for the past few days for lunch and dinner. Champagne goes nicely as does iced green tea!