Originating from Central Grocery in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the muffuletta has always been on the short list as one of the Great Sandwiches.
The secret? It's all in the olive-vegetable salad—after the relish sits with the bread for a bit, it soaks in to add that herby-briny goodness the sandwich is known for.
The sandwich is stacked with mortadella, hot soppresata and provolone cheese—and that killer relish—then pressed down until it all becomes a briny, crunchy, meaty, cheesy mess of deliciousness.
Muffuletta, you're our hero.
To learn more, read our story "Our Hero: The Muffuletta."
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 1 sandwich
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus pressing time
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes, plus pressing time
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ medium carrot, thinly sliced
½ rib celery, thinly sliced
½ cup finely chopped cauliflower
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ cup pitted green olives, finely chopped
¼ cup brine-cured pitted black olives, preferably kalamata, finely chopped
5 pepperoncini, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 jarred roasted pimento peppers, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
1 6-inch-round Italian loaf with sesame seeds, split horizontally and hollowed out
4 ounces thinly sliced provolone
6 ounces thinly sliced mortadella
6 ounces thinly sliced hot soppressata
1. Prepare the relish: Combine the olive oil, carrot, celery, cauliflower, dried oregano, chile flakes and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, until the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and add the vinegar, olives, pepperoncini and pimento peppers. Season with salt and mix together.
2. To assemble the sandwich, divide the olive salad between the top half and bottom half of the bread. Layer the provolone, mortadella and hot soppressata on the bottom half of the bread, making sure none of the meat or cheese flares out over the sides of the bread. Carefully cover with the remaining top half of the bread and cover the entire sandwich in plastic wrap. Transfer it to a baking sheet or cutting board and weigh it down with a heavy item, such as a cast iron skillet or a large can of tomatoes, for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.