Nawlins Muffuletta Sando

I feel an affinity for New Orleans even though I have never been there. It’s the French in me, I guess. My dad and his wife Terri used to go there and get shrimp right off the shrimp boats. Maybe they met the original Bubba Gump. Maybe not. It remains that I like New Orleans and that’s good enough for me.

I’ve always wanted to try a Muffuletta sandwich. I’ve had Po’ Boys before. The Po Boy I had was an oyster Po Boy and it came from the venerable Spenger’s fish market and restaurant in Berkeley, California one fine summer/fall/winter/spring day. I say it this way because the weather in Berkeley is roughly the same all the time so it’s hard to differentiate between the seasons. Also, Spenger’s is no longer there, having closed years ago. Anyway, that Po Boy made me sick to my stomach. Maybe it was too greasy. The oysters, after all, are deep fried. This made me sad because I really wanted to love it and the first couple bites I did love. Much to my chagrin, I could not finish it.

I was hoping that my first muffuletta wouldn’t affect me in the same way and it didn’t, but I can’t really say that I loved it very much. It was too salty. The ingredients are all salty to begin with.

BUT…. If you love olives, this is the sando for you! It starts with a very easy to make olive salad.

Olive Salad Ingredients

¾ c pimento stuffed olives

3-4 small, pickled onions

¼ c pitted kalamata olives

4/4 c Italian giardiniera

2 large pepperoncini

2 T capers

1 medium clove garlic, chopped

1 t dried oregano

Ground pepper to taste (5-6 grinds of the pepper grinder should do it)

2 t lemon juice

2 T olive oil

Drain your ingredients and put everything in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Won’t take but a minute.

Build your sando.

Halve a sesame seed Italian roll and scoop out the insides. Pile on mozzarella, provolone, salami and /or mortadella and capicola and the olive salad. Top with the other half of the roll and smoosh it all down. You can eat it immediately or wrap it tightly, refrigerate and eat later. Alternatively you can squash it under a brick. Ain’t that a kick? The olive salad keeps in the fridge in a jar.

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