Now that the Saints of New Orleans are the 2010 Super Bowl champs (Yippee), I’m reminded of a recipe I would like to share in the Saints' honor. It’s the Muffuletta sandwich and one of the most wonderful and flavorful sandwiches I've ever tasted. It was created in New Orleans more than 100 years ago. But, believe it or not, it's not a Creole or Cajun or French sandwich. It's completely Italian.
According to gumbopages.com, "The muffuletta sandwich was invented by Signor Lupo Salvadore, who opened the now-famous little Italian market called Central Grocery on Decatur Street in the French Quarter in 1906.”
The ingredients that make this sandwich stand out is the crusty Italian bread loaf and the Italian olive salad. The bread is easy to get, but finding the olive salad is another story. I had to coerce a friend to bring some back from Southern California for me. It comes in a jar, and can be found in many Italian speciality stores. It's worth ordering some online if all else fails.
1 round loaf Italian bread (10-12 inches) 1/4 pound mortadella, thinly sliced 1/4 pound ham, thinly sliced 1/4 pound hard Genoa salami, thinly sliced 1/4 pound Mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 pound Provolone cheese,sliced 1 cup olive salad with oil Split loaf of Italian bread horizontally. Spread each half with equal parts of olive salad and oil. Place meats and cheeses evenly on bottom half and cover with top half of bread. Hold sandwich together with toothpicks. Tent with foil and heat in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Cut in quarters. Enjoy!