Muffuletta



Alternate Spellings: Mufuletta, Muffulletta, Muffaletta, Muffuleta

Cuisine: American

Region: Cajun/Creole

Recipe Type: Sandwich

Average User Rating: 0.61 / 5

Vegetarian / Vegan: Vegetarian

Muffuletta, which takes its name from a kind of Sicilian bread with which the sandwich is usually made, has its origins in an Italian market called Central Grocery on Decatur Street, near the New Orleans Riverfront. This famous sandwich is classically made with a selection of cured Italian meats, provolone and mozzarella cheeses, and a tangy, complex olive and pickled vegetable salad - the ingredient that gives this New Orleans specialty its unique flavor.

We've used a melange of savory vegetables for the basis of this vegetarian Muffuletta - sauteed eggplant and portobello mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and red peppers, red onion confit, along with emmentaler and provolone cheeses and a delicious olive salad.


Ingredients:

1 loaf of round Italian bread (or ciabatta), cut crosswise in half
1/2 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4" rounds
1 red bell pepper
1 large tomato, cut into wedges
1 portobello mushroom, sliced
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 TB butter
Olive oil, for sauteeing
Olive salad, recipe follows
3 thin slices emmentaler cheese
3 thin slices provolone cheese

For Olive Salad:

1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 cup giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables, usually carrots, cauliflower, peperoncini, and peppers) - optional
1 TB capers
2 TB celery, finely chopped
2 TB red onion, finely chopped
1 TB red wine vinegar
2 TB olive oil
1/2 tsp oregano, dried
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

To make the olive salad, combine olives, artichoke, giardiniera (if using), capers, celery, onion, vinegar, olive oil, oregano, red pepper, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°. Toss tomato wedges with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place in oven on a baking sheet for about 1 hour, turning halfway, until lightly browned and roasted.

Heat 1 TB butter and 1/4 cup water together in a pot until the butter is melted. Stir in sliced onions, reduce heat to medium-low and cover the onions with a cut-out round of parchment paper. The paper should be cut the same size as the pan, so it acts as a moisture lid that sits right on top of the cooking onions. This will allow the onions to confit - slow cooking in the butter and water and becoming tasty without browning. Simmer for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

Toss mushrooms in soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, thyme, and honey to marinate for 15 minutes. Saute in olive oil over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes, until cooked.

Slice eggplant into 1/4" thick rounds, salt on both sides and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse eggplant and pat dry with paper towels. Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat and fry eggplant slices for about 4 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove from pan and reserve.

Roast red bell pepper in broiler or in gas flame until skin is black. Peel and de-seed roasted pepper, cut into 1" wide strips, drizzle with a little olive oil, and set aside.

Toast or broil both halves of bread until lightly browned. Build the sandwich starting with the eggplant, then the red pepper, tomato, mushrooms, and onion confit. Place cheese on top and heat sandwich in oven until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with olive salad.





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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Servings: 2-4

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