Although sandwiches seem like a given for a picnic, they’re tricky because you run the risk of ending up with soggy bread. However with certain sandwiches, it isn’t the worst thing to have the sandwich sitting around for a while – in fact, it makes it even better. The muffaletta, a classic New Orleans sandwich, is a great example and is super easy and convenient to make. You start with bread (which, yes you purists, I know this isn’t the authentic round muffaletta loaf, but a focaccia or other Italian round bread does just fine). Then, spread generous amounts of an olive spread and just layer all kinds of delicious cold cuts and cheese. The longer the olive spread and cold cuts can mingle with the bread, the better your muffaletta will be. I love serving these sandwiches cut into rectangles or into wedges so a beautiful cross section of meats and cheeses is exposed!
Olive spread ingredients
- 1 cup green olives (finely diced)
- 1 cup kalamata olives (finely diced)
- 1/2 cup marinated artichokes (finely diced)
- 1/3 cup roasted bell peppers (finely diced)
- 3 green onions (minced)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1/4 cup celery (about one large stalk) (thinly sliced)
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- pinch red pepper flakes
- First, combine all the olive spread ingredients in a bowl and let it marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Cut the bread in half (if using round bread, cut in half and remove some of the bread in the center with your fingers). Spread both sides of the bread with generous amounts of your olive spread. When spreading on the bottom layer avoid spooning too much liquid onto the bread as it will soak down and become soggy.
- Place the bread on a baking sheet. Layer the bottom with coppa, then mortadella, then salami, then provolone, then ham, then mozzarella. Carefully flip the other side of the bread with the smeared olive spread over meat and cheese. Place another baking sheet on top of the sandwich and balance a heavy item like a cast iron skillet on top. Refrigerate for another hour.
- Slice into rectangles (or wedges if using a round loaf). I liked trimming the edge off so the sandwiches were perfect rectangles, but you don't have to.