Muffaletta Sandwich

The Muffaletta sandwich originated in New Orleans, Louisiana at Central Grocery – where it is still served today! Chef Paul introduces us to his version, so you can have a little taste of New Orleans in your own kitchen! Try it for a family lunch or for an epic tailgate meal!

Olive Salad:


3/4 cup green olives (pimento-stuffed)

1/4 cup kalamata olives (pitted)

1/4 cup giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables)

2 large pepperoncini

3 to 4 pickled onions

2 tablespoons capers

1 medium clove garlic (chopped)

1 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

2 teaspoons lemon juice (fresh)

2 tablespoons olive oil


Drain the green olives, kalamata olives, giardiniera, pepperoncini, pickled onions, and capers. Place them in a food processor along with the garlic, oregano, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Pulse until coarsely chopped.

Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate overnight.


Homemade Giardiniera –


1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into small florets

10 stalks celery, diced

5 carrots, diced

2 large red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

1 cup sliced green pitted olives

4 serrano peppers (or more according to heat preference)

Spices for EACH pint jar:

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional, for hot giardiniera)

1/8 teaspoon celery seeds

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic, cut in half

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

For the Brine:

4 cups white wine vinegar

4 cups water

2 tablespoons kosher salt


Place the chopped veggies a large non-reactive pot or bowl. Pour 1/4 cup kosher salt over the vegetables and enough water to cover them. Let the vegetables soak in the salt water for at least 6 hours or overnight.

To prepare the jars, place the spices into each of the jars, reserving the garlic and olive oil until after the brine is added. (I like to make some jars hot and some mild by adding/omitting the red chili flakes).

Thoroughly rinse and drain the vegetables before dividing them up between the jars. Pack the vegetables in as tightly as you can. Place the garlic each jar.

To make the brine: Bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil. Pour the boiling brine over the vegetables leaving a little more than 1/2 inch headspace from the top. Pour the olive oil over the top. Wipe the rims with a wet paper towel and seal the jars.

If you plan on using the giardiniera within two weeks let the jars sit at room temperature for a day or two and then transfer them to the fridge. The flavor only gets better with time so wait at least 2-3 days before eating it. Will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks.

If you’re canning the giardiniera for long-term storage, seal the jars with the lids and rims and prepare a boiling water bath. Boil the jars for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars and let them sit undisturbed for 24 hours before moving them.

If processed in the water bath, the giardiniera is best consumed within 6 months but will keep for at least a year.

Muffaletta Sandwich-


1 (8-inch) round loaf muffaletta bread (or Italian bread)

1 cup olive salad mix

1/4 pound sliced ham

1/4 pound sliced mortadella

1/4 pound sliced Genoa salami

1/4 pound sliced provolone

1/4 pound sliced mozzarella


Cut round bread loaf in half horizontally.

Spread half the bottom portion with olive salad mix then layer on meats and cheeses.

Cover with top of bread. Ideally, the sandwich should be made an hour or more in advance and then tightly wrapped in plastic wrap to enable the juices to soak into the bread.

Slice into quarters and serve.

Recipe by:

Chef Paul Smith