I've got nothing but good things to say about muffaletta sandwiches, the official sandwich of New Orleans (OK, the po'boy might have something to say about that). If I could only take five sandwiches with me to my desert island, the muffaletta would be right up there leading the list.
In fact, I love them so much that I have a jar of homemade olive salad that lives in the bottom shelf of my fridge all year round. It's an excellent condiment that finds its way into all sorts of foods at my place, so it's only natural that I've developed muffaletta-flavored variations of every snack food known to man. Here are some of my favorites.
This is the classic sandwich that inspired them all. Layers of sliced salami, capicola, mortadella, and provolone, stacked thick on a sturdy muffaletta roll slathered in an olive salad made with olives, olive oil, vinegar, and an assortment of pickled vegetables. Those in the know know that it's best to let the sandwich sit for a good hour under wraps so that the flavor soaks into the bread.
Get the recipe for the Classic Muffaletta Sandwich here! »
The Vegan Muffaletta Sandwich
All the flavor, none of the meat. Our version replaces the cold cuts with juicy braised broccoli rabe and layers of roasted peppers and artichoke hearts.
Get the recipe for the Vegan Muffaletta Sandwich with Braised Broccoli Rabe and Antipasti here! »
Muffaletta Grilled Cheese
Take a butter-toasted, oozy grilled cheese sandwich, throw it into a room with a muffaletta, give them a bit of time to get to know each other, and what may well come out of that box is the Grilled Muffaleeze. The best of both worlds.
Get the recipe for the Grilled Muffaleeze here! »
The Muffaletta Pizza
You've made your muffalettas and as usual, there's way too much olive salad leftover in the fridge. What to do? Throw that shizz on a pizza! Add a couple of slices of salami and pepperoni and you've got yourself all the flavors of the classic sandwich on a pie.
And yeah, it'll even work with frozen pizza.
Get the recipes for the Muffaletta Pizza here! »
The Muffaletta Burger
The key to a great muffaletta burger (aside from excellent olive salad, of course!) is to top the burger with the cold cuts and finish it off over the cooler side of the grill. Rendered cured fat slowly renders, dripping over and around the burger, flavoring every bite.
Get the recipe for the Muffaletta Burger here!
Muffaletta Cheese Dip!
Muffaletta, in dip form. The ultimate party snack.
Get the recipe for the Muffa-Queso here! »
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.