The classic New Orleans sandwich combines a homemade olive salad with layers of thin-sliced Italian cold cuts. The secret is to let it rest before eating so the olive juices get absorbed into the bread.
Note: Giardiniera is a pickled vegetable mix that can be found in Italian delis or jarred in supermarkets. If unavailable, it can be omitted. Substitute 2 to 3 seeded and stemmed pepperoncini in its place. Muffuletta rolls are difficult to locate outside of New Orleans. If unavailable, use ciabatta or focaccia in its place, or any good bread with a relatively soft crust.
- 3/4 cup pitted mixed oil-packed olives
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
- 2 tablespoons parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup giardiniera (Italian-style pickled vegetable salad, see note)
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large muffuletta-style roll (see note)
- 1/3 pound thinly sliced sweet soppressata
- 1/3 pound thinly sliced mortadella
- 1/3 pound thinly sliced capicola
- 1/3 pound thinly sliced provolone cheese
Combine olives, capers, peppers, parsley, giardiniera, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to chop until no pieces larger than 1/2-inch remain. Transfer to a bowl. Add vinegar and olive oil and stir to combine. For best results, let olive salad rest overnight before continuing to step 2.
Split muffuletta roll in half and spread each cut surface generously with olive salad, making sure to include the juices when spreading. Layer half of soppressata on bottom half of bun, followed by half of mortadella, half of capicola, and half of provolone. Repeat layers with remaining meat and cheese. Close sandwiches and press down gently to compress. For best flavor, wrap tightly in paper or plastic and let rest for 1 hour before serving. Cut into triangular wedges to serve.