This vegan sandwich is based on a muffuletta, but it wasn't as simple as removing the meat and cheese and shoving in vegetables in its place. Juicy, garlicky broccoli rabe braised in a dry white wine provide moisture and texture; roasted peppers add a bit of fruity tartness and smoky depth; marinated artichoke hearts are herbal and funky; and sun-dried tomatoes have that dried fruit thing going. Stick'em together, and--hey!--you got something that works just as well as the original and for all the same reasons, while simultaneously being brand new.
Note: You can use store-bought olive salad for this recipe if you prefer. Use about 4 tablespoons for each two serving sandwich. You can also make this on four smaller loaves or 1 larger loaf.
- For the Olive Salad:
- 1/2 cup mixed pitted Italian olives (about 3/4 pound), finely chopped
- 1/2 cup giardiniera, finely chopped
- 2 jarred peperoncini, stems removed, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoons capers, drained and roughly chopped
- 1 medium garlic clove grated on microplane grater (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- For the Broccoli Rabe
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, thickest stems discarded, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To Assemble
- 2 round seeded Italian-style loaves, about 8-inches across
- 1/3 pound roasted red peppers
- 1/3 pound marinated artichoke hearts, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1/4 pound sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into thin strips
For the Olive Salad: Combine olives, giardiniera, peperoncini, capers, garlic, and olive oil in a small bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
For the Broccoli Rabe: Heat olive oil in a large straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until softened and just barely beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add broccoli rabe and white wine. Increase heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally until broccoli rabe is all wilted, about 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until broccoli rabe is tender and completely olive green, about 20 minutes total (if pan becomes dry, add a few tablespoons of water to moisten). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To Assemble: Slice each loaf of bread in half and spread a few tablespoons of olive salad on each cut face. Layer broccoli rabe, red peppers, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes on bottom half of each loaf, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around the perimeter. Close sandwiches.
If desired, press sandwiches on a pre-heated panini press until compressed, crisp, and hot throughout, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to allow olive oil to soak into bread before serving. Cut each sandwich into quarters and serve.