Muffuletta

Century Grocery on Decatur Street in New Orleans is where it all began. Around 1906, the grocery's founder, a recent Sicilian immigrant named Salvatore Lupo, started making the sandwich (named for a seeded round load of bread common back home) for fellow immigrants who stopped by his store every day to buy ingredients for their unvarying meal: meat, cheese, bread, and olive salad. The rest, as they say, is history. What makes this carved-out and overstuffed loaf so delicious is the garlicky olive salad; it acts as a seasoning and also adds crunch. True aficionados may quibble, but we've made this a little easier to eat by chipping the vegetables fine so they don't go flying at the first bite. The muffuletta can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

Recipe courtesy Gourmet Magazine
TOTAL TIME: 4 hr 30 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: 4 hr
Cook: 15 min
YIELD: 6 sandwiches
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 round soft country loaf (about 10 inches; 1 pound)
  • 1/3 pound thinly sliced provolone
  • 1/3 pound thinly sliced Genoa salami
  • 1/3 pound thinly sliced ham
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Directions

Stir together celery, olives, parsley, garlic, tomatoes, 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and pepper in a bowl.
 

Cut bread horizontally in half with a serrated knife. Remove soft centers of both halves to make room for filling, leaving 1/2-inch-thick shell. Drizzle both halves with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Spread half of the olive mixture in each half of bread, gently pressing down to help adhere. Layer cheese, salami and ham on bottom half of bread. Cover with top half of bread. Wrap sandwich well in plastic wrap, then foil. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
 

Let sandwich stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cutting into wedges.
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