I love Lidia Bastianich. I loved her episode of Italy in America in New Orleans, where she makes a muffuletta sandwich which was something I had never even heard of before. In the episode, she visits Central Grocery in New Orleans and eats one of their famous muffuletta sandwiches. I was astounded watching the program–look at the size of that sandwich! I checked with my colleague from New Orleans to make sure I could believe what I had seen.
Muffuletta sandwiches usually have an assortment of deli meats and cheeses, but Robin Robertson’s 1,000 Vegan Recipes has a vegan version. I wasn’t super impressed with it beyond the olive salad part, and decided to make up my own vegan version. I studied the olive salad recipes in both Lidia Bastianich’s Italy in America (I linked to her recipes above) and 1,000 Vegan Recipes, and came up with my own version on Monday.
I chopped a cup each of kalamata olives, pimiento stuffed green olives, and pickled garlic stuffed green olives. Then I chopped up 1/2 a cup each of roasted red peppers and pickled pepperoncini and added 1/2 cup of grated carrot. I mixed these all together and added 2 tbs of capers, 2 tbs minced fresh parley, and 2 tbs of red wine vinegar.
It was beautiful.
In place of deli meat and cheese, I roasted slices of eggplant and zucchini. I brushed each side with some olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt. I apologize, I can’t remember at the moment what temperature I roasted them at or for how long, but I turned them part way through and removed them when I figured they were done. Sorry…so non-specific…
I had some boule dough that I cut into four parts to make four rolls. I wasn’t sure how big they would get in the oven, but we ended up with mini muffuletta sandwiches. There were no complaints however. I scooped out the middle of one half of each roll, and put that bread into the olive salad.
Then I spooned salad into each crater before topping with slices of eggplant and zucchini.
And then I put their tops on. These sandwiches did not last long. OMG they were sooo delicious! I did not miss the meat and cheese (not that I have ever had a real muffuletta sandwich).
The mister was not a fan of the carrot, which I liked a lot. And because I got tired of chopping things, I failed to chop up my green onions. But those will definitely go in next time, or I really should add them to the leftover salad. THERE IS A LOT OF LEFTOVER SALAD.
In fact, last night I used some of it to make a pizza. I rolled out my dough, smeared some olive oil on it, and spread some olive salad, including the chunks of marinated bread, all over–quite liberally. And then I added some feta cheese. Obviously it does not *need* feta cheese, so you could just leave it off and make it totally vegan. It was rather tasty, though.
We shared the one pizza. I didn’t have enough dough to make two pizzas, so there were no seconds and no leftovers. Except there is still leftover olive salad, so I just need to make more dough, either for pizza or sandwiches!