How To Make A Muffuletta Sandwich

muffuletta sandwich The muffuletta is an Italian sandwich that originated among the Italian immigrants of New Orleans, it’s a mighty, hefty sandwich that has only has three very important components, bread, a spicy olive salad and Italian charcuterie.

muffuletta sandwich With Super Bowl coming up next weekend I thought this might be the perfect addition to your game day snacking table, but if not, please keep this in mind for summertime, it’s great for picnics and get-togethers.

ingredients for muffuletta sandwich Don’t skimp on quality when making your muffuletta you want to make sure you have the best bread you can find, a round loaf is traditional, along with fresh meats and cheese. For my muffuletta I went with a good salami, some mortadella, a spicy capicollo and a picante provolone, all sliced thin, but feel free to use your favorite cuts.

olive salad The main component is really this olive salad, you can either make your own or buy a muffuletta mix from a good Italian deli/store. I do a mixture of both, I buy a mix but add fresh ingredients into mine, but basically the salad consists of, Italian black and green olives, and a giardiniera mix of different veggies. In addition I like to add roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts to mine and always fresh chopped celery, parsley, oregano and good olive oil.

muffuletta sandwich It’s very simple to make, don’t be intimidated! Slice your round loaf horizontally then pull out some of the dense inside of the bread because you need room for all that filling to fit inside, save those insides for fresh breadcrumbs.

Spread that delicious olive salad all over the bottom and top portions of your sliced bread, then it’s all about layering.

muffuletta sandwich I like to put the cheese down first over the olive salad, it seems to cover it nicely and gives you a nice base for your layers, then go from there. I added olive salad in between some of my layers but you don’t have to, you can just have it on the top and bottom.

muffuletta sandwich When you’re done layering, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and weigh it down, this is important because it will help distribute all the flavors together nicely. As you can see I used my heavy cast iron pan and added some cans on top to weigh it down even more.

Let it sit for two hours before unwrapping and cutting into it, don’t let it sit overnight because the bread might become soggy from the oils, you want to keep your bread nice and crusty.

muffuletta sandwich Then cut it into wedges and enjoy! I cut mine quite big for the picture but honestly a small slice is better when serving other things along side it, it’s so densely filled that you couldn’t possibly eat such a huge wedge unless this was your only main course. It’s definitely a show stopper and it also feeds a crowd!

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How To Make A Muffuletta Sandwich
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 10 inch round Italian bread
  • olive salad, either a mix like I used, which I added more to, or you can make your own.
  • ½ lb each of mortadella, salami and capicollo or meats of your choice. ( you might have extra left over)
  • 1 lb or slicing provolone or a mixture of mozzarella and provolone
  • olive oil
  • WHEN MAKING YOUR OWN OLIVE SALAD, you will need;
  • a cup or more each of Italian black and green olives, chopped
  • a jar of vegetable giardiniera that has carrots, cauliflower and celery, drained and chopped
  • a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • a jar of roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • fresh parsley, 1 garlic clove and fresh crunchy celery and oregano
  • toss everything into a bowl and mix well together with good olive oil
  • IF USING A JARRED MUFFULETTA MIX
  • I always add fresh chopped celery, roasted red peppers, fresh parsley and artichoke hearts. I also drain the jars and add my own good olive oil to the mix.
Instructions
  1. Cut your bread horizontally and pull out some of the dense bread inside.
  2. Fill each side, the top and bottom of the cut loaf with the olive salad.
  3. Start to layer your meats and cheese, I start with cheese, adding olive salad in between the layers if you want
  4. When finished layering, put the top of the bread on and wrap in foil or plastic wrap.
  5. Compress the sandwich by weighing it down with a heavy pan filled with heavy cans.
  6. Let it sit for at least 2 hours before cutting but never overnight because the bread will become soggy and lose its integrity.
  7. Cut into small wedges for a crowd with other snacks or lager wedges for more of a main course.

 

 

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Pistachio Crusted Scallops with Winter Citrus Salsa

pistachio crusted scallops

I’ve been craving citrus lately, maybe it’s because January is such a cold and gloomy month and all that colorful citrus just brightens my day, I don’t know but I’m sure loving all the different varieties that are available right now. I recently made this salsa using my favorite cara cara, blood and navel oranges, the vibrant flavors pair wonderfully with sweet and buttery sea scallops, it was the perfect match, but if you’re not a fan  of scallops I’m sure any firm white fish would work just as well.

The scallops are crusted with finely chopped pistachio’s, a little butter and parsley, and I can only describe the two combinations as luxurious, and both the salsa and the scallops are ridiculously simple to make!

winter citrus salsa You can make your salsa earlier in the day and have that all ready to go, it takes a little time cutting the segments and removing all the pith, but other than that this whole meal comes together very quickly.

pistachio crusted salsa I only buy dry packed sea scallops and I still press them on paper towel to make sure they’re as dry as possible, dry scallops guarantee a beautiful sear.

pistachio crusted scallops

After your scallops are seared and finished cooking, which is only a couple of minutes, you press your nut mixture on top and spoon that lovely citrus salsa onto the plate.

pistachio crusted scallops

This is an elegant, light, scrumptious meal, like fine dining at home, a contender for Valentine’s Day for sure!

pistachio crusted scallops

I can’t wait to make this again.

(Want to see what I’m cooking up during the week? Check out Proud Italian Cook on Instagram )

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pistachio Crusted Scallops with Winter Citrus Salsa
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • CITRUS SALSA
  • 3 different varieties of orange citrus like cara cara, mineola, navel, blood orange, cut into small segments with pith removed.
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • half a clove of garlic, grated on a microplane
  • a small bunch of chopped parsley
  • a dash of red pepper flakes, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil to loosen the salsa up
  • PISTACHIO TOPPING
  • half cup of pistachios, I used the toasted ones from Trader Joes, chop them up small in mini food processor or by hand
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound SEA SCALLOPS, dry packed, padded dry with paper towel and beard removed
  • additional butter for searing scallops, season with salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a bowl mix together all salsa ingredients, set aside.Salsa can be made ahead of time.
  2. For the pistachio topping, chop nuts and place into a small bowl. Melt tablespoon of butter then toss in the parsley, stir, then add butter mixture into the chopped pistachios stirring well to coat all of the nuts completely.
  3. For the scallops, heat your pan nice and hot, do not use a non-stick pan.
  4. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter or a mixture of olive oil and butter to the hot pan, when fat begins to smoke then add scallops, make sure they are not touching each other.
  5. Do not disturb until the underside is browned and crisp around 2 to 4 minutes then turn over gently with tongs and cook another 2 minutes on the other side,remove to serving plate.
  6. Pat the nut mixture on top of each scallop.
  7. Spoon citrus salsa all around, serve immediately and enjoy!

 

 

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Veggie Ricotta Pie with Spaghetti Squash Crust

spaghetti squash crusted tart

Yes, you read that right, spaghetti squash crust, now who would have thought? It works like a charm and it’s a great alternative to a flour crust for a quiche, tart, or in this case a savory ricotta pie.

This is such a nice, healthy vegetarian dinner, especially if you’re still working on your New Years resolution to eating better in 2016, but even if your not it doesn’t matter, this is still a delicious meal you can serve up  at anytime.

spaghetti squash crusted tart

Basically you cook your spaghetti squash, let it cool, then scrape out the strands with a fork. You can season your squash as you wish, I tossed in a little thyme, salt and pepper then pressed it into my greased pie plate with a sprinkling of grated romano cheese on top for added flavor.

spaghetti squash crusted tart

Spread your filling all over the top of the crust, this has ricotta, herbs and a variety of veggies I had leftover in my fridge. I folded some zucchini, red pepper, wild mushrooms, broccoli and a few sundried tomatoes into the ricotta, it’s that simple!

spaghetti squash crusted tart

Let it cool down a bit then slice into wedges and serve with a nice green salad on the side and you’ll have a completely satisfying, healthy and delicious dinner for all.

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Veggie Ricotta Pie with Spaghetti Squash Crust
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups of well drained ricotta
  • 1 garlic clove
  • fresh herbs
  • ¼ cup grated romano cheese, additional for sprinkling
  • ¼ to ½ cup of grated asiago cheese
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • assorted sauted veggies
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut your squash in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle each side with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place cut side down on foil lined baking sheet and roast til tender and slightly firm in a 375 degree oven, do not over cook it, it will have too much moisture, don't forget it's still going to bake in the oven again.
  2. After the squash cools down pull the strands out with a fork and season with fresh herbs of your choice.
  3. Press squash on the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9 inch pie plate, sprinkle with romano then set aside. while you make your filling.
  4. As far as veggies go, use what you have or your favorites. In my case I used a handful of mushrooms, red pepper strips, 1 zucchini, a handful of cooked broccoli florets and a couple of sundried tomatoes in oil.
  5. I sauteed the zucchini and pepper strips before I added them, the other veggies I used were precooked already.
  6. In a bowl add the ricotta, garlic, fresh herbs salt and pepper and cheeses, taste for seasoning.
  7. Beat the eggs by hand then pour into the ricotta mixture mixing until all incorporated, then fold in all your veggies.
  8. Pour the filling on top of your spaghetti squash crust and bake at 400 degrees until tip of knife comes out clean in the center, mine took about 40 minutes or so, but keep checking, everyone's oven is different.
  9. Let it cool down before cutting into wedges.

 

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