The Good Home Cookbook (Collectors Press, Fall 2006) is a landmark cookbook that compiles tried and true American favorite recipes. Key to the book's success is the more than 1,000 people currently participating in the first ever national public recipe testing campaign.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Muffuletta--a newly tested classic sandwich!

This is an unusual preparation and well worth the trouble.

The New Orleans muffuletta is a hero sandwich created at the Central Grocery in 1906. A round loaf of Italian bread is filled with ham, salami, cheese, pickles, and a mixture called olive salad.

Serves 4

Olive salad:
1/2 cup chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
1/2 cup chopped pitted brine-cured black olives, such as Kalamata
1/4 cup minced roasted red pepper
1/4 cup minced pepperoncini (Italian pickled peppers)
1/3 cup minced celery
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 (10-inch) round loaf Italian bread, sliced horizontally
1/4 pound thinly sliced mortadella or cooked ham
1/4 pound thinly sliced Genoa salami
1/4 pound thinly sliced provolone cheese

1. To make the olive salad, combine the olives, red pepper, pepperoncini, celery, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and pepper in a medium bowl. Toss with a fork to mix well, then cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
2. To make the sandwiches, remove most of the soft inner part of the bread and discard it (or use to make bread crumbs for another dish).
3. Drain the olive salad, reserving the marinade. Brush the marinade on the inside of the bread, top and bottom.
4. On the bottom half of the bread, layer the mortadella, salami, and cheese. Top with the olive salad and cover with the top half of the bread. Wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap and weight it down with a heavy plate. Set the loaf aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 6 hours.
5. To serve, remove the plastic wrap and cut the loaf into wedges.


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