Sep 7, 2011

muffoletta salad

Central Grocery store in New Orleans is the site of the first Muffoletta sandwich, said to have been invented by Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant. In the late 1800's there was an influx of Italian immigrants who found their homes in New Orleans and became sort of Creole-Italians. This sandwich is mainly known for its olive salad, but the bread the sandwich is traditionally served on is itself also known as a mufuletta, a close cousin of the focacccia bread. 

Legend has it that Salvatore's grocery customers would buy some meats, cheeses, olive salad and bread and eat them individually, the ingredients balancing perilously on their knees. Salvatore offered to slice the bread and layer everything into it. And so was born the Muffoletta Sandwich. 

Since this sandwich has earned quite a bit of popularity and since Tami and Celine have the sandwich world well in hand, I decided to convert this sandwich into a salad. The Olive Salad part of this salad is the main component and well made ones are sought after with gusto. My Olive Salad is bursting with green and black olives, pimientos, sun-dried tomatoes (not authentic), garlic, capers, pickled cauliflower and carrots, pepperocinis, olive oil and herbs. I couldn't let the bread just disappear; I made fresh croutons with some Italian bread, laced with plenty of garlic and oregano. 

The Muffoletta Salad is vegan cold cuts, Follow your Heart cheeses, pear tomatoes, grilled onions and the Olive Salad covering shredded lettuce. The dressing is the olive salad itself with the acid coming from the pickled fruits and the olive oil providing the body. Julienne everything, even shredding the lettuce, and you are transported to the Central Grocer, circa 1906, sitting with Salvatore, enjoying a new rendition of his now-infamous sandwich, inhaling a bit of history with each bite.  

Cost Breakdown

3/4 of olive salad: $7.50
lettuce, tomatoes: $2
FYH cheese and Yves: $4
pine nuts: $1
bread: $.50
Total to feed 6 people:



  1. That just looks like something I'd love to have for lunch, any day.
    Have been craving salads of late, so looking forward to making this one.

  2. (Sorry if this is a re-post...)
    Question - how did you grill the onions?

  3. This was very good. And, I do have to say, that unlike other salads where serving it is best as soon as it is made, this one was great even after dinner was done and it was time to munch a bit of the leftovers.

    in2insight, I just took a half onion, sliced it thin, heated a few teaspoons of oil in a medium-hot pan and sauteed them until they were done. Not really caramelized (which is long and slow) and not really grilled (although you could grill fat slices of onion in a grill-pan over high heat and slice them smaller after they are done). Over the higher heat in the pan they were done in under ten minutes. Keep stirring them often.

    Hope that helps!

  4. Well, no surprise, it was fantastic.
    At one point I thought the copping would never end... :)
    The whole thing came together nicely, and was really good, and filling too!

  5. The chopping does seem endless! Thanks, in2insight!!


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