Mardi Gras came earlier than last year, and caught me almost off-guard. I must admit I had to rush to take down the Valentine decorations and put up my Mardi Gras wreath all in the same week. Nevertheless, we had a great dinner of classic muffaletta sandwiches. I wanted to share this recipe on the blog, since I had not in earlier years.
I do use a prepared olive salad for my muffalettas. I find the taste and texture perfect for a small bun or even to use later on other meats. Muffalettas can be made open-faced or on a variety of round breads. If a dense bread is used, the loaf is most often lightened by removing some of the soft bread inside to allow for the meats and cheeses. The key to the sandwich is the olive salad. If you make your own, which is easy to do, it must marinate for 24 hours to enrich the flavor.
This year, I used small sections of French bread cut for my mini sandwiches. I layered deli turkey, provolone, hard salami, and olive salad. Other options would include deli ham, Havarti cheese and pepperoncini peppers. Covered with foil, I baked at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
These sandwiches originated at the Central Grocery in the French Quarter of New Orleans. They are served today. Every time we have visited the city, my husband must have one. My sandwiches last month were so yummy, and the taste transports me back to the French Quarter every time.