make mine a muffuletta

freestyle friday
notes from maggie's farm

make mine a muffuletta, please

I don't know if its the noise of a stadium crowd cheering on its beloved winning team, or perusing my favorite cookbooks for traditional creole holiday favorites, but these days have me pining away, hard, for a little magic-on-the-plate the likes of which can only be found Down SouthWay down south.

Well, in our small town there will be no running down to the corner store for an oyster poboy, or stopping in a restaurant to pick up a pint of mahogany-brown gumbo.  You can get some really good mexican food and some great barbecue, but creole food, not so much.  Dairy Queen does not carry gumbo (although they make a nice burger.).  So, we do what we have to do.  We go shopping and make a little magic, ourselves.

That magic can take a little time.  We have bags full of shrimp and crabmeat and mirliton squash that will be made into a dressing we'll eat as a main dish, in a few days.  (Long enough for the fresh bread to grow day-old stale). 
Today, we'll indulge our creole-jones  with my favorite sandwich in the world.  And that says a lot.  Because I love sandwiches.  The truffled egg from Enoteca, the prosciutto from Buenos Aires Cafe, the Cobb Sandwich from Kerbey Lane are some Austin faves that come to mind. But no sandwich will ever touch my first love, the muffuletta.

a classic muffuletta

on a round loaf of italian bread, layer 4-6 oz of sliced aged provolone cheese, with 4-6 oz., each,  of smoked ham, genoa salami, capicola, mortadella, or any combination.  Top liberally with olive salad, recipe below. 

Now, you can use jarred olive dressing.  Jarred from Central Grocery, in New Orleans, if you are lucky enough to have access, or a visiting friend.  There are other brands that are available locally, that is if you live in the City.  If you find  yourself in a small town without access to a jar, or would just prefer the homemade version, you'll find the recipe below.  No doubt there are as many variations of olive salad as are there gumbos. For instance, I love the carrots, so I add a lot.  Not as crazy about the celery, so I add a little.  I reduce the vinegar of some recipes and substitute with lemon juice.  I add a little cracked red pepper.  You certainly don't have to. Feel free to tweak this recipe to include more of your favorties, or less of others.  This is just a jumping off point. 

2 cups large pimento-stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped
1 cup pitted kalamata or black olives, coarsely chopped
1 cup finely chopped cauliflower florets
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup capers
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped cocktail onions

1/4 cup chopped jarred mild pickled pepper rings
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup drained and chopped hearts of palm.
4 garlic cloves (or more!) minced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice, and/or the zest of one lemon (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1tsp (or more, to taste) kosher salt
1tsp cracked red pepper (optional)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To make this task a little easier, I chop each ingredient, seperately, in a food processor, and mix together by hand, to avoid making a tapenade, rather than a salad with individual flavors and textures.  This will keep in the fridge for months, but then again, I wouldn't know.  It's gone pretty quickly around here. We use it, additionally, as a topping for pizza, mixed with chickpeas and sardines or tuna for a delicious side salad, tossed with greens and tomatoes, tossed with warm pasta and your favorite cheese (it's great with feta), and sauteed in butter and lemon juice to top chicken breasts. 

And as always, on a fall weekend (unless, of course, it is a bye week)...

source unknown


  1. that was a wonderful stroll through The Quarter in Nawlins! Looks so good!

  2. thank you for your feedback! it was an uncharacteristically temperate day and somewhat quiet during the lenten season. it was idyllic, as was my muffaletta!

  3. I lived on Dauphine Street in the 80's. What a wild ride, good n bad. treme on HBO is a great way to see New Orleans today.

  4. i love treme! it gives me such warm feelings to watch it; the story lines and characters are so rich. it must have been such an amazing place to live--i envy you!

  5. the stroll down these streets takes me back when my mother lived there & when i go back i can catch a glimpse of her just a head rounding the corner.
    i know some day i will see her again, in my fathers house

    New Orleans Jazz & Heritage is here 4/29-5/2/2011 & 5/5-5/5/2011 i will miss it this year.

  6. what a lovely sentiment. i am so happy that you've enjoyed this stroll. i'd love to be going to jazzfest this weekend, however it's the last week of classes for me and won't work out this year. seriously considering skipping next spring semester simply so i won't miss jazzfest again. it's been too long.


Thank you for visiting Notes from Maggie's Farm. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...