New Orleans is the birthplace of the muffaletta, a sandwich that's both big and easy to enjoy. Traditionally served on a signature oversized round roll and stuffed with a deli counter's worth of Italian meats and cheeses, the muffaletta gets its special zing from a generous helping of olive spread—a pungent, garlicky combo of chopped olives and peppers. This modern version relies on a few jarred pantry staples—namely, spicy giardiniera and olive tapenade—to make assembly a little easier. Muffaletta bread is also nearly impossible to find outside the Crescent City, so don't sweat it; just use your favorite crusty roll or bread.
- 4 8-inch slices of baguette or hard rolls
- 1 8-ounce jar olive tapenade
- 1/4 pound sliced hard salami, such as sopressata or Genoa
- 1/4 pound ham or cappicola
- 1/4 pound sliced soft salami, such as mortadella
- 12 thick slices Provolone cheese or Swiss cheese
- 1 32-ounce jar hot or mild giardiniera
- 1 cup sliced roasted red peppers (optional)
Cut each slice of baguette or hard roll in half lengthwise. Place 4 large pieces of plastic wrap on a clean work surface and lay each sandwich out on the plastic wrap, cut sides up.
Spread about 2 generous tablespoons tapenade on each cut half of bread.
Divide the meats evenly between both cut halves of bread, topping each half to fully cover the tapenade.
Place 3 slices cheese on the top half of each sandwich.
Layer giardiniera and roasted red peppers (if using) on the bottom half of each sandwich.
Close up the sandwich: place the meat- and cheese-layered top half on the giardinera-layered bottom half to keep the vegetables contained between the layers.
Roll each sandwich tightly in the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours before eating.