The Weekend Series: move over cob – muffuletta is your new breadst friend
While the humble cob loaf has continued to enjoy its renaissance in recent years, it’s time to make room for a new bread-based hero. We’re calling it right now – winter 2020 is set to be the year that the muffuletta takes over Australia. Originally created in New Orleans, this multi-layered meaty delight is a deli-lover’s dream – and we’re ready to get on board. Sharing its name with the bread on which it’s made, the muffuletta is traditionally crammed with salami, ham, mortadella, Swiss cheese, provolone and (deep breath) a marinated olive salad. While this combination is legendary, we’ve tracked down five muffuletta variations that will have you kissing the tips of your fingers like an old-timey cartoon chef.
The BA muffuletta
The crew over at Bon Appetit know a thing or two about how to make a mean muffuletta – mostly because they are aware that our lack of access to the actual muffuletta bread means that you have to get creative. The BA muffuletta recommends that you opt for a bread like ciabatta with a sturdy but not too crusty exterior, which makes for the perfect foundation to build your sandwich. This recipe also stands apart as it suggests weighting your sandwich down instead of hollowing it out – so it’s basically like a giant ball of salami, capocollo, provolone, mozzarella, mortadella, and prosciutto encased in carbs. Good show.
Image: Bon Appetit
The Mighty Muffuletta
Let’s cut to the chase – while culinary innovation is great, sometimes you just can’t beat the OG. This recipe from Justin Hankins is inspired by the original Central Grocery (the birthplace of the muffuletta sandwich) and actually includes instructions on how to make your own bread from scratch. As the texture of the bread is a huge part of what makes a muff so great, we recommend following this recipe if you want the most authentic experience possible.
Image: Justin Hankins
Muffuletta pasta salad
If for whatever reason you feel like throwing the whole ‘bread’ part of your muffuletta out the window, might we suggest going down the pasta salad route? This nifty recipe has all of the flavours of a muffuletta – you’ve got your salami, provolone, roasted red capsicum, celery, pepperoncini, and two kinds of olives – but instead of layered in a loaf you get it mixed through with pasta. The whole dish is tied together with a knockout red wine vinaigrette that just takes it to the next level. This recipe is a breeze to make and is guaranteed* to make any guests at your next summer picnic fall in love with you with just one bite.
*no guarantees can actually be made, but you get the picture.
Muffuletta on Turkish
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? This twist on the classic muffuletta comes by switching out the traditional loaf for delicious Turkish bread – it’s light, it’s airy, it’s crunchy and it’s the perfect accompaniment to the many fillings of a muffuletta. This recipe is pretty speedy on account of no hollowing needs to be done – you just stack up your slices in a delicious deli-style tower between two slices of Turkish. The spread of olives, roasted capsicum, capers, shallot, red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil will soak into your Turkish tower just nicely.
Image: The Food Gays
Gigantic muffuletta in a sourdough bread bowl
Did you read that description? Do we really need to say any more? If you’re looking to feed a serious crowd (or just looking to see how much you can expand your stomach) then this is a muff you must try. While some might think it sacrilege to abandon the more traditional base, we tip our hats to the innovators. This recipe calls for a large sourdough loaf with the top cut off, which is then hollowed out to leave about an inch of bread – much like a cob loaf. You then line your bread cave with giardiniera and stuff it full of sopressata, mortadella, capicola, and provolone cheese in single layers. Refrigerate for a few hours, cut it up and die of happiness.
Image:Gift of Hospitality
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