One of the perks of living in the greater Los Angeles area is that we are a destination… Well, we’re near the destinations, anyway. Recently I was graced with the presence of a childhood friend, Michelle and her son Ryan. They were on their way to Carlsbad where they were going to wrap up their summer break with some Lego Land, wrestling camp and some good friends. I was lucky enough to be right on their way and got a two day pit stop. The night she arrived in Southern California, she met up with some friends who took her to a great Italian place that I am familiar with, called Petrillo’s. This place is one of those authentic mom n’ pop Italian eateries where everything is amazing. I was completely excited for her and quickly recommended that she try the minestrone because “It’s seriously fucking good”. She shows up at my house later with a giant container of the delicious soup and a massive round loaf of Italian bread. This loaf of bread was the inspiration needed to facilitate the muffuletta that I have always wanted to make! The next day, after we ran our children ragged in The Arboretum, we ate massive wedges of sandwich. The striations were gorgeous layers of meat, cheese, roasted peppers and olive salad. You cannot imagine how beautifully all the flavors meld when you smash the shit out of them with cast iron 🙂
*Note: Most muffulettas are made with various combinations of salami and ham, but since my guest doesn’t eat pork, I’m calling this “Muffuletta My Way” because I went rogue and used turkey and roast beef… AHHHHHH-Mazing.
You will need the following:
- I large round of Italian bread, a soft bread is ideal for this. A thick crusty bread isn’t the way to go for this.
- 1 pound cold cuts, I used smoked turkey and roast beef. (1/2 pound each)
- 1/2 pound cheese, I used Havarti but I may try swiss or provolone to switch it up next time.
- 1 1/2 cups olive salad. I bought mine in the olive bar at Whole Foods, but it also comes pre-made in jars or you could make your own.
- 1 jar of roasted red peppers
- Prepared horseradish. I LOVE Bubbie’s but any will do. If you don’t like it, leave it off.
- Balsamic vinaigrette
- Slice the bread across the middle, lift off the top and face both cut sides up. Gently slice a circle in the middle about an inch deep and pull out a layer of bread leaving an indent in the middle. This is gonna be a little bed to hold all of the yummy goodness thats about to gather up in here. Reserve the removed bread for some other use… or do like I did and spread some butter on that bitch and have a snack!
- Fill one side of the gap with the olive salad. Spread it evenly in the indentation. Add a layer of turkey, then cheese, then red peppers, repeat.
- On the opposite side of the bread, add a layer of red peppers and drizzle with the balsamic vinaigrette. Layer on half of the roast beef, slather with a healthy portion of horseradish, a layer of cheese, repeat.
- Carefully place the two halves together and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the sandwich on a baking sheet and smash it. I used a Le Creuset braiser and Dutch oven to weigh mine down. Feel free to use anything you’ve got on hand, a cast iron skillet filled with canned goods would do just fine. You should let this thing get squished for at least four hours and up to 24. The longer you have the more the sandwich flavors will meld together.
- Once You’ve smashed the shit out of your sandwich, remove the plastic and slice it into wedges and serve.
This thing is a Behemoth. Seriously massive. It will easily feed eight people (and then some) served with sides and you’re looking at 10 or more! Make it for a party, make it for a pot luck, but be sure to make it! Swearing Mom out.