I’ll let Teri weigh in on the authenticity of this sandwich; my nearest muffuletta experience involves once being on an email list ostensibly devoted to the band The Fall that spent endless emails speculating on the existence of a deep-fried muffuletta. This is about a bitrillion times more healthy than that would be. It’s a ginormous, phenomenally flavorful sandwich. It is pretty easy to make in that it only takes about 40 minutes to prepare but fiddly to make in that you do spend a good solid 10 minutes of that time chopping. The rest of the time is hands off, though, and the chopping is all well worth it. This is another one from Bittman’s Food Matters cookbook, which really y’all need to all go ahead and buy.
Muffuletta, More Or Less
Makes 2 very filling sandwiches
- 1 small eggplant, sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil plus more for brushing eggplant
- 1/4 cup brine cured black olives, pitted and chopped
- 1/4 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1 chopped celery stalk
- 1/4 cup diced roasted red pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 whole grain sandwich rolls or 1/2 of a big loaf of crusty whole grain bread cut into two pieces
- 1 tomato, sliced
- Sprinkle the sliced eggplant with salt and let rest in a colander for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450. Rinse, remove from the colander, and press between two paper towels to remove excess moisture. Drizzle some olive oil on both sides of the eggplant slices and cook for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through.
- While the eggplant is in the oven, get to work on the salad. (I wait until then to chop everything.) Combine the olives, capers, red onion, pepper, oregano, garlic, vinegar, and 2 tbsp oil in a medium bowl. Add black pepper to taste.
- Slice the rolls or bread horizontally and scrape out most of the inside, you’ll need room for the fillings. Spread the olive salad over both sides of the bread, including all the oil and juice from the bottom of the bowl. Add the roasted eggplant and sliced tomato and serve at once.