New Orleans is such a great example of the “melting pot” that America became hundreds of years ago. That melting pot can really be found in the cuisine that has stood the test of time from the city.
You’ve got cajun food, that’s an Americanized version of French cooking. Creole cooking that comes from a blend of Caribbean and European cooking. Then there are little pockets of other cuisines found throughout the city, namely; the muffuletta.
It’s a Louisiana-version of a gigantic Italian sandwich. It’s got the Italian meats (salami, mortadella, ham) sandwiched in between pillows of olive salad, cheese, and thick round bread. It’s one of my favorite meals to eat in the city, and if you’re ever in town you’ve got to get one from Napoleon House. That’s the best muffuletta in the city, in my opinion. Don’t forget to wash it down with a cold Pimm’s cup, too.
I don’t like to buy a lot of processed meats, but I had to try and make a salad out of my beloved muffuletta. The idea came to me in a dream and I just couldn’t shake it. It’s easy to make the sandwich into a salad—all you have to do is chop everything up, whisk together a vinaigrette, and go to town.
The salad really invokes that muffuletta feeling. I was immediately transported back to the French Quarter, waltzing down the street to zydeco music. The only thing missing was the drunk people barfing on Bourbon street at 10 a.m.
The classic Louisiana-Italian sandwich made into salad form.
For the olive salad:
- 1/2 cup green olives
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives
- 2 TBS. red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup pickled cauliflower or giardiniera
For the salad:
- 4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
- 4 oz. salami, chopped
- 4 oz. capocollo, chopped
- 4 oz. provolone cheese, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup pepperoncini, sliced
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp. oregano
- salt & pepper
- Make the olive salad: pulse all ingredients in a food processor until finely minced. Place in a resealable container and keep refrigerated.
- Make the dressing: whisk together dressing ingredients until emulsified. Set aside while you prepare the salad.
- Toss salad ingredients (minus parmesan cheese) until well mixed. Top with dressing and toss again. Top with parmesan cheese and olive salad and serve.
Make the olive salad: pulse all ingredients in a food processor until finely minced. Place in a resealable container and keep refrigerated.
Make the dressing: whisk together dressing ingredients until emulsified. Set aside while you prepare the salad. Toss salad ingredients (minus parmesan cheese) until well mixed. Top with dressing and toss again. Top with parmesan cheese and olive salad and serve.