Muffaletta

Ingredients

1 (15 inch) round loaf Italian bread (preferably focaccia), cut in half
3 cups Olive Salad, recipe follows
4 ounces mozzarella, thinly sliced
6 ounces cappocolo, thinly sliced
4 ounces Genoa salami, thinly sliced
4 ounces mortadella, thinly sliced and folded in half
2 ounces pepperoni, thinly sliced
4 ounces provolone or fontina cheese, thinly sliced

Olive Salad

1 quart large pimiento-stuffed large green olives, drained and slightly crushed
1 1/2 cups large Greek black olives, drained and pitted
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup pickled cauliflower, drained
1/4 bunch celery, sliced diagonally
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
1/2 cup pepperoncini, drained and chopped coarsely
1/3 cup cocktail onions, drained
1/4 cup small capers, drained
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dry oregano
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Place in a glass jar and store tightly covered in the refrigerator. Salad should be made at least 24 hours before using.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the cut sides of each half of bread the olive salad and oil, about 1 1/2 cups per side. Arrange the mozzarella over the olive salad on the bottom piece of bread and top with the salami, cappocolo, mortadella, and peperoni. Arrange the provolone on the top piece of bread, completely covering the olive salad, and place on top of the bottom half to make a sandwich. Tightly wrap the sandwich in aluminum foil and bake until sandwich is heated through and cheeses have melted, 15-10 minutes. To serve, unwrap the sandwich and slice into portions.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Gene Briggs from Blue Restaurant and Grill in Charlotte, NC

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