French Bread Muffuletta

A Muffuletta made on French bread is a warm sandwich that can easily be served at large gatherings.  A traditional muffaletta is served on a large round loaf of sesame bread.  Central Grocery, in the French Quarter, continues to make this quintessential New Orleans sandwich that they created in the 1930's.  Theirs includes layers of olive salad, Genoa salami, mortadella, ham, mozzarella and provolone.  Olive salad consists of chunky Sicilian olives and Giardiniera, which is pickled vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers) in a seasoned vinegar-olive oil.  I use the seasoned vinegar-olive oil to add moisture and flavor to the French bread in this recipe.   

I begin by slicing the French bread loaf lengthwise.  I drizzle the inside of the bottom half of bread with the olive oil from the jar of olive salad.  Place a layer of ham followed by a layer of salami along the entire length of the bread.   

Add a layer of olive salad on top on the salami.  Next, place overlapping layers of provolone cheese along the length of the sandwich.  Drizzle the inside of the top half of bread with the olive oil from the jar of olive salad.

Wrap the muffuletta in aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F until the ham and salami are heated and the cheese is melted, about 45 minutes.  

Cut the muffuletta into slices and serve warm.