Ok, technically, this is just assembly. I'm not reinventing the wheel here. I say this to reiterate that I firmly believe that anyone can cook-- or at least, make a solid sandwich. What's interesting about the Muffaletta (muff-a-what-a?) is that it's truly, top to bottom, an Italian delicacy, but almost never billed that way. At some point the immigrants (shout out to ya'll, especially you gram) came to Louisiana, and crafted this out of their favorite meat, cheese, and veggies. It's now indefinitely seen as the staple sandwich of the fine and flirty city of New Orleans, and you can find variations all over.
I have to take a minute to talk to you about my undying love for this bread. Semolina bread is quite possibly the softest, most flavorful, most undeniably perfect type of bread that exists. I won't admit how much time I spent grocery shopping that day, or how many stores I called looking for this (because nothing else would do), but the one loaf left at Rubino's Italian Food in Irondequoit, NY on a Sunday afternoon made this recipe, and they will forever have my heart.
Yield - Serves 6
1 loaf sesame semolina bread (or other Italian bread)
1 1/2 cups mixed pitted green olives (Castelvetrano or green Cerignola are great)
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
3/4 cup diced giardiniera
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
1 shallot, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/4 pound thinly sliced Genoa salami or hot soppresata
1/4 pound thinly sliced hot capocollo
1/4 pound thinly sliced mortadella
1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
1/4 pound thinly sliced sharp provolone cheese
Combine shallot, garlic, olives, peppers, giardiniera, oil, vinegar, and oregano in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 30 minutes while you prepare the sandwich.
Split bread in half along the equator line. Divide olive salad, including any liquid, between halves. Lay salami or soppressata, capocollo, provolone, mortadella, and prosciutto. Close sandwich and wrap tightly in plastic. Place between 2 baking sheets and weigh down, letting sit at room temperature, turning over halfway, 1–3 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.
Tip: Save yourself time and cash money-- local delis are awesome. Sure it's an extra trip (or 7), but they will likely have all of your meats, cheese, bread, homemade giardiniera, and different olive mixes, and it will run you far less than most major grocery stores.