Showing posts with label olive salad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label olive salad. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Muffuletta Grilled Cheese #FoodieExtravaganza

Olive salad, mozzarella, salami, mortadella, ham and provolone, grilled in between two well buttered slices of a crusty loaf make a non-traditional muffuletta that, frankly, (Please don’t come at me with spears, New Orleans folks) is better than the original.

This month my Foodie Extravaganza group is celebrating grilled cheese sandwiches in all their glorious forms, sweet and savory. I am not a huge fan of sandwiches in general, but grilled cheese is one of the rare exceptions to that rule for me. As are muffulettas. It seemed like the perfect time to do a mashup and create a muffuletta grilled cheese sandwich. Seriously, as much as I enjoy a traditional muffuletta on a big circle of yeasty bread, using the filling on crusty artisanal bread and toasting the whole thing on a hot griddle till the cheeses are warm and melty, well, I like it sooooo much more. See if you don’t agree.

Ingredients for each sandwich
2 slices crusty bread
1-2 teaspoons butter, softened
2 very heaping tablespoons olive salad spread (You can easily make your own or buy it online.* )
A few slices each: mozzarella, salami, mortadella, ham and provolone cheese

Butter your bread liberally - this is no time to be shy - and lay the slices butter side down on your griddle. Top each with a healthy scoop of olive salad and spread it around to cover.

Add the mozzarella to one slice.

Followed by the salami, the mortadella and the ham.

Finish by adding the provolone.

Close the sandwich and start cooking over a low fire. It’s going to take a while to heat through and melt the cheese so we don’t want the bread to toast too fast.

Cover the griddle with a heavy lid that presses down on the sandwich. This helps hold in the heat and make sure that all parts of the bread are being toasted.

After a few minutes, remove the lid and wipe the condensation dry with a paper towel. Check the bottom of the sandwich. If it’s slightly golden, turn the sandwich over carefully and put the heavy lid back on.

Cook the other side for a few more minutes, checking it and drying off the lid occasionally. You will probably turn it a couple of more times until it’s toasted a lovely golden brown and the cheeses start melting out. Cook it for another minute or so on each side, uncovered.

Melty cheeses? Check!


Are you a fan of grilled cheese? Come check out all the fabulous recipes we have for you this month! Many thanks to our host for the Grilled Cheese Foodie Extravaganza , Lauren at From Gate to Plate.

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month. This month we celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month by serving up sandwiches.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to participate in the next Foodie Extravaganza, just go to our Facebook page to join. We would love to have you!

Follow our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest board for past events and more deliciousness!

*Amazon affiliate link

Muffuletta Olive Salad (Spread)

This fresh and tasty salad, made with olives and other vegetables is the traditional spread on a muffuletta sandwich, made famous by Central Grocery in New Orleans, Louisiana. Why it’s called salad when it’s clearly a spread, I do not know. Let’s just go with it. 

First off, let’s agree that there are as many recipes for this Italian olive salad as there are Italian mamas and lovers of the classic New Orleans muffuletta sandwich. And this is mine. If you want to throw in a few more pickled onions or capers, feel free, but just make sure you’ve got a healthy mix of olives in there. It’s all about the olives when it’s called olive salad. This stuff is great spread on sandwiches or crackers or even used as a rough dip.


13.4 oz or 380g jar marinated vegetables (The jar I used had a mixture of artichoke hearts, pimentos and mushrooms, grilled, with oil. That there >)
12.5 oz or 354g jar of pimento-stuffed green olives, drained weight 7oz or 200g
3.3 oz or 95g Kalamata olives, weight before pitting
4 oz or 115g spicy pickled onions
8 or 9 cornichons (little bitty pickles) or 35g
1 heaping tablespoon capers
2 fresh green pepperoncini (Together they weighed 2.3 oz or 65g.)
3 large cloves garlic
Extra virgin olive oil, if necessary, to loosen into spreading consistency

Pit your Kalamata olives.

Cut the stem ends off of the fresh peppers and then cut them into large pieces. You can take out the fluffy white bits as well if you want but pepperoncini aren't spicy so don't worry about the seeds.

Tip the Kalamatas and cut peppers into the food processor with the rest of the ingredients, including the marinade from the vegetables. Everything else should have been drained of its brine.

Pulse, scraping down the sides until the spread is fairly smooth. If you need to add a drizzle of olive oil to make it spread nicely, now is the time. I added just a couple of tablespoons full. Pulse again.

This makes about 2 1/2 - 3 cups of olive salad spread. Store it in a clean jar, in the refrigerator, covering it with a little olive oil to keep the top from drying out. Remember to drizzle a little oil on top before you put it back in the refrigerator whenever you take a scoop out. It will keep well for weeks, if it lasts that long.


One day I'll post my traditional muffuletta sandwich using this bread, because I did make one.

Exhibit A:

But meanwhile, how about a muffuletta grilled cheese?

Best sandwich I've had in a very long time, and that includes the muffuletta above.