Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Smoky Mountain Muffaletta
We've tried various olive salads sold around town; some are freshly prepared and some are shipped from New Orleans. The one thing they all have in common is way too much olive oil. Why fight it; why not be creative? So this is what happened...
A couple of days ago on my lunch hour, I went to one of my favorite grocery stores in Knoxville to get some sliced pancetta. While at the deli counter, I noticed they carried mortadella! One-half pound please and a half pound of hard salami; oh, I also need a half pound of provolone cheese too, please!
Okay now what kind of bread can I get? I found a round loaf of an Italian type bread labeled "Parmesan Garlic" with sesame seeds on top; very much like the muffaletta bun found in New Orleans.
That evening, after draining a can of quartered artichoke hearts, I placed them in a bowl with a generous handful of sliced baby bella mushrooms, about one dozen Kalamata olives (cut in half) and one tablespoon of minced garlic. I drizzled some extra virgin olive oil over the vegetable mixture and seasoned it with salt and pepper.
The vegetable mixture was placed on a grill pan over direct heat on a preheated gas grill. I stood over the grill, and tossed and turned the veggies as necessary to get a nice sear but careful not to burn them.
I placed the bread on the grill after it had been sliced in half and each inner half drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil that had been infused with garlic.
Cover the bottom half of the bread with a layer of hard salami, then with a layer of mortadella, then a layer of cheese. Now add the crowning touch, the grilled veggies. Slice the big ol' sammich in quarters and share with your family or if you're really brave and sufficiently armed, don't share! Do enjoy though!