Recipe: Muffuletta

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Total time: 1 hour, plus 2 to 4 hours marinating and 4 hours pressing

Servings: 8

Note: To blanch the cauliflower and carrot, cook in boiling water for 2 minutes, then plunge into cold water.

1/2 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup pitted oil-packed black olives, coarsely chopped

1 (2-ounce) jar pimentos, drained and coarsely chopped

1 stalk celery, trimmed and minced, about 1/3 cup

1/4 cup cauliflower florets, blanched and minced

1 carrot, peeled, blanched and minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped Italian parsley

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large round loaf semolina bread

1 cup very finely shredded lettuce

1/4 pound thinly sliced ham

1/4 pound thinly sliced mortadella with pistachios

1/4 pound thinly sliced Genoa salami

6 ounces thinly sliced provolone

1. Make an olive relish by combining the green and black olives with the pimentos, celery, cauliflower, carrot, garlic, parsley, oregano, vinegar and oil. Stir to blend, then set aside to marinate at least 2 hours, but preferably 4.

2. Slice the bread in half horizontally. Scoop out some of the bottom part, leaving a retaining wall on all sides. Drain the olive mixture, reserving the liquid. Spread half the relish onto the bread. Top with successive layers of lettuce, ham, mortadella, salami and cheese. Drizzle with a little of the reserved marinade. Spread the remaining olive relish over the layers. Top with the reserved half of the loaf.


3. Wrap the sandwich in plastic film. Place it on a baking sheet and weight it with something heavy such as an iron skillet or canned tomatoes. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to compress. Cut into thin wedges to serve.

Each serving: 362 calories; 1,212 mg. sodium; 43 mg. cholesterol; 21 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 26 grams carbohydrates; 17 grams protein; 2 grams fiber.