Magnificent Muffuletta

Ingredients

  • 1 large (1- to 1-1/2-pound) loaf (rond if possible) Italian bread, split in half horizontally
  • 5-6 ounces giardiniera
  • 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the giardiniera jar
  • 1 cup pimento-stuffed olives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound sliced mozzarella
  • 1/4 pound sliced capocollo
  • 1/4 pound sliced Genoa salami
  • 1/4 pound sliced mortadella
  • 1/4 pound sliced provolone

Instructions If using a round loaf of bread, split it horizontally and pull out some of the bread from the bottom half to form a pocket for the olive salad.

In a mixing bowl, combine the giardiniera, giardiniera liquid, pimento olives, garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper and olive oil. (Can be made hours ahead.)

Spread the olive salad evenly into the pocket of the bottom piece of bread. Layer in the mozzarella, capocollo, salami, mortadella, provolone (in that order) over the olive salad. Put on the top lid of bread and press down gently to seal. Wrap the muffuletta tightly with plastic wrap. Can be kept at room temperature for an hour. Cut into serving pieces (6 to 8, your choice). garnish each plate with pepperonchini and olives.

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