An amazing sandwich for a trail run, hike, ski or date (trust me on this one). It travels extremely well in a backpack and does not need to be cut until you stop to eat. Hearty and amazingly tasty, the muffelleta will make your mouth sing with it’s various flavors due the various spices and vinegar. Give it a try, you will not be disappointed. The recipe below is my standard but I often alternate it with leftover chicken, steak or with more aggressive cheeses such as jarlsberg or swiss. Feel free to add more heat too with cayenne, tabasco or fresh chilies. I also love to add smoked paprika and spiked Italian vegetables.
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/3 cup olive oil
10 large pitted green olives, chopped
1/3 cup pitted, chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) round bread loaf (about 7 inches in diameter and 3 inches high)
4 ounces thinly sliced ham
4 ounces thinly sliced mortadella
4 ounces thinly sliced salami
4 ounces sliced provolone
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 ounces arugula leaves
Whisk the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Gradually blend in the oil. Stir in the olives and roasted peppers. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Cut the top 1-inch of the bread loaf. Set the top aside. Hollow out the bottom and top halves of the bread. Spread some of the olive and roasted pepper mix over the bread bottom and cut side of the bread top. Layer the meats and cheeses in the bread bottom. Top with the onions, then the arugula. Spread the remaining olive and roasted pepper mix on top of the sandwich and carefully cover with the bread top. You can serve the sandwich immediately or you can wrap the entire sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator a day before serving.
Cut the sandwich (during a break during your run or hike) into wedges and serve. No cutlery necessary… it’s so good you will want to lick your fingers or your dates.