Muffuletta Salad


The quintessential New Orleans sandwich, the muffuletta, is rarely found anywhere outside of the Crescent City. Pronounced “moo-foo-LET-ta,” this deli meat and cheese hero piled with a tangy olive salad is a New Orleans specialty but is pure Sicilian.

Since the Super Bowl is being played in New Orleans this Sunday and I need to bring a salad to the party, I decided to transform the sandwich into a salad. It begins with the same flavorsome olive salad, (which needs to marinate 24 hours) cubes of meats and cheese (instead of thin slices, ask the deli to cut a 1/4-inch-thick slice of each, for you to cube). The only difference between the sandwich and the salad is I eliminated the bread and added orzo pasta. It’s muffuletta you eat with a fork.


  • 1 (10-ounce) jar pimento-stuffed green olives, drained
  • 1 cup giardiniera (pickled cauliflower, carrots, celery, onions)
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/2 cup pepperoncini, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound mortadella, cubed
  • 1/4 pound Genoa salami, cubed
  • 1/4 pound ham, cubed
  • 1/4 pound provolone cheese, cubed
  • 3 cups orzo pasta, cooked.
  1. Roughly chop the olives and the giardiniera (if you use a food processor, pulse a couple of times, being careful not to chop to fine).
  2. Transfer to a large bowl and add the celery, garlic, pepperoncini and oregano. Add a few grinds of fresh ground pepper.
  3. Pour in the olive oil, mix all the ingredients, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  4. Meanwhile you can cube the meats and cheese, refrigerate until you’re ready to put it all together.
  5. Cook the orzo, (do not rinse).
  6. To make the salad, combine the 3 cups of the vegetable mixture with the meats and cheese, stir in the orzo. Chill until ready to use. There will be about 1 cup of the olive mixture leftover (enough for you to make a muffuletta sandwich).
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