Have you ever heard of a muffuletta sandwich? If not, let me give you a brief history behind this super delicious sandwich! Its roots began in southern Italy (originally, muffuletta was a round sesame bread made in Sicily), but the sandwich going by the same name originated in New Orleans, Louisiana and was created by Italian immigrants.
The classic sandwich always includes an olive salad, but it is almost always meat-heavy! My version is lighter on the arteries (after all, it is January and we are trying to improve our eating habits, right?). I also changed how the sandwich is assembled. The original sandwich calls for bread to be hollowed out, but with epic Queen Street Bakery artisanal buns, why waste a good thing? The secret is to let your sandwich rest so the juices from the olive salad marinate and seep into the bread a wee bit!
The Most Epic Vegetarian Muffuletta Sandwich
- 1 package Queen Street Bakery Artisan Round Buns
- 3/4 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and chopped
- 1 tablespoon Capers, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Italian Parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup Giardiniera (pickled vegetable salad, see note below)
- 4 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 4 Portobello Mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- Provolone, 8 thin slices
- 1 can Artichoke Hearts, well drained and sliced
- 200 grams Feta Cheese, 4 slices
- 4 Roasted Peppers (roast your own or use jarred variety)
- Eggplant, grilled and sliced into 8 slices (see note below)
Note: Giardiniera is a pickled vegetable mix that can be found at Italian delis or supermarkets, usually jarred. If you can’t find it, simply omit or substitute 2 to 3 seeded and stemmed pepperoncini olives or a different type of olive. Also, grilled eggplant can be found prepared in a jar or in the deli section of most grocery stores.
- In the bowl of a food processor, mix together the olives, capers, parsley and giardiniera. Pulse to combine. Scoop chopped mixture into a small bowl, then stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and vinegar and set aside (you can make this ahead as the flavours intensify with time).
- In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and cook the mushroom slices until brown, seasoning with salt to make sure all the liquid is released.
- To assemble the sandwiches, split the artisan round buns in half and place the bottoms on your work surface. Begin by layering the provolone on the bottom of the bun (this will protect the bottom bun from getting mushy from the filling).
- Layer some artichoke hearts, then some mushrooms, then a slice of feta on top of the mushrooms, pressing down to ensure the layers stick together as much as possible. Follow with layers of roasted pepper, eggplant and then one heaping tablespoon of the olive salad to finish.
- Top each sandwich with a top bun half and press down firmly.
- Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about an hour (if you are heating them, you can leave them overnight).
- Once the flavours come together in the fridge, you can remove the sandwiches from fridge and enjoy them or you can wrap them in foil and heat them at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.
- Serve warm or at room temperature!
Recipe Developed by Suzie Durigon, certified culinarian, culinary instructor, food blogger and chief taste tester.