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Engineering a muffuletta

Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 8:10 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 24, 2014 9:32 p.m. CDT
(Bill Hogan – Chicago Tribune)
The muffuletta sandwich is wide and low. It's packed with cheese, ham and olives, and improved by the mechanics of the squish.

Home from a robotics match, I engineered a muffuletta. The sandwich is wide and low. It’s packed with cheese and ham and olives and improved by the mechanics of the squish. It’s hearty enough to keep a whole robotics team on track. And simple enough to please the old-school fan of the windup.


Serves 6

Prep: 30 minutes

Wait: 90 minutes

2 ½ cups Olive Salad

1 (1-pound) loaf round Italian bread

4 ounces thinly sliced provolone

4 ounces thinly sliced ham

4 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella

¾ cup grape tomatoes, quartered

1. Slice bread in half horizontally. Open and pull out some of the crumb (save for breadcrumbs another day).

2. Pile half the olive salad onto the bread bottom. Layer on cheese, ham, cheese. Stir tomatoes into remaining olive salad and pile on top. Cover with bread top.

3. Squish: Wrap sandwich securely in plastic. Balance something flat on top and weight it down with something heavy. Let rest at room temperature, 30 minutes.

4. Serve: Slice into 6 wedges. Munch.

Olive salad

Makes: about 2 ½ cups

3⁄4 cup finely chopped green olives

3⁄4 cup finely chopped black olives

3⁄4 cup chopped roasted red peppers

1⁄3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoons drained and rinsed capers

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano

1 clove garlic, de-germed and finely chopped

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients. Cover and let rest at room temperature, 1 hour.

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