As I put together the Marinated Cauliflower, Olive, and Caper Salad, it reminded me a lot of the kind of olive salad that’s usually on a muffuletta. The only problem for me with a standard muffuletta is that it’s usually filled with several varieties of salami and ham which all fall into the red meat category that I avoid. So, I thought, why not build a vegetarian muffuletta? I skipped the meat and sliced roasted portobellos to take its place and added a layer of piquillo peppers. I chopped the Marinated Cauliflower Salad to a smaller size before adding a generous portion to the sandwich. Just as a muffuletta should be, this was a piled-high sandwich with big flavors. I’m not sure if this version will catch on in New Orleans, but it was hit at my house for Mardi Gras.
I started with ciabatta rolls which were sliced, brushed with olive oil and toasted. From the bottom up, I layered arugula leaves, sliced provolone, roasted and sliced portobellos, and piquillo peppers. Of course, any roasted red pepper would add good color and flavor, but I had some piquillos on hand. Next up, I chopped some pepperoncini which were added before the chopped cauliflower salad. A little more arugula sat on top, and that was the sandwich.
I love how the dressing from the cauliflower salad and the brine from the pepperoncini seep into the crunchy, toasted bread and flavor the whole sandwich. And, it’s a sandwich that requires a napkin or two to be served with it, but that’s part of the charm of a muffuletta. Mardi Gras inspired this creation, but from now on, it will make year-round appearances in our sandwich rotation.