Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Vegan Muffuletta Sandwich
I usually catch a couple of the best picture nominees before the awards, either in the theater or on DVD, but I haven’t seen all of them since, I’m embarrassed to admit, 1997. And, it was easier then with only five movies to see.
This year, I saw all nine best picture nominated movies, plus Flight and The Impossible to catch Denzel and Naomi. I missed The Master and Sessions, but I plan to rectify that as soon as possible.
Now to the burning question—what did I make for our Oscar party? I made a vegan Muffulatta Sandwich. Now, don’t scratch your head and wonder why you weren’t invited. Les and I had a party for two. My son was home as well, but he wasn’t interested in the awards ceremony. He did come out for some of the sandwich. He loves anything with olives! He was also excited Argo won, since he stayed up late to watch it the night before.
I wanted to make a muffulatta sandwich, because I’ve been fascinated by the them since I watched Emeril Lagasse make one on television year’s ago. Les and I gave up meat and dairy again this year for Lent, so as delicious as all the Italian cured meats look in the original sandwich, I knew I needed a different filling. Roasted vegetables filled the sandwich deliciously. Les loved this sandwich, and I’ve made it twice now. I think I like the vegetables better than the meat. The vegetables add a juicy, flavorful compliment to the salty, tart olive salad. This Vegan Muffulatta Sandwich, can be tricky to eat (be sure to eat over a plate or a napkin), but it is worth it, and when you exchange the cured meat for vegetables it is healthy too!
Vegan Muffuletta Sandwich
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
1 cup sliced pimento-stuffed olives, plus 2 tablespoons of liquid from the jar
1 cup chopped giardiniera (pickled Italian vegetables), plus 1 tablespoon of liquid from the jar
2 tablespoons drained chopped capers, plus 2 teaspoons of liquid from the jar
½ cup sliced Calamata olives
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large round loaf of sourdough bread (I used a green olive loaf)
2 small Italian eggplants, sliced ½ inch thick
1 medium zucchini, sliced ½ inch thick
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and quartered
1 red onion, sliced ½ inch thick
½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning
freshly ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, stir together the pimento-stuffed olives, giardiniera, capers and their respective liquids. Add the Calamata olives, garlic, shallot, parsley, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes. Stir in the olive oil and let the mixture stand for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the eggplant, zucchini, red onion and red pepper on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Bake until the vegetables are lightly browned and softened. The zucchini and eggplant take 10 to 15 minutes, and the onion and pepper take 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the vegetables to a plate when done, and let cool.
Slice the loaf of bread in half, and hollow out the top and the bottom slightly to allow for the olive salad. Spoon the olive salad on both sides of the bread evenly. Place the red peppers on the top layer over the olive salad. Arrange the red onion, zucchini and eggplant on the olive salad on the bottom layer. Carefully close the sandwich. Wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Cut the sandwich into wedges and serve.