I lived outside of New Orleans for about 7 years and there’s just something about that city that sticks with you! There are a lot of things to love about it, but probably one of the things that leaves the biggest impression (and biggest hole) is the food! The seasoning and spices used in Cajun cooking are unlike anywhere else in the country, which makes it hard to find good, authentic Cajun cuisine outside of Louisiana.
One of the many unique-to-New-Orleans dishes I love is the muffuletta sandwich. Traditionally, there’s not a whole lot of cooking needed for this one, but it packs a flavorful punch! It was first created in 1906 by Salvatore Lupo who was a Sicilian immigrant. The original muffuletta is still sold today at Central Grocery, which is still owned by Salvatore’s family. If you have a chance to go to New Orleans, I definitely recommend trying the original! The muffuletta is made on a round Sicilian sesame loaf and it’s stuffed with ham; assorted Italian meats like salami, mortadella, capocolla; Provolone; and a marinated olive salad.
I won’t pretend that these pinwheels made with puff pastry are an authentic muffuletta, but the filling ingredients are authentic and they provide a good representation of all the flavors that are in a muffuletta. Part of what makes a muffuletta a muffuletta is the bread and since we don’t have access to that here, the puff pastry will be a stand-in. Use the amounts listed in the recipe as a guideline. You may find packages that are a slightly different size, but you want enough ingredients to cover the puff pastry.
- 5 ounces mixed olives (I got an assortment of olives from the olive bar at my grocery store.)
- 8 ounces Giardiniera (pickled Italian vegetables), drained
- 1 (17.3oz) box puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
- 2.5 ounces Genoa salami, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces Mortadella, thinly sliced
- 6 ounces Provolone cheese, thinly sliced (16 slices)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the olives and Giardiniera in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. You’ll want at least 1 cup of the chopped olive mixture.
- Unfold one piece of the thawed pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll lightly with a rolling pin until it’s about 12 inches long.
- Spread 1/2 of the olive salad on the pastry and layer with 1/2 of the cheese (8 slices), salami, and mortadella.
- Roll up the pastry (long side) into a log.
- Slice the log into 16 equal slices.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Repeat with the other pastry sheet and the remaining ingredients.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry begins to lightly brown.
- Best if served warm.
Adapted from: Home is Where the Boat Is