Picnic Muffaletta Sandwich

photoA “muffaletta” is basically a big sandwich made from round bread, which is cut into wedges.  To me, a muffaleta is the perfect picnic food.  It looks very impressive, can be made in advance, holds well in a cooler, and can be eaten with your hands.   

Years ago, “BC” (before children) when we lived our lives carefree in New York City, one of our favorite summer activities was to attend the Philharmonic in the Park and Opera in the Park.  These free concerts were held on Central Park’s Great Lawn, which was only a few short blocks from our apartment.  We always went with a big group of friends and set out blankets and chairs, and of course, lots of food and wine.  For me, it was city living at its best.  I’d carry a giant muffaletta to our pre-established spot (this was pre-cell phones so we had to plan in advance), where I’d be met by big containers of pasta salads, breads, and desserts contributed by our friends.   Now that I live in the suburbs, I have to count on the one Saturday night per year when our local symphony orchestra gives a similar type of pops concert on the lawn of the nearby university (albeit it smaller in scale).   Now we go with the kids and coordinate locations on cell phones, but the muffaletta lives!

I love to stuff muffalettas with different types of grilled veggies, but since I was short on time, I went to my favorite Italian specialty shop and loaded up on cold cuts like Genoa salami and cappicola and fresh mozzarella made on the premises.  At home I had some roasted red peppers I’d grilled the night before, some baby spinach leaves, plus some leftover pesto, which I’d use as my spread.  The result was a tasty and colorful Italian flavored sandwich which was a big hit at the concert, which turned out to be just as much fun as the ones we attended in Central Park, BC.

Picnic Muffaletta

Serves 6

1 large, round rustic-style bread, about 13-15 inches in diameter

1/3 lb each of Genoa salami and cappicola (or any variety of cold cut meats)

4 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced

1 roasted red pepper, sliced (or about 3 pieces from a jar, sliced)

1/4 cup pesto (prepared or homemade)

1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves

Slice the loaf crosswise and pull out some of the insides to create an indentation (this holds the fillings in much better and gives a better bread/filling ratio).

Layer the meats, then the mozzarella, then the roasted red peppers, and lastly, the spinach leaves.

Spread the pesto on the inside of the top piece and place onto the bottom to form a giant sandwich. 

Cut into wedges, and wrap the entire (cut) round in plastic wrap (I find it easier to leave it on the cutting board and wrap the entire thing right on the board).

Serve at room temperature.  Can be made a few hours in advance.

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.

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2 Responses to “Picnic Muffaletta Sandwich”

  1. zoe p. Says:

    The muffalleta lives?! That’s hilarious.

  2. Tia Swain Says:

    Looks great

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