How to make muffuletta

Chicago TribuneApril 29, 2014 

FOOD MUFFULETTA TB

The muffuletta sandwich is wide and low. It’s packed with cheese and ham and olives and improved by the mechanics of the squish.

BILL HOGAN — MCT

My robot is old-school: Wind him up and he lurches across the desk, orange tin arms swinging, red tin boots shuffling, black tin eyes deep in concentration. And though he makes excellent company, I’m glad I didn’t invite him to the robotics competition. Frankly, things have changed.

Packed into stadium bleachers, hundreds of young engineers in bright T-shirts and funny hats cheered on their creations. These robots were low and wide, smooth on their wheels and dexterous – they could pass, shoot and score. Not one blinked or grimaced. No faces.

Building the bot had taken six weeks in a sweaty basement. It took wrenches, screwdrivers, safety glasses. It took mathematics, elastics, pneumatics. It took calibration, cooperation, concentration. It took many, many sandwiches.

Home from the 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.

Muffuletta

2 1/2 cups Olive Salad (recipe follows)

1 (1-pound) loaf round Italian bread

4 ounces thinly sliced provolone

4 ounces thinly sliced ham

4 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella

3/4 cup grape tomatoes, quartered

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

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.

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

SLICE into 6 wedges.

Yield: 6 servings.

Olive Spread

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

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

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

Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service