By the Gracious Vegan
I remember the first time I tasted a muffaletta sandwich. It was at the New Orleans Jazz Festival a few years ago. They looked surprised when I asked them to leave off the meat and cheese--I just wanted to olive salad. I adore Greek olives and I can't get enough of tapenade, a spreadable paste made with olives, so I was sure I would like this sandwich topping with the quirky name. With muffaletta, celery and caper flavors pop out on top of the briny base of olives, shallots, and red peppers. All my senses were more than pleased that afternoon.
You could make a muffaletta sandwich with this olive salad and vegan cheese (like Chao, since its original flavor tastes a lot like provolone cheese). Or you could use a hummus base, like the open-faced sandwich pictured here. Muffaletta would also be good with vegan cream cheese or with roasted vegetables. Of course you could use this for appetizers--serve with crackers or small slices of baguette.
Combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir. It's ready to use on a sandwich or for appetizers.
1 cup pitted olives, roughly chopped (not California olives; a mix of black and green looks very pretty, but any Greek olive work here)
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped (jarred is fine -- just rinse them)
2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed, dried, and chopped
1.5 Tablespoons minced celery
1 Tablespoon minced shallots
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
(optional) 2-3 Italian hot pickled peppers (such a pepperoncini), chopped
Timing: About 20 minutes
Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO