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Jul 8, 2009 11:10 AM

Muffuletta Olive Salad...options??

I was given a jar of this great muffuletta olive salad from New Orleans. I’m trying to think of different ways to use it besides the standard sandwich. Anyone use this stuff in other recipes?

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  1. We used it for pizza. We took the frozen corn meal pizza crust from Whole Foods (just cuz we love it), put a generous layer of olive salad, then fresh mozz, then a little more olive salad. No pizza sauce. It was reallly good. Here's a not-so-great photo (only had the cell phone handy)

    4 Replies
      1. re: kukubura

        yummy yummy! cheesy-olive-y goodness on bread. how can you go wrong?!

          1. re: valerie

            Damn I didn't realize so many people were coveting my pizza in here! I wish I had a better picture. I've been improving my food photography skills for my wife's food blog. Imagine that pizza shot like this:

        1. It is a nice add to cooked pasta as well.

          1. It's good on a lot of different sandwiches.

            In pasta sauce or on pizza as mentioned above.

            I just mentioned ceviche on another thread and it's got me to thinking, cure some shrimp in some acid and then toss with some olive salad.

            I also like to have it on crackers. Especially with a nice sharp cheddar.


            1. I sometimes make crostini, top it with fresh goat cheese and broil it on then use the olive mix as a topping to that.

              I saw someone mentioned pasta. I was gonna say that. Mix in some spicy italian sausage and some lovely browned chicken pieces parts.. maybe some cheese to round it out and you have effectively called me for dinner at your place.

              1. Olive salad was used in the classic New Orleans Wop Salad that was on every Italian menu in town until the tourists started getting upset that "wop" was an ethnic slur. Nobody in NOLA had ever noticed before since that's what all the Italians called the salad. A version of it was on most menus in town, even at non-Italian places.

                Great salad. This recipe is pretty elaborate but the salad can be much simpler than this. Make sure to use Romaine to stand up to the heaviness of the olive salad.

                My sister makes a terrific "muffuletta dip," using olive salad, plus minced cold cuts and cheese - the same ones that you'd use in the sandwich. Serve with Italian bread cut into small pieces.

                15 Replies
                1. re: MakingSense

                  You are "on the beam" as we used to say. And I rise to remark, on this occcasion, that we have pummeled this strawman before..Hungry Celeste agrees with me..Wop Salad is not an insult and I do not give damn what someone else thinks it means.

                  1. re: MakingSense

                    Yay for your sissy's dip! That's brilliant. I'm all over it for my next shindig.

                    1. re: MakingSense

                      what kind of cheese in the dip? is it heated? it sounds great!

                      1. re: RVAwino

                        She used the old stand-by cream cheese and sour cream. Actually the low-fat versions, but I guess every little bit helps. Served cold or at room temp.
                        I've made it thick enough to be used as a spread for the bread, rather than a dip, although it's pretty good off a spoon....

                        1. re: MakingSense

                          riffing on this dip idea, wouldn't that be good broiled on some french bread?

                          maybe add the muffaletta olive salad mix to the classic artichoke dip baked with parmesan/mayo? sounds good to me. (ah, to heck with the sodium! LOL!).

                          following up on the pasta idea, i think it'd be real tasty in a tortellini salad.

                          1. re: alkapal

                            Before you get carried away, remember that olive salad has LOTS of olive oil in it, so it can get pretty oily/runny/messy when you heat it.
                            I like my muffys slightly warmed, and they can be real 3-napkin lunches. But my hands are nice and soft when I'm finished....LOL

                            But you are right, this is a great mix to have on hand.

                            1. re: MakingSense

                              sadly, making sense, i've never had the joy of eating the muffuletta olive salad, just watching others make and eat it on tv, and reading the recipes. i love olives of all sorts, though.

                              does this look like a good recipe?

                              where can you get it in the d.c. area?

                              1. re: alkapal

                                You can make your own using a bottle of Giardenera (sp?) the pickled vegetable salad. Pulse that in a processor with your favorite pitted olives and pepperoncini. Voila - olive salad!

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  I make my own. My oldest friend (we went to kindergarten together in NOLA) and I tested recipes until we got the one most like the one from home. Remember that this is a "grocery store/deli" recipe so you have to fight the urge to use the fancy, top quality olives. They actually have too strong a taste, especially after a week or so, and they overpower the other ingredients.

                                  1 32 oz. jar of prepared giardiniera - the one w/cauliflower and carrots
                                  1 bottle of green olives with pimentos (called Spanish salad olives or "thrown stuffed olives")
                                  1 can black olives - the plain grocery store pitted ones
                                  6 cloves garlic, minced
                                  4 ribs celery, minced
                                  ¼ cup capers (optional)
                                  1 tablespoon dried oregano
                                  1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like)

                                  Chop all the ingredients into fine pieces. Add herbs. In a large bowl, cover with:
                                  1 ½ cups olive oil
                                  ¼ cup red wine or cider vinegar
                                  ¼ cup brine from olives

                                  Toss well. Let sit at room temperature for a few hours, tossing every now and then to redistribute the oil, vinegar and seasonings.
                                  Pack into a jar/jars and store in the refrigerator for a minimum of two or three days before using on Muffulettas or in salads. Best after a week or two.
                                  This will keep for weeks in the fridge.

                                  This is best if you do the chopping/mincing by hand, rather than in the food processor. It's worth the time to get the texture correct.

                                  Since you're not from NOLA, you might prefer another recipe. We are and this is the one that tastes like "home" to us.

                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                    I once made the mistake of buying Giuliano brand muffaletta salad at my Maryland grocery store after returning from NOLA, thinking it could maybe recapture the flavor. Not only did it taste terrible but it was very finely processed. I really missed the chunky texture of the olive salad in NOLA. If I can't find it around here I'll make my own.

                                    1. re: kukubura

                                      I'm glad you warned me. I saw Giuliano brand for the first time yesterday at Litteri's, a terrific Italian grocery in the Washington DC wholesale market, and almost picked it up because I was out of my own homemade olive salad and was craving some.
                                      Instead I got all the fixings to make a new batch of my own.
                                      The Giuliano looked like it was chopped up too fine. The texture is very important. That's why I suggested to Alkapal that she chop the ingredients for my recipe by hand rather than use the food processor. Yeah, it takes longer, but the recipe makes a big batch and it lasts pretty long - unless one of the kids finds the jar and uses a fork....

                                    2. re: MakingSense

                                      making sense, thank you so much!!

                                      i'm noting the importance of texture, for certain. some recipes mentioned using one's hands to crush the olives on a cutting board for the right texture.

                                      ps, question re litteri's:
                                      do you have to buy a certain (large) amount to get a wholesale price?

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        Litteri's operates like a grocery store. You can buy one tiny bottle of olive oil or a 3 litre can. Or a case of something or cases.
                                        They have the best prices in town on most stuff because they are an importer and sell to a lot of restaurants, caterers, and (I suppose) other stores.
                                        Their wine prices are really good and then you get an additional discount if you buy a case, even if it's a mixed case that you choose yourself.

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          you can buy Central Grocery's olive saiad and have it shipped -
                                          Central Grocery , 923 Decatur St., New Orleans - 504 620 0174
                                          $17.50 for a 2lb jar (plus shipping)

                                          1. re: Tee

                                            thanks making sense and tee!
                                            it's interesting to see the three different versions of olive salad offered on the site. once shipping is factored in, it seems like it would be cheaper to make it myself.