Make it yourself: The perfect muffaletta

“If this sandwich were an Olympiad, it would resemble 14-time gold medal-winner Michael Phelps.”

So write Jean Tang and Sarah Reistad-Long in their new cookbook, “The Big New York Sandwich Book,” about Fort Defiance’s much-praised muffaletta. Indeed, St. John Frizell has gained many fans at his Red Hook restaurant for his take on the New Orleans classic — piled high with Emmental cheese, provolone, mortadella, sweet soppressato, and, of course, olive salad.

And now, you can try your hand at recreating the tasty French Quarter staple, courtesy of the recipe below (though allow at least three days to create a proper olive spread).


created by St. John Frizell at Fort Defiance

Serves six


Muffaletta bread loaf, about 1-inches round

9 ounces Emmental cheese, sliced

9 ounces mild provolone cheese, sliced

8 ounces hot coppa, sliced

8 ounces mortadella, sliced

8 ounces sweet soppressata, sliced

Olive Salad

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup vinegar

1/2 carrot, roughly chopped

3 cauliflower stalks, roughly chopped

1 celery stalk, roughly chopped

1 shallot, halved

1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted

1/3 cup green olives, pitted

1 tablespoon chopped pimientos

1 garlic clove

4 parsley sprigs

1 teaspoon capers

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1-1/4 teaspoons canola oil

For the olive salad

Place the sugar, water, and vinegar in a saucepan to make a brine. Heat to a boil over high heat; then reduce the heat to medium and boil until the sugar is dissolved.

Place the carrot, cauliflower, celery, and shallot into a large, heat-proof container. Pour the brine over the vegetables to cover. Refrigerate for at least three days.

Remove the vegetables from the brine. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pickled vegetables, olives, pimientos, garlic, parsley, and capers. Working in small batches, add the vegetable mixture to a food processor, and pulse until chopped, but not puréed. Toss with the olive and canola oils.

For the sandwich

Slice the bread in half lengthwise. Spread the olive salad on the bottom half. Add the Emmental, provolone, hot coppa, mortadella, and soppressata. Close the sandwich. Slice into six wedges, and serve. Store any leftover olive salad in the refrigerator.

From “The Big New York Sandwich Book” by Sara Reistad-Long and Jean Tang (Running Press, 2011).