Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Olive-Lovers Sandwich

This is one of the recipes you can whip together for a crowd or an easy, pleasing meal when your crew doesn't want to slow down to sit.  My gang absolutely loves this sandwich.  I started it as sort of a streamlined muffaletta but its turned into a creature of its own.

You'll need a good french loaf (we get the kind with everything topping or sesame seeds on top), 1/4 lb. hard salami, 1/2 lb. sliced deli ham (don't spring for the expensive stuff on this - the cheap cooked ham tastes just as good because of all the other flavors), 1/4 lb. each of two of your favorite sliced cheeses (we like provolone and colby jack but whatever most kinds of cheese are good on this one!), 1 small can sliced ripe olives, a good handful or two of sliced green olives, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic salt and pepper.

Start a small mixing bowl and toss in the two kinds of olives, olive oil, Italian seasoning and about 1/4 teaspoon each of garlic salt and pepper.  Mix well and let this sit while you build your sandwich.

Take your french loaf and sliced in half lengthwise.  On one half, tear some of the soft bread out to make a well in the middle of the loaf all the way down the length of the loaf.  You want to leave some of the soft bread all the way around but you want enough space for all your olives to fit in the well.

Fill the well with your olives.  Layer your meat on the opposite piece of bread with the salami on against the bread.  This will let the bread absorb any moisture and oils from the meat and keep your sandwich from being greasy or sliding around when you go to slice it.

Top the olives with layers of cheese.  As the cheese melts, it will hold the olives to the bread so they don't fall all over the place when you cut into or bite the sandwich.  Place it in the oven on a large cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted through and the meat and bread are toasted.

Carefully flip the meat side onto the cheese side.  I use oven mitts and sometimes a long spatula or bread knife to help.  In this case you can see the meat is on the top part of the loaf - usually I have the meat on the bottom part of the loaf but this loaf had a big empty air pocket on the bottom so I packed the olives in there.  When the meat is on the bottom, I still flip the meat side onto the cheese side because it is much easier to get lined up without making a mess.  Then I can just turn the whole loaf right-side up. The cheese on top also means the cheese has more room to melt down the side.  

Let it cool for a few minutes so the cheese can firm up a little.  This will make your slicing easier and keep the troops from scalding the roofs of their mouths.  Slice at an angle.  If you are serving a crowd slice 1-inch wide slices.  For a family you can be a little more generous and go with 2-inch slices.  

I tallied the costs and this sandwich costs me less than $7.50!  That's just the cost of one sub at a sub shop and this feeds a hungry family of 4 with leftovers to spare.  It also refrigerates well and makes a great cold or hot lunch the next day.  Your bread will not be soggy on day 2.  Goes well with chips, fries, potato salad, pasta salad or garden salad.  Dig in!


Emily {Frilly Details} said...

This looks SO yummy! I love sandwiches and the olive mix really makes it special. YUM!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness this looks so DELICIOUS!