So what is a muffuletta and olive salad?
The muffuletta sandwich is said to have been created in 1906 at Central Grocery Co. on Decatur Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, by its delicatessen owner Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant. Another Italian-style New Orleans delicatessen, Progress Grocery Co., originally opened in 1924 by the Perrone family, claims the origin of the muffuletta is uncertain.
The traditional-style muffuletta sandwich consists of a muffuletta loaf split horizontally and covered with layers of marinated muffuletta-style olive salad, salami, ham, Swiss cheese, provolone, and mortadella. Quarter, half, and full-sized muffulettas are sold.
The signature olive salad consists of olives diced with the celery, cauliflower and carrot found in a jar of giardiniera, seasoned with oregano and garlic, covered in olive oil, and allowed to combine for at least 24 hours. (source: Wikipedia)
Because I really wanted to process the olive salad for shelf stability I didn't use olive oil, but you can add it when you use it if desired.
Add olive salad to a Greek salad, pasta salad, to cream cheese for a dip, topped on crostini, flavor up a beef roast or slow cooked chicken and more.
2 cups cauliflower, diced small
1 cup celery, diced small
1 cup carrots, diced small
2 - 15 oz. cans drained pitted medium black olives
2 1/2 cups drained pitted Kalamata olives
2 1/2 cups drained pimiento-stuffed green olives
Seasonings (added to each of 6 pint jars)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp oregano leaves
1 tsp Italian parsley
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cups red wine vinegar (5%)
2 cups water
2 tbsp pickling salt
Dice small the cauliflower, carrots and celery and mix together in a bowl; set aside.
Drain and rough chop all the olives placing each variety in separate bowls.
Using 6 pint jars, add the seasonings to each jar. Now evenly divide the cauliflower, carrots and celery mix to each jar, and top with each variety of olives evenly distributing them and leaving a 1/2-inch headspace.
Combine all the brine ingredients in a saucepan and heat to dissolve the salt. Remove from heat and pour evenly into each jar leaving 1/2-inch headspace; run a plastic knife around the inside of the jars to remove any air bubbles and adjust headspace as needed, top jars with lids and bands.
Process jars in a water bath or steam canner 20 minutes. Remove jars and let sit 24 hours undisturbed on a towel or rack on your countertop. Jars are sealed when button on top is fully depressed and won't flex up and down.
Store jars in pantry up to one year. Open jars must be refrigerated.
Yield: 6 pint jars
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