At Central Grocery in New Orleans, they use their famous olive salad to dress deli meats and cheeses in an irresistible sandwich. It's best eaten the day after it's made, to allow the salad to marinate the other ingredients. This recipe first appeared in our April 2011 special Sandwich Issue with author John Mariani's article Big, Easy.
Enlarge Image Credit: Todd Coleman
1 ¼ cups coarsely chopped cauliflower florets
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried thyme
2 small carrots, roughly chopped
2 small ribs celery, thinly sliced
¾ cup chopped pitted green niçoise olives
½ cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
½ cup chopped roasted red peppers
¼ cup jarred, drained, sliced banana peppers
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 8″-10″ round loaf Italian bread with sesame seeds
6 oz. thinly sliced deli ham
6 oz. thinly sliced Genoasalami
6 oz. thinly sliced mortadella
6 oz. thinly sliced provolone
Bring cauliflower, oil, oregano, thyme, carrots, celery, and 3 tbsp. water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until vegetables are just tender, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in olives, peppers, vinegar, salt, and pepper; let cool.
Halve loaf and, using your hands, hollow out both halves of loaf; spread olive salad over bottom half. Layer ham, salami, mortadella, and provolone over salad, then top with remaining salad and top half of loaf. Wrap entire sandwich in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, allowing to marinate. Cut into quarters and serve.