Mortadella Smear

  • Serves

    serves 12


Father-and-son team Jimmy Bannos Sr. and Jr. of Chicago's Purple Pig restaurant puree mortadella, an Italian bologna, and slather it on toast with balsamic vinegar and pistachios, a combination that is devastatingly addictive.


  • 13 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 13 cup chicken stock
  • 1 lb. mortadella without pistachios, cut into ½″ cubes
  • 13 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 2 loaves ciabatta, sliced
  • 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. crushed toasted pistachio nuts
  • 12 cup baby arugula


Step 1

Pour vinegar into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced to 3 tbsp., about 5 minutes; remove from heat and set aside. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in chicken stock and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes; remove veloute sauce from heat and set aside to let cool.

Step 2

Put mortadella into a food processor and process until pureed. Transfer mortadella to a medium bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the reserved veloute sauce and whipped cream; set aside. Rub the ciabatta with the oil and grill or toast. To serve, smear the grilled bread with the mortadella and garnish with a drizzle of the reduced balsamic and a scattering of pistachios and arugula. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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