(This recipe is part of the “End of Summer Picnic Experience“)
Hello. My name is Kristy and I am (sigh) a perfectionist. They say the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem. Okay, so … I tend to go overboard whenever I do anything. I exert more energy than necessary and spend more money doing it than I should. I think I may need a 12-step program to help break this addiction.
Excellence vs. Perfectionism
There’s a struggle within me between the spirit of excellence and “perfectionism.” On the surface, they appear to have the same characteristics. But when I uncover the roots, they’re not only opposite in nature, they’re antagonistic to one another. Perfectionism is a hard taskmaster, a driving force. It is cruel, exhausting and the outcome is very rarely good enough. Excellence, on the other hand, is a motivating force that will cheer me on in my endeavors. It is concerned more about people than results or my accomplishments.
A Small Venture Turns into an Enormous Endeavor
My husband and I own an insurance brokerage and some time ago I thought it would be a good idea to host a wine tasting event with a few hors d’oeuvres. The idea was to throw together some small bites and enjoy the evening mingling among clients.
But, what began as a small venture, became quite the undertaking when all was said and done. My original simple menu of four or five appetizers grew into a dozen or more dishes before I knew it. This added up to over 80 hours of prep time beforehand! Therefore I was completely exhausted the day of the event.
Engaging is the Most Important Aspect of a Get-Together
We ended up having about 100 people at the wine tasting and I was running around l like a crazy woman trying to make everything perfect. For me, it’s not enough that the food tastes good. The presentation has to have that “wow” effect. I received compliments for weeks afterward about the food, the wine, and the setting, but the whole evening remains a blur to me. I can’t even tell you who was there. And to top it off, we had so much food left over that I literally sent boxes home with people.
I am working on this though. Really, I am! I have to constantly remind myself that engaging with friends and family is the most important aspect of a get-together. The food and presentation are secondary.
A Muffuletta Sandwich Can Be Made Ahead of Time
One thing on my menu that everyone talked about was the “Muffuletta Sandwich” recipe below. It is probably one of my favorite things to prepare and present. It can be made a day ahead of time which is helpful when planning an event. The flavors mingle together overnight and make it tastier. When you slice it, the cross-section displays all the layers of yumminess and makes the presentation both impressive and alluring.
Olive and Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
The only time-consuming element is the dressing because it requires a lot of chopping. The dressing though is what makes this sandwich so delicious. Once the chopping is done, combining all the ingredients is a cinch.
A Crusty Bread Bowl from Panera is Perfect for the Muffuletta Sandwich
You want to use a hearty, crusty bread so it will hold up well when you add the Olive and Roasted Red Pepper Dressing. I purchased bread bowls from Panera Bread and they were the perfect size for this recipe. Cut horizontally about two inches from the top. Remove the insides of both top and bottom sections leaving a little bit of the bread to soak up the juices. Once assembled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Unwrap, slice and Enjoy!
When I was looking for a good sandwich for my event, I found this recipe on the Food Network site, Giada De Laurentiis. I have made it on several occasions and it’s always a hit!
End of Summer Picnic ExperiencePrint
An Italian charcuterie in a sandwich. This muffuletta sandwich is loaded with layers of meats and cheese. The olive and roasted red pepper dressing add a briny, salty depth of flavor.
- Prep Time: 30minutes
- Total Time: 30minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
Olive and Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
- 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Oregano (chopped)
- 2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil, extra virgin
- 1/3 cup Green Olives, chopped
- 1/3 cup Kalamata Olives, chopped
- 1/4 cup Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
- Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 1 Round Bread Loaf (7-in. diameter)
- 4 oz. Mortadella, thinly sliced
- 4 oz. Ham, thinly sliced
- 4 oz. Provolone Cheese, sliced
- 4 oz. Salami, thinly sliced
- 2 cups Arugula, loosely packed
- ½ Red Onion, thinly sliced
- Wisk together red wine vinegar, oregano, and garlic in medium size bowl. Slowly add olive oil. Stir in the olives, and roasted red peppers.
- Cut the bread horizontally 2 inches from the top. Remove the insides of both top and bottom sections leaving a little bit of the bread to soak up the juices. Spoon the dressing in the bottom and top portion of the bread. Make sure to spread it on the sides as well. Layer the meat and cheese. Top with arugula and onions. Carefully cover the bread bowl with the top section.
- Slice and serve immediately or wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Serving Size: 1 slice, 1/6 of sandwich
- Calories: 584
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 1079 mg
- Fat: 35 g
- Saturated Fat: 10 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 22 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 45 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 20 g
- Cholesterol: 52 mg