I've always loved muffaletta (I pronounce it "muh-fuh-LET-ah"), but I was always afraid of screwing up the tapenade. There's a pretty fine line between good tapenade and way-too-salty tapenade. It can't be too bland because it's a big element of the muffaletta, but it can't be too salty because it'll overpower the meats and cheeses. I found (and modified) this recipe for tapenade. It was just right. It was just a little salty, the way good tapenade should be, and the white wine vinegar and parsley gave it a good brightness in flavor. And the best part of this recipe is that it was REALLY easy!
½ cup pimento-stuffed green olives
½ cup black olives
2 cloves garlic
1 handful flat-leaf parsley
3-4 strips roasted red pepper
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a mixture is blended. The tapenade should be coarse, but finer than small-curd cottage cheese.
1 loaf Italian bread cut in half, longwise
½ lb salami
½ lb mortadella (or bologna)
6-8 slices of provolone
Scoop out some of the bread from each half of the Italian bread to make room for your filling. Spread the tapenade on the top half. Place the salami, bologna, and cheese on the other half. Put together and cut into smaller sandwiches.
Options: You may want to use crustier bread. The bread I used was great, but it was soft. You may also just want to toast the bread once it’s been cut in half. In the oven at 400 degrees for about 5-8 minutes before assembling should do it.