Eggplant Muffuletta Sandwiches

These Eggplant Muffuletta Sandwiches are full of flavor and meatless, too

I’ve never been to New Orleans where this sandwich was made famous, but I can understand what all the fuss is about! Whether you make your version of the muffuletta sandwich in the traditional style, loaded with meat – capicola, salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, and the like – or you prefer a meatless option like this recipe for Eggplant Muffuletta Sandwiches, the one thing you can’t leave out is the olive salad.

As soon as I bit into this sandwich I was reminded of some of the sandwiches my dad and uncles ate for lunch. Landscapers work up quite an appetite, and for my dad, a PB & J wouldn’t cut it halfway through the workday. Instead, he would eat sandwiches made using thick slices of home baked bread, piled with a variety of cured meat, cheese, pickled peppers, olives, or just about any other type of vegetable. His sandwiches were hearty, delicious, and similar to a muffuletta sandwich.

This is anything but a dainty sandwich, so it makes sense that this deli-style delight was made popular by Italian immigrant workers in New Orleans. I made this version without the meat, and added lightly fried eggplant slices instead.

Olive Salad for Eggplant Muffuletta Sandwiches

Seriously stacked, one of the best things about this (messy) sandwich is the olive salad that frames the eggplant and cheese. It’s made using two types of olives and hot-flavored giardiniera, among other goodies. Giardiniera is a mix of chopped, pickled veggies like carrots, peppers, cauliflower, and celery, packed in seasoned oil. The thick sandwich rolls easily soak up the oil and tangy flavors of the salty olive salad.

Be sure to have a bunch of napkins on hand when you set out to enjoy Eggplant Muffuletta Sandwiches. You’ll need them, but it will be worth it! Consider this recipe to make a great meal on a Meatless Monday!

Recipe for Eggplant Muffuletta Sandwiches

Serves 4

Grilled Shrimp Wraps with Red Pepper-Artichoke Pesto

I’m always interested in easy recipes that make great meals, but especially during the summer. I’ve got better things to do than fuss over dinner, don’t you?

This recipe for Grilled Shrimp Wraps with Red Pepper-Artichoke Pesto can take you from appetizer (think dip with fresh veggies or spread for crusty bread) to main dish (the base of a sandwich or as a topping for pasta) in a few easy steps.

Sandwiches were in order at my house recently, so I added the pesto, some lemony grilled shrimp and a handful of vegetables to a few tortillas, and a great dinner was easily wrapped up!

Recipe for Grilled Shrimp Wraps with Red Pepper-Artichoke Pesto:

Yields 2 cups pesto
Wraps serve 4

Spicy Tofu Banh Mi Sandwiches

Served on crunchy bread and piled high with ingredients, Spicy Tofu Banh Mi is a great sandwich to enjoy on a leisurely afternoon. Whether you spice it up or dial it down just a bit, this is a filling sandwich you can really wrap your hands around.

Lunch on the fly

Like most people on any given Saturday afternoon, I’m usually out running around. Sometimes that means I’m off having fun, and other times I’m just running errands. Either way, lunch on a Saturday afternoon is typically a quick pick up while I’m out and about.

The perfect time for banh mi

This last Saturday I was at home. Since I’ve been on a sandwich kick lately, I decided to make banh mi. It was the perfect Saturday afternoon, stay-at-home-and-chill kind of sandwich.

This is a hearty sandwich loaded with perfectly balanced contrasts: the crunchy veggies and the soft tofu; the sweet and tart of the veggie marinade; the heat from the jalapeños and the cool from the cucumbers and cilantro. This banh mi is piled high with ingredients that you can really wrap your hands around and dig into.

Switch it up

Most banh mi are made with pork or some type of meat. Tofu works really well, too, and I used a prepared, Asian-flavored baked tofu. I also swapped the traditional daikon radish for regular red radishes since they were easier to come by and I thought they added great color.

My first version ended up being really spicy because I’m always heavy handed with the garlic chili paste. It was good, but a bit overpowering. I modified the recipe, and you can modify it further if you don’t want a mayo-based spread with quite as much spice.

Recipe for Spicy Tofu Banh Mi Sandwiches:

Yields: 2