Vegetarian Muffaletta with Portobello Mushrooms
with Cajun roasted cauliflower
When we decided to include a Muffaletta sandwich in a meal plan, we knew the perfect time to do it would be Mardi Gras! This sandwich originated in New Orleans, home of many Mardi Gras celebrations. Look for a good quality focaccia or ciabatta because the bread is a key feature of this flavorful sandwich.
Smarts: Using a large loaf of bread, you'll assemble one big sandwich and then slice it into individual servings. Slice the pieces into whatever shape works best - if using a round loaf of bread, slice it like a pizza for triangular wedges.
- Cauliflower - 1 lb, florets
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Cajun seasoning - 2 tsp
- Olives, mixed and pitted green and kalamata - 3/4 cup (ideally from the olive bar)
- Roasted red bell peppers - 4 oz, drained and chopped (from a jar)
- Garlic - 2 cloves
- Capers - 1 tsp, drained and rinsed
- Celery seed (opt) - 1/4 tsp
- Oregano, dried - 1/4 tsp
- Vinegar, red wine - 1 tsp
- Mushrooms, portobello - 4, stems removed, gills scraped
- Focaccia or Ciabatta - 1 loaf
- Cheese, deli-sliced provolone - 6 oz
- Hummus - 4 oz
- Make tapenade - (Double if making Wednesday’s meal; if prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing with prep.) Combine olives, roasted bell peppers, garlic, capers, celery seed, dried oregano, and vinegar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until everything is chopped but some pea-sized pieces still remain. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop everything very finely by hand or use an immersion blender or standing blender, which will produce a more smooth tapenade.) Taste and season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Cauliflower - Chop cauliflower into florets. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Mushrooms - Remove stems and scrape out gills.
- Heat oven to 400F / 204C degrees. Set out two sheet pans.
- Toss cauliflower with oil, Cajun seasoning, and some salt and pepper. Spread out on the first sheet pan. Roast cauliflower, shaking pan halfway through cooking, until tender and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Once cauliflower is roasting, brush the second sheet pan with some oil. Add mushrooms to the sheet pan. Brush or drizzle the tops of the mushrooms with some more oil and season with some salt and pepper. Roast mushrooms until tender, 12 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. (Note: If the mushrooms release a lot of moisture, dry them with paper towels when you get them out to flip them.)
- When cauliflower and mushrooms are nearly finished roasting, start to assemble Muffaletta.
- Optional step: If your bread is more than a day old or if you’d like it warm, warm it up in the oven for a few minutes.
- Drain excess liquid off of tapenade (this is especially important if you made the tapenade ahead).
- Slice bread open to separate the top and bottom.
- Spread the bottom half of the bread with tapenade (remember to reserve half if doubled). Top with cheese and mushrooms. Spread the top half of the bread with hummus and then place on top.
- Slice the sandwich into individual portions.
- Serve sandwich with cauliflower on the side. Enjoy!
The olive tapenade was so delicious!0 Helpful
Loved the tapenade, liked the cauliflower. Sandwich seemed kind of dry, so I'd probably add some other kind of sauce on top of the other ingredients if I made it again.0 Helpful
This was great! Olives aren’t my favorite, but I liked the tapenade mixed in with everything. I also really enjoyed having a super quick sandwich meal for a change!0 Helpful
I didn't make the cauliflower because my husband has had enough of it lately...but this sandwich...incredible. It was totally great. Loved the tapenade and was shocked at how easy it was to make! Love that there's a little left over for my lunch today.0 Helpful
Delicious and easy! The cauliflower was so flavorful.0 Helpful