Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easy Muffaletta Italian Sandwich

I’ve never been able to find a perfect substitute for the original sandwich created by Central Grocery in New Orleans, Louisiana, but with the discovery of Safeway Grocery’s “Muffaletta” olive salad last week, I have been able to create a pretty tasty alternative. If you don’t live in New Orleans or Northern California, any good mixture of marinated Italian olives & peppers will work for the olive salad, but the olives and peppers should all be chopped finely before adding them to the sandwich.

I started with 2 slices of fresh, soft, sourdough bread (Italian ciabatta or focaccia rolls also work) and then poured a small amount of my favorite light Italian salad dressing on each slice of bread for flavor and moisture. Next, spread a thick layer of your chopped olive salad on one slice of bread. On the other slice of bread, layer some Italian salami slices (Gallo or Columbus are the best brands I’ve tried in the U.S.) with some good-quality slices of provolone cheese. Press the two slices of bread together with the fillings, and you are off!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Feta & Walnuts

This is a great spring-time or summer salad for warmer days, or whenever you can grab a basket of big, juicy, fresh strawberries. My friend from college, Brittney Blunt Jacobsen, was the first person to ever serve me this salad during one of our dorm dinners my senior year, so I always credit her with the recipe. I’ve made it hundreds of times, and it’s always a crowd pleaser.

(Adjust quantities of all items to suit your taste & desired number of servings)
Fresh spinach or baby spinach leaves
Fresh, ripe strawberries
Very thinly sliced red onions
Crumbled feta cheese
Dried cranberries
Finely chopped walnut pieces

Add all items to your salad bowl and toss with a bottled raspberry vinaigrette. I have tried lots of store-bought dressings, but my favorite brand is Annie’s Naturals Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette. Enjoy!